The history of Italy in the later centuries of the Middle Ages is the history of its cities, and the importance of urban areas has continued to shape the peninsula's destiny ever since. This book focuses on the period stretching from the end of the 11th century to the first half of the 14th century, exploring the urban universe in its political, institutional, economic, social, and cultural facets, against the backdrop of Italian cities' extraordinary growth. The communes lie at the heart of this narrative, with their self-governing nature that was unique in Europe. Much attention is also devoted to the urban realities of the South, which are often neglected by historians when they emphasise the opposition between the "commune model" and the "monarchical model".
Franco Franceschi teaches Medieval History at the University of Siena.
Ilaria Taddei teaches Medieval History at the University of Grenoble.