The duty on the wine was raised, so that where 14 soldi used to be paid, it was now 20; but a promise was given that it would not last for more than five years.
And at this time the cupola of the Servi was finished (i.e. of the SS. Annunziata).
He (Cardinal di San Giorgio) was accompanied by the "Eight"(1) and many citizens from the Palagio to the Nunziata; and he was in dread of being killed by the populace. That same day the Pope excommunicated us.
(1) These were the Otto di Guardia e Balia, at this time at the height of their power. (Trans.)
Lorenzo son of Piero Francesco de' Medici returned, and dined at this own house of the Gora, and the same evening he went to meet the king, who was stopping at Legniaia, in the house of Piero Capponi. And on this same day the Bargello was made prisoner in the church of the Servi.(1) Also more French entered the city than any other day, and they filled every house, even the poorest, including all Camaldoli.
(1) His name was Piero Antonio dall' Aquila. The day before, a reward had been promised to anyone who would give information as to where he was hidden; and on the 14th the Priors decreed quod dono tradatur to the Signor Giovanni da Maddaloni, oratore (representative) of the King of France, who would receive him in the king's name.
Many decorations were made for the king's arrival in the house of Piero de' Medici, and principally at the entrance of the palace. Two large columns were erected outside, one on each side of the gate, with ornamentation representing the arms of France, etc., too intricate to describe. It truly was a triumph; everything was done so well and on such a grand scale. I will not even begin to tell you how the interior was ordered. And spiritegli(1) and giants and triumphal cars went about the town, and stages on wheels for the miracle-play of the Nunziata, whilst there were innumerable embellishments and the arms of France all over Florence. Above the gate of the Palagio de' Signori were the said arms, very large and magnificently blazoned.
(1) See note to 5th July, 1478.
The king rode out with a great troop of horsemen, and came to the Croce di San Giovanni; and when he was near the steps of Santa Maria del Fiore, he turned back and went towards the Servi; but having gone a few paces, he turned round again, and again went to the Croce di San Giovanni,(1) going at the back of San Giovanni, through that narrow Chiassolino,(2) and coming under the Volta di San Giovanni, d' Cialdonai(2); and those who saw him laughed,(3) and said slighting things of him, causing his reputation to suffer. Then he went through the Mercato Vecchio, and on as far as San Felice in Piazza, to see the festa of San Felice, which they were having on his account; but when he reached the door he would not enter; and they repeated everything several times, but he did not enter once.(4) Many people said that he was afraid, and did not wish to be shut in, and this proved to us that he was more afraid than we were; and woe to him if a disturbance had begun, although there would also have been great danger for us. But the Lord has always helped us, on account of the prayers of His servants and of the number of holy monks and nuns in the city, who are in truth on their way to God. At this time two Venetian ambassadors to the king arrived, and there were also the Genoese ambassadors, who came, it was said, to demand Serezzana and other things from him.
(1) The column with a small cross at the top of it, which was put up to commemorate the miracle of San Zenobi, in the year 341, as stated in the inscription. It was broken down by the flood of 1333 and set up again, which accounts for the inscription not being so old. (Trans.)
(2) This Chiassolino (alley) and the Volta da' Cialdonai were demolished when the Piazza was enlarged. (Trans.)
(3) The autographic MS. has a gap from page 17 till the 1st December, 1494; therefore I have supplied the missing pages from the MS. copy at the Marucelliana Library (Jodico del Badia).
(4) I copy this fragment from the Storie of Jacopo Nardi, who disagrees from what Landucci says here: "His Majesty the King, having rested a few days, was entertained by the representation of some solemn and beautiful feste, like that very singular one of the Virgine Annunziata, which is represented with ingenious and marvellous skill in the Church of San Felice in Piazza, and which pleased and delighted him so much, that having seen it once publicly, he wished to see it again incognito and privately." Our author also mentions this edificio (representation) of the Annunciation on 16th November, 1494. In Vasari's Life of Brunelleschi this is finely described.