THE MEDICI AVVISI
The News that Made Us Modern
WITH GREAT THANKS TO THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
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.