City of Florence Italian body politic


1478 in Panzano and Radda

April 29

There was a little rest and quiet, without more bloodshed, but people were still bewildered with terror.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 17.

August 19

A peasant was tried and hung, and was taken down as dead and placed on a bier; but having reached the Tempio,(1) he recovered consciousness, not being dead. He was taken to (the hospital of) Santa Maria Nuova, where he died a few days after. All Florence saw him.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 22


May 7

Ten Sesti and one Decima were voted; and a Sgravo (decrease) of 3 thousand florins was made and an Aggravo (increase) of a thousand florins.(1)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 30

1482 in Ficheruolo, Milan, Ostia, Corneto, Ferrara, Venice and Naples

April 28

The Duke of Urbino came to Florence, lodging in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni, and he was received with honour. And on the 29th he left for Milan, to take up his post as Capitano generale, stopping at Ferrara where Signor Roberto was. There they besieged a fort called Ficheruolo till the 1st June.(1)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 34-5

July 2

We took Ficheruolo.(1)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 35

1483 in Siena, Arno, Monte Domenici and Ancona

August 5

The exiled Sienese came against their city, as far as the fortress of Sitorno, but were unable to do anything. The citizens took many prisoners from the fortress and carried them into Siena.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 38

1485 in Siena and Arezzo

July 17

The Florentines made the Count of Pitigliano(1) Capitano, and gave him the baton. And the Sienese made the Signore da Farnese their Capitano.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 41


April 15

The Genoese were defeated by the Florentines at Serrazana, and there were many killed. Our troops captured the fort and all their artillery, and succoured Serezzanello, and sent two prisoners here, Messer Luigi del Fiesco and a nephew of his.(1)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 43

1488 in Mugello, Bologna and Faenza

June 5

We heard that Messer Giovanni Bentivogli had been arrested by the men of Faenza, at the instance of the Florentines, and there were cries of "Marzocco" through the city; and all this was true.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 45

June 12

Messer Giovanni Bentivogli was liberated by the Florentines. Lorenzo de' Medici went into Mugello, where Messer Giovanni had been brought, and having conferred with him courteously, sent him back to Bologna with an escort and his mind set at rest.(1)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 45

September 12

The Palagio de' Signori was struck by a thunderbolt at about 14 in the morning (10 a.m.).; it struck the lion and pursued its way downards. There were two strangers at the top, just next to the bells, when it happened, a chancellor of the Pitigliani and another. The former fell unconscious, as if dead, and the other was little better; however, they did not die after all. Neither was there a great deal of injury done to the Palagio. It seemed wonderful that this should have happened to two strangers, when there hundreds of Florentines in the Palagio. People went to look at the tower and the bells afterwards.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 47


March 10

We heard that the Pope had made six cardinals, who were as follows: two French, one Milanese, two of his nephews, and one Florentine, son of Lorenzo de' Medici.(1) Thank God! It is a great honour to our city in general, and in particular to his father and his house.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 47

1492 in Fiesole and Florence

March 10

Lorenzo's son, the cardinal, received the hat from the Pope.(1) It was given him at the Badia on the way to Fiesole (i.e. at San Domenico), and many citizens went out to meet him when he came into Florence to visit the Signoria; and the next day he went to hear mass in Santa Maria del Fiore. And on this day the Signoria presented him with 30 loads of gifts carried by porters, being silver plate, and basins, and ewers, and dishes, and all the silver utensils that can possibly be used by a great lord. According to what was said, they were estimated at more than 20 thousand florins, although that seems impossible to me; but it was public report, and therefore I set it down. It was certainly a rich and magnificent gift. Praise be to God!

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 52

1494 in Pisa, Florence, Arezzo, Genoa, Levant, Cortona, Emilia-Romagna, Dicomano, Castelnuovo, Pietrasanta, Rome and Sarzana

August 5

Piero de' Medici went to meet the Duke of Calabria, in the neighbourhood of Arezzo, to visit him, as one visits a great gentleman, a lord. The French ambassadors who were in Florence, having asked for their safe-conduct, and not receiving it at once, when they knew of this journey of Piero's began to suspect us of not being friendly to their king; at least this was said in the city, and it was said that the king threatened the Florentines. It was difficult to persuade them that we were faithful friends, and that their suspicions were without foundation. All this, however, I only heard by report.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 57

November 10

The citizens again came armed into the Piazza, and set to recruit more men. Antonio de Bernardo, Ser Giovanni son of Ser Bartolomeo, Ser Simone da Staggia, Ser Ceccone son of Ser Barone, Ser Lorenzo of the Dogana, Lorenzo son of Giovanni Tornabuoni, and Piero Tornabuoni, were fetched from their houses and made prisoner. The Signoria published a proclamation commanding anyone who had, property belonging to Piero de' Medici or to the cardinal his brother, or to Ser Giovanni, Ser Simeone, Ser Bernardo, and Ser Lorenzo of the Dogana,(1) to declare it, on pain of death. And a second proclamation was published, which had been decided upon by the council composed of all the veduti e seduti.(2) There were an immense number of citizens present. Ant this morning they pillaged the cardinal's house, which was in Sant' Antonio(3) di Firenze, sending their men to claim the last things that still remained.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 63-4

November 17

The King of France entered Florence at 22 in the evening (6 p.m.) by the Porta a San Friano, and passed through the Piazza (de' Signori), proceeding so slowly that it was already 24 (8 p.m.) before he reached Santa Maria del Fiore. He dismounted at the steps, and walked up to the High Altar, there being so many torches that they made a double row from the door to the altar, leaving a way clear in the middle, along which he went with his barons and all his suite, amidst such tumultuous shouting of Viva Francia as was never heard. Only think that all Florence was there, either in the church or outside. Everyone shouted, great and small, old and young, and all from their hearts, without flattery. When he was seen on foot he seemed to the people somewhat less imposing, for he was infact a very small man. Nevertheless there was no one who did not feel favourably disposed towards him. Therefore it should have been eas tomake him understand that our hearts are innocent of guile, and that we are truly devoted to him; so that he ought to feel moved towards us in uncommon measure, and to trust us absolutely. This is really the case, and he will see in the future what the faith of the Florentines signifies. Upon coming out of church, he remounted his horse and rode on to the palace of Piero de' Medici, amidst continued cries of Viva Francia. Never was such joy seen before, or so much honour done to anyone, with heartfelt sincerity, as we were in hopes that he would bring us peace and rest. In the end it proved not to be so, as he took Pisa from us and gave it to the Pisans, which he had no right to do, seeing that he could not give what was not his.(1)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 66

November 21

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

November 24

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

November 25

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

November 27

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

December 4

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

December 12

12th December (Friday). Antonio di Bernardo di Miniato was hung, in the morning before dawn, at the windows of the Casa del Capitano; and he remained hanging there till 24 in the evening (8 p.m.). During these days the French in the district of Cortona had taken some silk belonging to the Florentines, which was coming from the Levant, and was worth 40 thousand florins, and were not willing to return it. They returned it in the end, however, though it cost a lot of trouble.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 75

December 14

14th December (Sunday). We heard how those Frenchmen who were marking the houses in Rome had been driven away, and many had been killed; the Romans wishing to defend themselves and not accept the Frenchmen in their city.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 76

December 30

30th December (Tuesday). Ambassadors were chosen to go to Pisa: Piero Capponi and Francesco Valori, together with the French one; and they were to take letters from the king with them, saying that Pisa should be given back to us.(1) They were, in fact, playing us such tricks that the people thought that the king was making fools of us, which was considered a bad prospect, as indeed it was.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 78

1495 in Pisa, Naples, Pistoia, Terracina, Capua, Florence, Rome and Gaeta

January 1

1st January. The new Signoria entered into office, and it was a great joy to see the whole Piazza filled with citizens, quite different from other times, as a new thing, thanking God who had given this impartial government to Florence, and delivered us from subjection. And all this had been done at the instigation of the Frate.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 78

January 9

9th January (Friday). We heard that the king had caused the French to give up certain silks belonging to Florence, which they had taken, and that they were in the hands of the Florentines in Rome; and that he was treating the Florentine nation well. And every day there passed horses with loads of French clothes (probably uniforms), which went to the French camp at Rome.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 80

January 11

11th January (Sunday). Fra Girolamo preached, and spoke much concerning the reforms in the city; and exculpated himself from various accusations, saying that there were devils who disturbed the life of the commune; and that they wrote forged letters, which made it appear as if the Frate had given Piero de' Medici hopes of returning in order to make the people turn against him. But nevertheless all this was untrue; he was entirely for the people and the common weal. He was calumniated by these foxes; but the truth would always prevail. It is the fact that he always encouraged this community of feeling amongst the people.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 80

January 17

17th January (Saturday). Fra Girolamo preached; and concerned himself much about this peace and union of the citizens; and many of them began to grow angry with him, saying, Questo Fraluccio ci fa capitare male (This wretched monk will bring us ill-luck).

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 80

January 18

18th January (Sunday). A loan of 100 thousand florins was demanded,(1) to be subscribed to by all the citizens; and the people were so much dismayed, that almost every one stopped working, and gave way to discontent. Every one said, "This thing cannot be; the poor who live by their labour will die of hunger, and will be obliged to apply for the alms of San Martino."(2)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 80-1

January 20

20th January. Many Florentines arrived here, about 400, driven out from Pisa by the Pisans, and having left their wives and children and their shops, after being very ill-treated.(1)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 81

January 21

21st January. Our commissioners left for Pisa, and took with them many courageous young men fully determined to punish the Pisans. We hired many soldiers also, and large bodies of infantry went from the neighbourhood of Pistoia and all the country round, without pay. Everyone was ready to go there, thinking that the whole district would be sacked. No one thought much of their power of resistance; but we were mistaken, as will be seen later, for they were very persistent and united in their defence.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 81

January 23

23rd January. We continued sending men to Pisa.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 81

January 28

28th January. We heard that our troops had captured many forts from the Pisans and were making raids all over the country.(1)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 81-2

February 2

2nd February. We heard that the King of France had been defeated at Terracina, on entering the Kingdom (of Naples), and that there were hundreds slain.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 82

February 11

11th February. There were negotiations with the cardinal concerning giving Pisa over to us, and he wanted 70 thousand florins.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 83

February 20

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 83

February 22

22nd February. We received the news that the King of France had taken Capua, and was near Naples. It was thought that he would capture it quickly.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 83

February 25

25th February. We heard that the King of France had taken Naples, and how he had entered it on the 21st without a blow. The King of Naples took refuge in the Castel dell' Uovo. This news was proclaimed here with great rejoicing, with drums and fifes, and the shops were shut. There were many bonfires and lights(1) on the towers, and other manifestations, to commemorate such a conquest.(2)

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 83

February 27

27th February. The Cardinal Sa' Malò left here, who had come to deliver Pisa over to us, and had not done so; but he carried away with him 22 thousand florins, and returned to the king at Naples.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 83-4

March 4

4th March. There were very grateful letters from the King of France, telling us how pleased he was that we had celebrated the conquest of Naples.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 84

March 6

6th March. There was much argument as to why the king did not give Pisa over to us, seeing that we were such friends of his country and also that he had promised it us on the capture of Naples.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 84

March 10

10th March. Piero Capponi went to our camp at Pisa and took money to the soldiers.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 84

March 16

16th March. There was a debate how to keep peace amongst the citizens, and about doing away with the authority of six votes(1); and this was carried through by the Signori and Collegi.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 84

March 22

22nd March. We heard that the king had taken the Castello dell' Uovo.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 85

April 1

1st April. Fra Girolamo preached, and said and testified that the Virgin Mary had revealed to him, that after going through much trouble, the city of Florence was to be the most glorious, the richest, and the most powerful that ever existed; and he promised this absolutely. All these things he spoke as a prophet, and the greater part of the people believed him, especially quiet people without political or party passions.

Source: A Florentine Diary, p. 85

1496 in Rome

July 2


March 18

After much debate and steady pressure from a worried Florentine government, Girolamo Savonarola withdraws from public preaching.

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