The Pazzi Conspiracy in Florence


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Pazzi conspiracy in Florence Assassins Creed

A scene of Pazzi conspiracy in Florence from Assassins Creed

The Renaissance in Florence was a time of artistic and cultural upheaval, with names such as Michelangelo, Donatello and Leonardo Da Vinci making their mark in history. But during this period, there were several other Florentines, namely the famous Pazzi family, who wanted to make changes in society, and definitely not with paintbrushes. The Pazzi Conspiracy became one of the biggest threats to the powerful Medici family’s influence over Florence, and cause the city of Florence many problems.

The Pazzi (whose surname stems from the Italian word for ‘madman’) were a noble Tuscan family of bankers, who lived under the thumb of the Medici in Florence. Unfortunately for them, they lacked the amount of power that the Medici possessed, and so were keen on gaining more political supremacy in the city. Their discontent turned into dramatic political opposition, and eventually resulted in the death of several members from each family.

Along with the Pazzi family, Pope Sixtus IV and his nephew Girolamo also got in on the act, due to their resentment of Lorenzo de’ Medici, and his efforts to stop the consolidation of papal rule over the region of Romagna. As the Medici planned a sumptuous banquet for a distinguished guest from out of town, the plotting began to take shape. After the banquet, there was to be a mass at the cathedral, and this was where the dastardly scheme would take place.

So, on the 26th April 1478, the assassination attempt on the Medici brothers was carried out. As planned, during the mass, the Pazzi strategically took their places, before wielding their knives. Giuliano Medici was killed, but Lorenzo managed to defend himself, and made a narrow escape. Meanwhile, other conspirators tried to take control of Palazzo Vecchio and the government, albeit unsuccessfully. Many people of Florence actually on the Medici’s side, and a great number of offenders were subsequently killed. It has been said that several were thrown from the window of the Palazzo Vecchio, while others were hanged. A two year war with the Papacy followed this upheaval, and had a major impact on Renaissance Florence.

Whilst travelling around Florence, Italy, why not take a step back in time and enjoy a Renaissance court banquet in Florence? Imagine yourself to be like the noblemen and women of Florence, and enjoy a wonderful Renaissance banquet evening, complete with delicious local food, music, and even a jester to entertain you! You can participate in a fantastic evening, safe in the knowledge that there aren’t a pair of conspirators whispering behind your chair…

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