Italy Lordships and Principalities – Viscount Primacy Part 2
According to TRAVELATIONARY.COM, the Visconti enjoyed a great reputation for strength in Italy at the time: many cities under them, including Pavia and Milan, former capital of the kingdom and now, the latter, among the richest and most industrious, also of war industries; many financial means, many militias. They did not lack even that kind of moral legitimacy represented by the praise of a great and highly reputed poet, Francesco Petrarca, desired guest of Archbishop Giovanni from 1353 to 1361. Bernabò also pursues, in order to gain accreditation and legitimacy, a marriage policy of vast lines. He gave to Italian and foreign leaders and princes and princesses, to Giovanni Acuto and Francesco Gonzaga lord of Mantua, to Stefano and Federico di Baviera, to Leopoldo Duke of Austria and Peter II of Cyprus, to the Duke of Kent Edmondo, the many children he had by wives and concubines. He also tried to tie marriage ties with France, which were later concluded through the work of his nephew and successor. Also with Frederick III of Sicily, to whom he wanted to give a daughter: and since he died, he tried to procure the young widow Maria for another son of his. Sicily kindled the wishes and hopes of the Viscontis, but ran into opposition from the most powerful nobles and the pope, without whose consent the wedding could not be celebrated. While contracting such relations with princes of half of Europe, he tried to pull the other governments of the peninsula to himself. He spoke to everyone of the great dangers that threatened Italy, of the ambitions of the king of Hungary, of the duke of Anjou, of the empire, of the king of England himself. In 1380 he promoted a great alliance with the cities of Tuscany, Romagna and Marche. He offered himself, if they gave him soldiers or money to hire them, to take the weight of the enterprise on his shoulders, for the preservation of Italy and the allies, so that neither venture companies nor foreign and barbarous people could invade Italy against their will of Italians. Especially pressed on Florence. But a union of all the Italian states, if it was difficult due to the multiplicity and variety of states, was made even more difficult by the widespread concern that it could serve as a step to one or the other, to rise to the top and place a all the foot on the neck.
Then came, with 1385, Gian Galeazzo, who clarified even better the directives of Visconti policy and set out with shrewdness and audacity on the road to achievements.
He too, like his ancestors, looked to Tuscany, driven by political and commercial interests at the same time. Pisa always remained tied to Bernabò and Gian Galeazzo, although now, under the almost lordship of Pietro Gambacorta, its relations with Florence had softened. In the same 1385, the Visconti had Carrara as a dedication. At the same time he resumed the project of 1380 for a league: and concluded it on August 31 in Legnano, renewing it in 1389. Florence and Bologna entered, Pisa and Lucca were free to enter, as indeed they did, together with Perugia, Siena, Urbino, Forlì , Estensi, Gonzaga, Malatesta, who already formed particular leagues but now almost united in a federation of leagues. Even now, the reason or the pretext are the companies. But Gian Galeazzo seemed to want to seek the greatest and most positive ends of his policy, instead of in Tuscany, in the Po valley, especially in the Veneto region. Here, Estensi, Gonzaga, Scaligeri, Carraresi, dukes of Austria, lords of Treviso, the patriarch of Aquileia, a crowd of small feudatories and semi-free communities of Friuli. There is Venice on the edge, but still almost encamped on dry land. The freedom of Alpine routes, necessary for the businesses on which he lives, is the most important, if not his only concern. Therefore, he is certainly not disinterested in the whole region behind it. He tries to keep the Scaligeri and Carraresi and the house of Austria in check, encourages the autonomist spirits of the minor municipalities against Udine, the capital of the “Homeland of Friuli”, cultivates the friendship of the Carnî and Cadorini, the Colloredo and the Savorgnan, tries to govern patriarchy by means of prelates, its citizens or creatures: but he doesn’t put in much effort. Venice is entirely concentrated in the wars with Genoa, in the defense of oriental interests, in the affairs of Dalmatia that the king of Hungary took away from it and it tries to recover, also to take away from the Genoese allies and naval bases in the middle of the Adriatic. : all problems centered on the central one which was of trade and maritime domination. On the mainland, for now, he benefits from the wars of others and perhaps provokes them from afar. On the other hand, for a few decades, Francesco il Vecchio da Carrara, lord of Padua which is, after Venice, the largest city in the region, rich in trade, closely linked to Florence, equipped with a “studio “Which now exceeds that of Bologna. And then a region in agricultural progress and rich in waterways. In 1383 the Carrarese makes war against the Duke of Austria and takes Treviso from him. Then buy Belluno, Ceneda, Conegliano, Serravalle. Thus the progress of the Habsburgs in the Veneto region is arrested. But the ambition of the lord of Carrara would be to succeed the Scaligeri, now firm and reduced to little, after the too rapid fortune of Mastino. In this, he meets Gian Galeazzo. In 1386, an alliance between Carraresi, Gian Galeazzo, Estensi against the Scaligeri who, between external enemies and popular insurrection, collapsed: but the best result of the victory, which is Verona and Vicenza, is taken by Gian Galeazzo. Who, then, immediately turns to face: he makes an agreement with Venice against the Carraresi; and together, they tear them down, undress them and one takes Treviso, the other Padua, Feltre and Ceneda. Thus Gian Galeazzo commands from Vercelli almost to the Adriatic and controls large roads on this side of the Alps and across the Alps. Shortly afterwards, Genoa too, by agreement with Antoniotto Adorno, doge, opens up to the Visconti. Now, given Genoa to Gian Galeazzo, he hopes to have from that means of further expansion, especially in Sicily; that, defense and possibility of feeding one’s own navy and one’s trade. There are, then, common thoughts and possibilities against Venice. defense and the possibility of feeding one’s own navy and trade. There are, then, common thoughts and possibilities against Venice. defense and the possibility of feeding one’s own navy and trade. There are, then, common thoughts and possibilities against Venice.