THE MEDICI AVVISI

The News that Made Us Modern

WITH GREAT THANKS TO THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

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ABOUT THE AVVISI

         As the forerunners of the first printed gazettes and newspapers, the avvisi created and sustained an informational network that connected urban centers in Europe, North Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as key ports in the Caribbean and Asia throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Replacing word of mouth, broadsheets, and private letters, the avvisi circulated worldwide at weekly intervals, carrying reports on current political, economic, and social events. Their descriptions were most important to political figures and merchants’ daily lives; However, they also appealed to the cultural interests and entertainment of common folk, allowing the average person to have equal and more widespread access to information as the elite. The emergence of the avvisi's immense vascular system furnished much of what people knew about their contemporary world and formed the basis of private and public decision-making both locally and regionally on a wide variety of topics. 

Featured Avvisos

AVVISO FROM ROME: February 5, 1572

AVVISO FROM ROME: February 5, 1572

Ferdinando de' Medici went hunting in Magliana, returning with 12 goats, 6 wolves and many boars. The man who accused Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici of plotting the murder of Cardinal Farnese was executed on the bridge of Castel Sant'Angelo.

AVVISO FROM ROME: May 23, 1572

AVVISO FROM ROME: May 23, 1572

Ferdinando di Medici sent two maps of the world to Juan de Austria - one terrestrial and one celestial - worth over 500 scudi and made by a talented Neapolitan mathematician.

AVVISO FROM ROME: December 12, 1572

AVVISO FROM ROME: December 12, 1572

Gregorius XIII visited Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici's estate in Magliana. Cardinal de' Medici spent 20,000 scudi to have the rooms arranged for the papal visit. Rooms where covered with gold brocade and there were more than 100 richly arranged beds in a way that "not even an Emperor" could receive the Pope.

AVVISO FROM ROME: April 20, 1574

AVVISO FROM ROME: April 20, 1574

Cosimo I de' Medici has died. Cardinal de' Medici returned to his palace with his court in mourning. A dove appeared over the pulpit during Sundays Sermon and stayed there until the end of the sermon.

AVVISO FROM ROME: February 20, 1588

AVVISO FROM ROME: February 20, 1588

Ferdinando I de' Medici has a possible marriage prospect as he received from the Imperial court the portrait of a daughter of Archduke Karl von Habsburg. Cardinal Alessandro de' Medici is ill.

AVVISO FROM ROME: December 16, 1558

AVVISO FROM ROME: December 16, 1558

The Sienese in Rome are pleased that Cosimo I is now using the title of "Duke of Florence and Siena," which was confirmed by the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinando I.