Renaissance - By Oliver Bowden

Chapter 1

Shining and flickering torches on the top of the towers of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Bargello, and only a few lanterns Destedresser was in the cathedral square, slightly towards the north. Some more lighted docks along the banks of the Arno River where late it out for a city where most people would retire to his home with the arrival of the night, were distinguished in the darkness a few sailors and longshoremen. Some of the sailors still working on their boats and boats, urgestwo to bring out the latest gear repairs androllar adequately covers the ends of freshly scrubbed dark, while dock workers rushed dragging or carrying loads to enclose them in the safety of nearby stores.

Also in the taverns and brothels twinkling lights, but very few people roamed the streets. Seven years had elapsed since the Lorenzo de Medici, who was then withtobacco twenty years, was elected to govern the city, bringing with him at least some sense of order and calm to intense rivalidity exists among the main families of bankers and merFlorence hip had become one of the richest cities in the world. However, the city had ceased to be in constant turmoil, as the factions have fought ceaselesslyCERSE with control, some of them changing their alliances, while remaining as other eternal and implacable enemies.

Florence, in the year of our Lord 1476, even on a spring night permeated by the sweet smell of jasmine, when it was almost possible to forget the stench of the Arno if the wind was blowing in the diright direction, it was the safest place to stroll after sunset.

The moon had appeared in a cobalt blue sky, dominating over a host of stars who accompanied him. DerraMaba its light on the square where the Ponte Vecchio, their crowded tents in the dark and silent now, united with the north bank of river. Its light also discovered a black-clad figure standing sober the roof of the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte. A young man of only seventeen, but tall and proud. Looking to concentrateconcentration in the neighborhood, put a hand to his mouth and whistled, a mild but penetrating sound. In response, first one, then three, desas a dozen, and finally a minimum of twenty men, young men like him, dressed mostly in black, some wearing hoods or hats blood red, green or dark blue, all with swords and daggers in his belt, emerged from the dark streets and arcades towardsGreg on the square. The young band of dangerous aspect desFan-folded, his movements sure and arrogant.

The young man looked down at the faces of impatience, under the pale moonlight, watching him. He raised his fist above his head as a defiant salute.

- Stand together! He shouted, and they also raisedwere the fist, some drew their weapons and soft, and cheered:

- United!

The young man fell at full speed, like a cat, by the faChada unfinished, from the roof to the porch of the church, and from there jumped up, his cloak flying, to land squatting and smoothly through all of them. They gathered around expectantly.

- Hush, my friends! He raised his hand to silence a single and aloneio cry. He smiled grimly.Do you know why I have gathered here tonight, to you, my closest aliatwo? For help. I have stayed too long on whetherlence while our enemy, you know who I mean, Vieri de 'Pazzi, this city has come to slander my family, arrasstrating our name through the mud and trying to ma patheticdegrade manner. Not normally stoop to herd mehe kicked a mangy stray dog like that, but ...

Was interrupted at the time that a large stoneof, timing, launched from the bridge, landed at his feet.

"Just as with your nonsense, grullo Shouted a voice.

The young man returned with his group, like a unitca person, in the direction of the voice. I knew who it belonged to. CruZande bridge from the south approached another young band. Their leader strutting his head, his red cloak, fastened by a gold brooch adorned with dolphins and crosses on a blue background, covering the black velvet suit, hand on the hilt of his sword. He was tolerably attractive appearance desfigured by a cruel mouth and a weak chin, and even being somewhat coarse, the strength of his arms and legs was beyond doubt.

"Buona sera, Vieri said the young man quietly. Just then we were talking about you. "And made a reveence with exaggerated courtesy, simultaneously adopting a formershock pressure. But you must forgive me. Did not