Giovanni de' Medici, 1498-1526

Giovanni de' Medici, 1498-1526


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Giovanni de' Medici, 1498-1526

Giovanni de Medici (1498-1526) was the most able soldier produced by the Medici family, and was the father of Cosimo I, the first grand duke of Tuscany.

Giovanni was born into the younger branch of the Medici family, descended from Lorenzo, brother of Cosimo the Elder, founder of the senior branch of the family. During Giovanni's lifetime the younger branch was fairly insignificant, but he began the process of raising its profile. His father was another Giovanni de Medici, the grandson of Lorenzo. Giovanni was originally christened Lodovico, but after his father's early death took his name. His mother was Caterina Sforza, a member of a successful Italian military family.

Early in his career he became known as Giovanni delle Bande Nere, Giovanni of the Black Bands, after his men began to carry black banners to mourn the death of Leo X.

Like most Italian mercenary commanders of the period Giovanni served each side in the Italian Wars. In 1516-17 he fought for Pope Leo X in his conflict with Francesco Maria della Rovere. In 1521 he fought for Leo X during the first French invasion of Italy in the First Hapsburg Valois War, taking part in the campaign that ended with the French loss of Milan.

In 1522 he fought at Colonna's great victory of Bicocca (27 April 1522), which saw the defeat of a renewed French invasion.

In 1523 Giovanni fought in the Imperial Army, first under Colonna, then under Charles de Lannoy. He helped to defeat an advance by the Grisons, French allies from the Alps, undermining their chances of defending Milan. He fought on the Imperial side at the battle of the Sesia (April 1524), where the famous Bayard was killed.

In 1525 he turned to the French service when his cousin Pope Clement VII came to terms with Francis I. He fought on the French side during the siege of Pavia, but suffered a wound in the foot before the disastrous battle of Pavia (24 February 1525) and so wasn't involved in that French defeat.

In 1526 Giovanni joined the anti-Imperial army of the League of Cognac (Second Hapsburg-Valois War), serving under Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino. The League was a disastrous failure, and in the following year Rome was sacked by an out-of control Imperial army. By then Giovanni was dead. He was fatally wounded in fighting against German reinforcements under Georg von Frundsberg at Borgoforte near Mantua on 25 November 1526 (although the wound was actually caused by a Ferrarese cannon ball) and died on 30 November at Mantua after gangrene set in despite his having his leg amputated.

Giovanni married Maria Salviati and they had one son, Cosimo (1519-74). By now the senior branch of the family was close to dying out. In 1532 Pope Clement VII, a member of that branch of the family, installed Alessandro de Medici, possibly his own illegitimate son, as Duke of Florence, but Alessandro was a brutal ruler who was assassinated in 1537. This left the way open to the young Cosimo (still under 20 at the time), who became Duke of Florence, bringing the junior branch of the family to power. In 1569 Cosimo became Grand Duke of Tuscany as Cosimo I, establishing a dynasty that lasted until 1738.


Biography [ edit | edit source ]

Giovanni was born in the Northern Italian town of Forlì to Giovanni de' Medici (also known as il Popolano) and Caterina Sforza, one of the most famous women of the Italian Renaissance.

From an early age, he demonstrated great interest and ability in physical activity, especially the martial arts of the age: horse riding, sword-fighting, etc. He committed his first murder at the age of 12, and was twice banished from the city of Florence for his unruly behavior, including involvement in the rape of a sixteen-year-old boy, Giovanni being about thirteen at the time. Ώ] He had a son, Cosimo (1519–1574), who went on to become Grand Duke of Florence.

Giovanni became a condottiero, or mercenary military captain, in the employ of Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici) and on March 5, 1516 led the war against Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Duke of Urbino. He thenceforth formed a company of his own, mounted on light horses and specializing in fast but devastating skirmishing tactics and ambushes. In 1520 he defeated several rebel barons in the Marche. The following year Leo X allied with Emperor Charles V against King Francis I of France to regain Milan, Parma and Piacenza Giovanni was called in under the command of Prospero Colonna, defeating the French at Vaprio d'Adda in November.

As a symbol of mourning for the death of Pope Leo X (December 1, 1521), Giovanni added black stripes to his insignia, whence comes his nick-name, Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (or Giovanni of the Black Bands). In August 1523 he was hired by the Imperial army, and in January 1524 he defeated the French and the Swiss at Caprino Bergamasco. In the same year another Medici, Giulio di Giuliano, became Pope, and took the name of Clement VII. The new Pope paid all of Giovanni's debt, but in exchange ordered him to switch to the French side of the ongoing conflict. He did not take part in the battle of Pavia, but was soon severely wounded in a skirmish and later had to move to Venice to recuperate from his wounds.

In 1526 the War of the League of Cognac broke out. The League's captain general, Francesco Maria I della Rovere, abandoned Milan in the face of the overwhelming superiority of the [Imperial army led by Georg von Frundsberg. Giovanni was able to defeat the Landsknechts rearguard at the confluence of the Mincio with the Po River.


Giovanni de' Medici

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Giovanni de’ Medici, original name Lodovico, byname Giovanni Dalle Bande Nere (Italian: Giovanni of the Black Bands), (born April 6, 1498, Forli, Papal States—died Nov. 30, 1526, Mantua, Marquisate of Mantua), the most noted soldier of all the Medici.

Giovanni belonged to the younger, or cadet, branch of the Medici, descended from Lorenzo, brother to Cosimo the Elder. Always in obscurity and, until the 16th century, held in check by the elder line, this branch first entered the arena of history when the other was on the point of extinction. Its first major figure, in fact, was this valiant captain of the papal forces, Giovanni de’ Medici. His father was Giovanni, son of Pierfrancesco, who was the son of Lorenzo. Though christened Lodovico, the child took his father’s name of Giovanni, his father having died soon after his birth. Trained to arms from his earliest years, this youth inherited all the energy of his mother, Caterina, whose Sforza blood seemed to infuse new life into the younger branch of the Medici. Having first fought for Pope Leo X against Francesco Maria della Rovere (1516–17) and against the French (1521), he took service with the French in 1522, went over to the Emperor’s side in 1523, but returned to the French service in 1525 (before the Battle of Pavia). In 1526 he entered the army of the League of Cognac against the Emperor but was mortally wounded in battle near Mantua on November 25 and died five days later. His bande nere or “black bands” were named from the black banners that they began to carry in mourning for Leo X.

Giovanni was married to Maria Salviati, by whom he had one son, Cosimo (1519–74), who became the first grand duke of Tuscany (as Cosimo I) and indeed the founder of the grand duchy and the new Medicean dynasty.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.


A great enigma of the Italian Renaissance: paleopathological study on the death of Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (1498-1526) and historical relevance of a leg amputation

Background: The Medici project consisted in archeological and paleopathological researches on some members of the great dynasty of the Italian Renaissance. The remains of Giovanni de' Medici, so-called "dalle Bande Nere" (Forlì 1498- Mantua 1526) have not been investigated yet. The enigma of the fatal injury and leg amputation of the famous Captain excited curiosity of paleopathologists, medical scientists and Italian Society of Orthopedic and Traumatology which contributed to realize the project of exhumation and study of his skeletal remains. The aim of the study is to report the first anthropological and paleopathological results.

Case presentation: The tomb of Giovanni and his wife Maria Salviati was explored and the skeletal remains were investigated. Anthropological and paleopathological examination defined: age at death, physical constitution and activity, skeletal diseases. The bones of the leg were studied macroscopically, under stereoscopic microscope, at X-ray and CT scans to detect type of injury and level of amputation.

Conclusions: The skeleton and muscular insertions of Giovanni revealed a young-adult and vigorous man, subjected to stresses of military activity since adolescence. Right tibia was amputated below the proximal half of diaphysis leaving long tibio-fibular stumps with a horizontal cut only at the lateral portion. Thus, the surgeon limited to complete the traumatic hemi-amputation. Amputation in the Sixteenth Century technically consisted in guillotine incisions below the knee using crescent shaped knife and bony saw, usually leaving a quite long tibial stump. Amputations in the Sixteenth Century were contaminated and grossly performed not providing vascular binding nor wound closure. The surgeon performed the procedure in conformity with surgical knowledge of that period.


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About Ludovico de'Medici, Giovanni dalle Bande Nere

Giovanni passò la propria infanzia in un convento, poiché la madre era prigioniera di Cesare Borgia. Nel 1509 Caterina Sforza morì, ed essendo morto anche Luffo Numai, primo tutore di Giovanni, la tutela del giovane passò al canonico Francesco Fortunati e al ricchissimo fiorentino Jacopo Salviati, marito di Lucrezia de' Medici, figlia di Lorenzo il Magnifico. Giovanni de Medici

M, #3219, b. 6 April 1498, d. 30 November 1526

He died on 30 November 1526 at age 28.

Child of Giovanni de Medici and Mary Salviati

-1. Cosimo I de Medici, Granduca di Toscana+ b. 12 Jun 1519, d. 21 Apr 1574

Giovanni dalle Bande Nere

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Giovanni de' Medici, also known as Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (April 5, 1498 - November 30, 1526) was an Italian condottiero.

Giovanni was born in the Northern Italian town of Forlì to Giovanni de' Medici (also known as il Popolano) and Caterina Sforza, one of the most famous women of the Italian Renaissance.

From an early age, he demonstrated great interest and ability in physical activity, especially the martial arts of the age: horse riding, sword-fighting, etc. He committed his first murder at the age of 12, and was twice banished from the city of Florence for his unruly behavior. He married Maria Salviati, and had a son, Cosimo (1519-1574), who went on to become Grand Duke of Florence.

Giovanni became a condottiero, or mercenary military captain, in the employ of Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici) and underwent his baptism by fire on March 5, 1516 in the war against Francesco Maria della Rovere, duke of Urbino. Giovanni won after 22 days. He thenceforth formed a company of his own, mounted on light horses and specializing in fast but devastating skirmishing tactics and ambushes. In 1520 he defeated several rebel barons in the Marche. The following year Leo X allied with Emperor Charles V against King Francis I of France to regain Milan, Parma and Piacenza Giovanni was called in under the command of Prospero Colonna, defeating the French at Vaprio d'Adda in November.

As a symbol of mourning for the death of Pope Leo X (December 1, 1521), Giovanni added black stripes to his insignia, whence comes his nick-name, Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (or Giovanni of the Black Bands). In the August 1523 he was hired by the Imperial army, and in January 1524 he defeated the French and the Swiss at Caprino Bergamasco. In the same year another Medici, Giulio di Giuliano, became Pope, and took the name of Clement VII. The new Pope paid all of Giovanni's debt, but in exchange ordered him to switch to the French side of the ongoing conflict. He did not take part in the battle of Pavia, but was soon severely wounded in a skirmish and later had to move to Venice to be cured.

In 1526 the War of the League of Cognac broke out. The League's captain general, Francesco della Rovere, abandoned Milan in the face of the overwhelming superiority of the Imperial army led by Georg von Frundsberg. Giovanni was able to defeat the Landsknechts rearguard at the confluence of the Mincio with the Po River.

On the evening of November 25 he was hit by a shot from a falconet in a battle near Govérnolo. The ball shattered his leg above the knee and he had to be carried to San Nicolò Po, where no doctor could be found. He was taken to Luigi Gonzaga's palace in Mantua, where the surgeon Abramo, who had cared for him two years earlier, amputated his leg. To perform the operation Abramo asked for 10 men to hold down the stricken condottiero.

Pietro Aretino, eyewitness to the event, recalled in a letter to Francesco Albizi:

«Not even twenty» Giovanni said smiling ઼ould hold me», and he took a candle in his hand, so that he could make light onto himself, I ran away, and shutting [sic] my ears I heard only two voices, and then calling, and when I reached him he told me: «I am healed», and turning all around he greatly rejoiced.[1] »

Giovanni de' Medici died five days later, of septicemia, on November 30, 1526.

Giovanni's premature death metaphorically signaled the end of the age of the condottieri, as their mode of fighting (which emphasized armored knights on horseback) was rendered practically obsolete by the introduction of the mobile field cannon. He is therefore known as the last of the great Italian condottieri. His lasting reputation has been kept alive in part thanks to Pietro Aretino, the Renaissance author, satirist, playwright and "scourge of the princes", who was Giovanni's close friend and accompanied him on some of his exploits.

A cruiser of the Regia Marina was named after Giovanni delle Bande Nere in 1930.

Ermanno Olmi's 2001 film, Il mestiere delle armi, faithfully follows Giovanni dalle Bande Nere in his last week of life, as he engages in battle with the Imperial forces amidst the cold, damp fields of the Lombard countryside.

Giovanni de' Medici, also known as Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (April 5, 1498 – November 30, 1526) was an Italian condottiero.

Giovanni was born in the Northern Italian town of Forlì to Giovanni de' Medici (also known as il Popolano) and Caterina Sforza, one of the most famous women of the Italian Renaissance.

From an early age, he demonstrated great interest and ability in physical activity, especially the martial arts of the age: horse riding, sword-fighting, etc. He committed his first murder at the age of 12, and was twice banished from the city of Florence for his unruly behavior, including involvement in the sodomitical rape of a sixteen-year-old boy, Giovanni being about thirteen at the time.[1] He had a son, Cosimo (1519-1574), who went on to become Grand Duke of Florence.

Giovanni became a condottiero, or mercenary military captain, in the employ of Pope Leo X (Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici) and underwent his baptism by fire on March 5, 1516 in the war against Francesco Maria della Rovere, duke of Urbino. Giovanni won after 22 days. He thenceforth formed a company of his own, mounted on light horses and specializing in fast but devastating skirmishing tactics and ambushes. In 1520 he defeated several rebel barons in the Marche. The following year Leo X allied with Emperor Charles V against King Francis I of France to regain Milan, Parma and Piacenza Giovanni was called in under the command of Prospero Colonna, defeating the French at Vaprio d'Adda in November.

As a symbol of mourning for the death of Pope Leo X (December 1, 1521), Giovanni added black stripes to his insignia, whence comes his nick-name, Giovanni dalle Bande Nere (or Giovanni of the Black Bands). In the August 1523 he was hired by the Imperial army, and in January 1524 he defeated the French and the Swiss at Caprino Bergamasco. In the same year another Medici, Giulio di Giuliano, became Pope, and took the name of Clement VII. The new Pope paid all of Giovanni's debt, but in exchange ordered him to switch to the French side of the ongoing conflict. He did not take part in the battle of Pavia, but was soon severely wounded in a skirmish and later had to move to Venice to be cured.

In 1526 the War of the League of Cognac broke out. The League's captain general, Francesco della Rovere, abandoned Milan in the face of the overwhelming superiority of the Imperial army led by Georg von Frundsberg. Giovanni was able to defeat the Landsknechts rearguard at the confluence of the Mincio with the Po River.

On the evening of November 25 he was hit by a shot from a falconet in a battle near Govérnolo. The ball shattered his leg above the knee and he had to be carried to San Nicolò Po, where no doctor could be found. He was taken to Luigi Gonzaga's palace in Mantua, where the surgeon Abramo, who had cared for him two years earlier, amputated his leg. To perform the operation Abramo asked for 10 men to hold down the stricken condottiero.

Pietro Aretino, eyewitness to the event, recalled in a letter to Francesco Albizi:

«Not even twenty» Giovanni said smiling ઼ould hold me», and he took a candle in his hand, so that he could make light onto himself, I ran away, and shutting [sic] my ears I heard only two voices, and then calling, and when I reached him he told me: «I am healed», and turning all around he greatly rejoiced.[2] »

Giovanni de' Medici died five days later, of septicemia, on November 30, 1526.

Giovanni's premature death metaphorically signaled the end of the age of the condottieri, as their mode of fighting (which emphasized armored knights on horseback) was rendered practically obsolete by the introduction of the mobile field cannon. He is therefore known as the last of the great Italian condottieri. His lasting reputation has been kept alive in part thanks to Pietro Aretino, the Renaissance author, satirist, playwright and "scourge of the princes", who was Giovanni's close friend and accompanied him on some of his exploits.


Medici, Giovanni de'

Giovanni dalle Bande Nere — Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, Porträt des Künstlers Giampaolo Pace Giovanni de’ Medici (* 6. April 1498 in Forlì † 30. November 1526 in Mantua) war ein italienischer Condottiere. Inhaltsverzeichnis … Deutsch Wikipedia

Giovanni di Averardo — Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici (* 1360 † 1429) war ein Florentiner Händler und Bankier, der sich durch geschickte Geschäftsbeziehungen ein großes Vermögen erworben hatte. Er war Neffe des Bankiers Vieri di Cambio de Medici und Vater von Cosimo de’ … Deutsch Wikipedia

Giovanni di Bicci — de’ Medici (* 1360 † 1429) war ein Florentiner Händler und Bankier, der sich durch geschickte Geschäftsbeziehungen ein großes Vermögen erworben hatte. Er war Neffe des Bankiers Vieri di Cambio de Medici und Vater von Cosimo de’ Medici. Sein… … Deutsch Wikipedia

Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici — Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici (* 1360 † 1429) war ein Florentiner Händler und Bankier, der sich durch geschickte Geschäftsbeziehungen ein großes Vermögen erworben hatte. Er war Neffe des Bankiers Vieri di Cambio de Medici und Vater von Cosimo de’ … Deutsch Wikipedia

Giovanni di Bicci de Medici — Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici (* 1360 † 1429) war ein Florentiner Händler und Bankier, der sich durch geschickte Geschäftsbeziehungen ein großes Vermögen erworben hatte. Er war Neffe des Bankiers Vieri di Cambio de Medici und Vater von Cosimo de’ … Deutsch Wikipedia

Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici — (* 1360 † 1429) war ein Florentiner Händler und Bankier, der sich durch geschickte Geschäftsbeziehungen ein großes Vermögen erworben hatte. Er war Neffe des Bankiers Vieri di Cambio de’ Medici und Vater von Cosimo de’ Medici. Sein Wissen im… … Deutsch Wikipedia

Giovanni di Cosimo de' Medici — Giovanni di Cosimo de’ Medici (* 3. Juli 1421 † 23. September 1463) war der jüngere Sohn von Cosimo de Medici er heiratete am 20. Januar 1453 Maria Ginevra degli Alessandri, Tochter des Niccolò, mit der er einen Sohn, Cosimo (1452–1461), hatte … Deutsch Wikipedia

Giovanni di Cosimo de Medici — Giovanni di Cosimo de’ Medici (* 3. Juli 1421 † 23. September 1463) war der jüngere Sohn von Cosimo de Medici er heiratete am 20. Januar 1453 Maria Ginevra degli Alessandri, Tochter des Niccolò, mit der er einen Sohn, Cosimo (1452–1461), hatte … Deutsch Wikipedia


Giovanni de' Medici, 1498-1526 - History

Clarice Orsini (1453-1488), daughter of Jacopo Orsini of Monterotondo

Jacopo Salviati (1461-1533) marriage on 10. September 1486

  1. her son Giovanni, born on 24. March 1490 or on 24. March 1491, deceased on 28. January 1553 Cardinal since 1517
  2. her son Lorenzo , born on 8. July 1492, deceased on 16. July 1539 he married Costanza Conti, a member of one of the most prestigious families of the Roman nobility, in 1514
  3. her son Piero , Knight of the Order of St. John, married to Caterina, daughter of Roberto Pallavicini
  4. her daughter Elena (&dagger 1552) in her first marriage she was married to Margrave Pallavicino Pallavicini and in her second marriage since 1525 to Prince Jacopo V. d'Appiano d'Aragona
  5. her son Battista , born in the year 1498, deceased in the year 1524 he married Costanza de' Bardi
  6. her daughter Maria, born on 17. July 1499, deceased on 29. December 1543 she was married to the Great Condottiere Giovanni de' Medici (1498-1526) on 16. November 1516 Maria and Giovanni had one son, Cosimo (1519-1574)
  7. her daughter Aloisia was married to Count Sigismondo of Caltabellotta their son Pietro, Count of Caltabellotta , was married to Isabel de la Vega y Osorio and after her death to Angela, a daughter of Duke Juan of Medinaceli Pietro had a daughter Aloisia (&dagger 1619) by his first wife, who was married in her second marriage to Antonio of Aragon, the fourth Duke of Montalto Pietro also had a son Giovanni by his second wife
  8. her daughter Francesca , born in 1505, in her first marriage she was married to Piero Gualterotti, with whom she had one daughter Maria, and in her second marriage to Ottaviano de' Medici (1484-1546), of whom she was the second wife with her second husband she had one son, Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici (1535-1605), the future Pope Leo XI. Ottaviano de' Medici belonged to another branch of the Medici family tree his great-great-great-grandfather Giovenco (&dagger 1320) was the younger brother of the great-grandfather of Cosimo the Elder de' Medici (1389-1464), whose name was Chiarissimo
  9. her son Bernardo , born in the year 1508, deceased on 6. May 1568 Knight of the Order of St. John
  10. her son Alamanno , born in the year 1510, deceased in the year 1571 he married Costanza Serristori
  • Maike Vogt-Luerssen: Die Sforza II: Caterina Sforza &ndash Tochter einer Kriegerdynastie. Norderstedt 2008
  • Maike Vogt-Lüerssen: Wer ist Mona Lisa &ndash Identifizierung einer Unbekannten mit Hilfe historischer Quellen
  • Maike Vogt-Lüerssen: Die Frauen der Sforza I: Bianca Maria Visconti &ndash Die Stammmutter der Sforza. Independently published 2020
  • Maike Vogt-Luerssen: Die Sforza III: Isabella von Aragon und ihr Hofmaler Leonardo da Vinci (in German). Norderstedt 2010
Zweiter Band der Sforza Serie

344 Seiten, mit 148 Bildern und Stammtafeln, Books on Demand GmbH, ISBN 978-3-8370-2395-4, € 22,90


10 historical mistakes in the TV Show Medici: Masters of Florence

The name de’ Medici is linked inseparably to the history of Florence. For more than three centuries the wealthy banking family played a major role in the political life of the city. They financed the development of the Renaissance and left a cultural heritage of inestimable value to their beloved Florence.

The TV show “Medici: Masters of Florence” is produced by the Italian RAI. It tells the story of the pater familias of the Medici family, Cosimo de’ Medici (also known as the Elder), played by Richard Madden famous for the role of Robb Stark in Game of Thrones. After the death of his father, Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici (Dustin Hoffman) Cosimo takes charge of the Medici bank. He increases his political influence and takes on the other powerful families of Florence.

Despite the millions of viewers in Italy that faithfully watched Medici: Masters of Florence week after week, there was also a lot of criticism. For many, the show was too Hollywoodian and not always historically correct. In film productions, it is standard practice to glam up a historical story to make the plot more romantic, dramatic and exciting. According to Frank Spotnitz, the series creator, they opted for a historical “what if” scenario with a made up murder plot to attract those viewers who otherwise would not be interested in a family saga about the Medici. The search of Cosimo and Lorenzo for the murderer of their father Giovanni is the central theme of the TV show.

Medici: Masters of Florence is a beautiful production with gorgeous sets and costumes, and I enjoyed watching it. It is obviously a fiction and not a documentary, not everything you see in the series did actually happen that way.

For the history buffs who want to know how the story of the Medici family really went down here is an overview of the most important “artistic liberties” or historical mistakes made by the creators of the show.

1. The beautiful Medici men

The actors who play the main characters are all very easy on eyes. But were the Medici men really that good looking? Unfortunately not. Moreover, hereditary diseases like arthritis and gout-plagued the family. They most likely didn’t sport such fashionable beards either, on the old paintings of that time they are all depicted with clean-shaven faces.

2. The death of Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici

In the opening scene of the series, we see how the father Giovanni idyllically seated in a vineyard is enjoying the beautiful view of Florence. The grapes that he eats turn out to be poisoned and he dies between the vines. In reality, Giovanni died on February 20, 1429, not the season for outdoor grape eating. Furthermore, he was not murdered, the writers to create a more exciting plot invented that part of the story.

3. The role of Contessina de’ Bardi

Contessina was indeed the wife of Cosimo she came from a noble but impoverished family. Although it was an arranged marriage and Cosimo and Contessina did not marry out of love, they still had a very good and loving relationship that produced two sons, Piero and Giovanni.
Contessina was a woman of her time, and she undoubtedly kept herself busy with household matters, the education of the children and receiving guests. She didn’t interfere with the banking business or political life of her husband. Therefore it is unthinkable that she would enter a gathering of the Signoria on horseback pleading for the life of Cosimo. History tells us that it was the other Italian states that pressured the Signoria to convert the death sentence of Cosimo in exile.
In the series Contessina breaks the news of a secret marriage to Cosimo allowing him to return to Florence, betraying the confidence of her former sweetheart in the process. In reality, it was Cosimo’s influence and connections that made it possible to overthrow the Albizzi family.

4. Cosimo’s lovers

In Rome, Cosimo falls in love with the beautiful, but poor Bianca and the young lovers lose themselves in a passionate romance until Giovanni puts an end to it. Nothing is known about the love life of Cosimo before he got married, but it is quite possible that as a youngster he had a romantic escapade. We’ll never know.
Maddalena, the slave Cosimo takes back from Venice to Florence, did exist. Together they had a son Carlo de’ Medici. The boy was brought up by Cosimo’s wife Contessina along with his half-brothers. He later became a priest and devoted his life to the church. Maddalena’s further fate is unknown.

5. Cosimo poisoned in prison

Because he was afraid of being poisoned, Cosimo refused the food that was brought to him during his imprisonment in the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio. He bribed the jailer so he could receive meals from home.

6. Lorenzo de’ Medici’s marriage and death

Lorenzo de’ Medici (also known as the Elder), was the younger brother of Cosimo. In the series, he is a womanizer who loses his heart to Rosa and ultimately never marries. In reality, Rosa never existed. Lorenzo married in 1416 at the age of 21 with Ginevra di Giovanni di Amerigo dei Cavalcanti. The couple had two sons. Lorenzo’s great-grandson Cosimo I de’ Medici would later become the first Grand Duke of Florence in 1569.
As their father Giovanni was never murdered, Cosimo never accused his brother Lorenzo of being involved in his death. Furthermore, an accomplice of the Pazzi family didn’t kill Lorenzo. He died in 1440 at the age of 45 in the family villa Careggi in Florence the cause of death is unknown.

7. The death of Rinaldo degli Albizzi

Cosimo’s big rival and his son come to a violent end in a Tuscan forest after he was exiled from Florence. Rinaldo was indeed banished from the city and would never return to Florence. After eight years of exile, he died in 1442 at the age of 72 in Ancona.

8. The facade of the Duomo

Various scenes were filmed around the Duomo, and Baptistery of Florence and the buildings form an impressive backdrop to the story. What many people do not know is that the front of the Duomo was still bare in the 15th century. The beautiful facade of the famous cathedral of Florence as we know it today wouldn’t be built until 1887.

The Duomo in a photo from the 19th century, the facade of the cathedral is still bare.

9. The dome of the San Lorenzo church

The parish church of the family, San Lorenzo, was indeed bare in the 15th century, as seen clearly in the TV series. Michelangelo was commissioned to create a fitting façade for the church, but he never finished the work.
What the church did not have in Cosimo’s time, but what can be seen in for example the opening scene with Giovanni in the vineyard, is the Cappella dei Principi, with its big red dome. The chapel was built in 1604. The protagonists of the second season of the series are buried here, Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giuliano.

10. The Ponte Vecchio and Vasari Corridor

The famous Ponte Vecchio is shown a couple of times in various scenes, but if you have seen the real bridge, you will notice instantly that something is not right. The real Ponte Vecchio has only three arches and not four as seen on TV.
In the last image shown at the beginning of each episode during the theme song, the Duomo is depicted without a dome. The Ponte Vecchio however (now with three arches) already has the Vasari corridor. This corridor connects measuring almost a kilometer connects Palazzo Vecchio with Pitti Palace on the south bank of the Arno and passes on top of the Ponte Vecchio. The Vasari Corridor was built in 1565 by architect Giorgio Vasari and was commissioned by another Cosimo: Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici.


Giovanni de' Medici, 1498-1526 - History

1503: Medici cousins - Giovanni and Giulio - arrive in Rome
David unveiled outside Palazzo Vecchio

1504: Michelangelo and Leonardo design competing frescoes

1505: Luther enters Erfurt monastery

1507: Michelangelo paints Doni Tondo

1508: Julius II launches Papal Wars
Michelangelo begins Sistine Chapel

1510: Allessandro de'Medici born
Botticelli dies

1511: Giorgio Vasari born

1512: Sack of Prato
Machiavelli exiled
Luther made Professor of Theology at Wittenberg University

1513: Giovanni de'Medici elected Pope Leo X
Machiavelli writes The Prince

1514: Giulio de'Medici made a cardinal

1515: Leo X unveils a "jubilee sale" of Papal Indulgences

1516: Conspiracy against Leo X

1517: Martin Luther publishes 95 Theses

1519: Catherine de'Medici born
Cosimo de'Medici born
Leonardo da Vinci dies in France
Michelangelo begins work on Medici tombs

1520: Martin Luther excommunicated

1521: Leo X dies
Luther resists pressure to recant and is kidnapped by his protector, Frederick the Wise

1522: Luther returns home, continues to write

1523: Giulio de'Medici elected Pope Clement VII

1525: Luther marries

1526: Henry VIII of England asks Pope Clement for a divorce
Giovanni dalle Bande Nere killed in action

1527: Sack of Rome
Medici expelled from Florence
Michelangelo's David broken

1529: The "Protestation" of German followers of Luther is published, coining the term "Protestant"

1530: Siege of Florence ends, Alessandro de'Medici made Duke of Florence

1534: Catherine de'Medici marries Prince Henri of France
Clement VII dies
Michelangelo begins the Last Judgement
The Church of England breaks away from the Papacy
Luther publishes a German Bible


7. The dynasty collapsed with a debauched duke.

The curtains closed on almost 300 years of Medici rule in Florence with the death of Gian Gastone de’ Medici, the seventh family member to serve as grand duke of Tuscany. Gian Gastone, who came to power in 1723 and led a life of debauchery, died without any heirs. Through an agreement of the leading European powers, he was succeeded by Francis, duke of Lorraine (who later became the Holy Roman Emperor and the father of Marie Antoinette, queen of France). When Gian Gastone’s only sibling, Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici, the last of the family line, passed away in 1743 without any children, she willed the Medicis’ enormous art collection and other treasures to the Tuscan state, on the condition they always remain in Florence.


Watch the video: GIOVANNI DE MEDICI - LULTIMO CONDOTTIERO


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