I’ll keep this very, very quick.
Today’s free Summer Series article with audio is ready for you to read and listen to.
And it’s an interesting one, with a link to an entertaining video about the De Medici family, which I assume was produced for Italian teenagers (who are obbliged to memorise medieval history), given that it contains some swearing and innumerable pop culture references.
For those who prefer reading to video, there’s also a link to a Wikipedia page which details the construction of what was once the largest (brick built) cathedral dome in the world. How do you build a dome out of bricks? Exactly. That was the problem, apparently.
Have you guessed? After Wednesday’s article on the rather antisocial lords of Milan and their succession problems, now we’re in money-mad Florence/Firenze.
I expect you’ve been there, as it’s one of Italy’s, and Europe’s, greatest draws, due to the art, architecture and so forth financed by the vast profits of late-medieval period banks.
I wouldn’t recommend Firenze as a destination for learning Italian, though, for every time I’ve been there, I’ve heard people speaking English everywhere, more so than in London, for example!
Also because our own Italian language school is in Bologna, which until recently was an English-free zone, despite my professional efforts.
But I supposed you’d have been OK if you’d visited Florence in the fifteenth century, the period covered by today’s article.
Let’s do that today!
What if you’ve just joined us, or have fallen behind with this year’s FREE Summer Series?
You’ll find the previous twenty-six snippets of medieval history from the Italian peninsula on our History page (scroll down, past the Romans.)
Gotta rush, as I have to go sign stuff at an Italian bank, this being the exciting (not really) culmination of an interminable four-week to and fro about which totally unnecessary but difficult to obtain documents are needed in order to open a very, very simple business bank account, to deposit the obligatory but pointless ‘capitale sociale’ in, and therefore finally be able to operate the new company.
Want to know lesson number one about doing business in Italy?
When we started out, back in 2005, all our Italian friends commented “Che corraggiosi!” (“How brave!”), or words to that effect.
We thought they were joking.
Bet things were easier for the De Medici!