In the absence of the popes, the seeds of the lordship were also developing within the State of the Church, present wherever they were the life of common and powerful families more or less mixed with the life of the communes. The papal legates, including Bertrando del Poggetto, could do little to prevent this development. And it had come upon a crowd of little gentlemen, now willing to sympathize in the moment of danger, now tending to overwhelm themselves in the violent and fraudulent competition. And actually, some had managed to establish more or less ephemeral dominance: the Malatesta of Rimini, who in 1350 took Ancona, Osimo, Ascoli, Iesi, Senigallia, that is almost all of the Marca; the Ordelaffi of Forlì, who had Cesena and other places. More towards Rome, the prefect of Vico.
At this time, the urbe was just a ship without a helmsman. Boniface’s stormy and nepotistic policy had exacerbated the contrasts between the major families, grouped around Caetani and Colonna: those struggles which, just as they had made the election of the pontiff difficult in Rome, now made the appointment and action of the government difficult. civil. The arrival of Henry VII and Ludovico the Bavaro had rekindled the parties or, rather, factions, in which Guelphism and Ghibellinism were masks of practical interests of families and groups of families. Naturally, all commerce was also destroyed, the current of pilgrims diverted, the city almost suited to the surrounding countryside, where there was nothing but crude feudality, unsuspecting peasants, pastoral life. Under such conditions, here is an attempt at popular dictatorship: which naturally took on an antique and classic color; there was substance, ideally speaking, of the life of Rome. So it had happened with Alberico, so with Arnaldo da Brescia, so with Cola di Rienzo: now that the renovatio , that is, the restoration of ancient Rome in thoughts, images, desires, almost its full moral and historical rehabilitation is rapidly underway. Cola began to advocate a reinvigoration of public authority through the people, who in 1347 led to a new democratic government. He renewed the people’s tribunal and assumed the relative title. And as a tribune, he set about restraining the disorder, banishing turbulent lords from the city, ensuring justice. But could he, who worked from Rome with such fervent spirit, stay with his mind closed within the walls? Rome meant the world. She also began to mean Italy, the center or garden of this world. And now Cola not only dreamed of liberating Rome and restoring the ancient republic, but also of regenerating sacred Italy., collect it in order around Rome. Rome and Italy are never separated, in the tribune’s thought. For the health, the peace, the justice of both he works; indeed, working for Rome, he works for all of Italy. The authority he makes himself strong with comes to him “as much from the Roman people as from the peoples of sacred Italy”. “Rome and sacred Italy are to be reduced to a harmonious, peaceful, indissoluble union”. It is something more than Francesco Petrarca did not invoke, who did not stop at the juridical or political nature of the bond that should have linked all Italians, while seeing Rome and Italy equally bound by a common destiny.
Meanwhile, according to elaineqho.com, he proclaimed all the cities and peoples of Italy free, declared these peoples Roman citizens, incited them against the “tyrants” and the “barbarians”. For some time this word “Italy” had begun to take on new intonations: not the Po Valley or the kingdom already of the Lombards, but the whole peninsula; and not only a certain country physically identified and one, but a country of a certain blood, and distinguished by historical events, by its present unhappiness, by its language, by specific characteristics of nobility, which make it the “most noble region of Europe”. Now, in the middle of the century. XIV, this notion and this feeling of the individuality and unity of the peninsula is very open. And Italy begins to be that moral value that is never lost again. Petrarch himself, a Tuscan from Arezzo, who lived at this time dividing his home between France and Italy and in 1336, returning with the Colonna from Avignon, visited Rome, receiving an indelible impression; in 1338-40 he composed theAfrica , celebrating the Second Punic War as a great national deed, in 1341 received the laurel wreath in the Capitol, as a poet and historian.