(Tu.1) Robbers and bandits 40 kilometers from Florence.

When the Roman Empire broke down 1600 years ago it was a serious setback for European economy, trade, law and order and first of all a setback to ordinary people. The next 1000 years named the Middle Age.

To ordinary people every single day was a risk – starvation, robbery, diseases, taxation and nowhere to go for justice or fairness. Right or wrong was in the hands of those with sufficient military strength. It was an ongoing war between feudal warlords seeking control with important roads, farming areas, natural resources.

The difference between ordinary robbery and warlord’s taxation of ordinary people was the scale – nothing else. Hard to imagine, but the situation was more or less as todays Syria and Iraq. No long-term perspectives like the Romans – just an ongoing struggle, fight and exploitation.

This area Mugello was no exception, but in Florence something happened 700 years ago. They rediscovered the forgotten Roman knowledge about building up a society. The Medici family came from the Mugello area and they played there part making Florence the most important City in Europe for many years. They came back to this area and changed it to a stronghold in the time of the renaissance.

The robbers are now long gone, but the history about how that happened still to be seen in the area and still to be told by local people.



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