San Gimignano’s spectacular towers (seepp208-ll) show what most Tuscan cities must have looked like during the Middle Ages. Siena has the best surviving late medieval town hall (pp214-15), and Pisa’s Leaning Tower, Duomo and Baptistry (ppl54- 6) reflect the willingness of architects of this period to experiment with new styles.
Medieval building techniques
Rectangularputlock holes show where medieval builders placed their scaffolding timbers.
Some of Tuscany’s best-preserved medieval architecture, including several defensive towers, can be seen in Lucignano (pi99).
Sir John Hawkwood, English mercenary
Hawkwood appointed Captain General of Florence
1374 Death of Petrarch
Battle of San Romano (1456)
Florence hired condottieri (mercenaries) to fight its battles. Its citizens were therefore free to concentrate on making the city wealthy. Uccello’s striking depiction of the Florentine victory over Siena in 1432 is an early attempt to master perspective.