The Medieval Marketplace
5è3 IDD

Goods from Italy

Italian Cloth in the Middle-Ages

After being part of the Holy Roman Empire , there was the independence of  the northern and central Italian communes or towns. The most famous of these towns were: Venise, Florence and Genoa.

They were famous for their products. They  specialized in the working of wool, which was imported from England, and the dyeing of textiles, which could be in flax, in hemp or in wool. They had an advantage over the other towns, for example, of being beside the sea or a river, so they could receive merchandise by boat.

During the Middle-Ages, lots of fairs were organized by lords and lots of merchants came to sell their products. The first days of the fair were reserved for the cloth merchants.

The cloth which was imported from Italy, was famous because the textiles were warm and robust and even merchants from the Far East would come  to buy them.
Woven cloth was  expensive. To have one piece of cloth of fifty square cm it would cost ten pennies. 


The Romans, while in Tarrana, found the material that would help them to make themselves known in the world. It is in 1300 after a period of inactivity during the Middle-Ages that the Florentine artists gave a substantial boost (a new beginning) to the extraction and transformation of the marble in Versilia where the superb artist Michelangelo, famous for his statue called David, lived for 3 years.

But it was during the Renaissance that the maximum glory of sculptures was reached. Even Leopoldo II had opened a School of Fine Arts that still exists today. It is in the Apuane Alps that for along time the artist found the perfect place to work : raw materials, laboratories, experienced artisans etc. And artists like Michelangelo followed.

Sources of information :

Books:Image Doc
http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/Places/Italy  www.mi.cnr.it/WOI/deagosti/history/renaissn www.mi.cnr.it/WOI/deagosti/history/renaissn

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