The affairs of Sicily being composed, Charles came to Florence with a thousand horse. He made his entry into the city in July, 1326, and his coming prevented further pillage of the Florentine territory by Castruccio. However, the influence which they acquired without the city was lost within her walls, and the evils which they did not suffer from their enemies were brought upon them by their friends; for the Signory could not do anything without the consent of the duke of Calabria, who, in the course of one year, drew from the people 400,000 florins, although by the agreement entered into with him, the sum was not to exceed 200,000; so great were the burdens with which either himself or his father constantly oppressed them.
To these troubles were added new jealousies and new enemies; for the Ghibellines of Lombardy became so alarmed upon the arrival of Charles in Tuscany, that Galeazzo Visconti and the other Lombard tyrants, by money and promises, induced Louis of Bavaria, who had lately been elected emperor contrary to the wish of the pope, to come into Italy. After passing through Lombardy he entered Tuscany, and with the assistance of Castruccio, made himself master of Pisa, from whence, having been pacified with sums of money, he directed his course towards Rome. This caused the duke of Calabria to be apprehensive for the safety of Naples; he therefore left Florence, and appointed as his viceroy Filippo da Saggineto.
After the departure of the emperor, Castruccio made himself master of Pisa, but the Florentines, by a treaty with Pistoia, withdrew her from obedience to him. Castruccio then besieged Pistoia, and persevered with so much vigor and resolution, that although the Florentines often attempted to relieve her, by attacking first his army and then his country, they were unable either by force or policy to remove him; so anxious was he to punish the Pistolesi and subdue the Florentines. At length the people of Pistoia were compelled to receive him for their sovereign; but this event, although greatly to his glory, proved but little to his advantage, for upon his return to Lucca he died. And as one event either of good or evil seldom comes alone, at Naples also died Charles duke of Calabria and lord of Florence, so that in a short time, beyond the expectation of their most sanguine hopes, the Florentines found themselves delivered from the domination of the one and the fear of the other. Being again free, they set about the reformation of the city, annulled all the old councils, and created two new ones, the one composed of 300 citizens from the class of the people, the other of 250 from the nobility and the people.
The first was called the Council of the People, the other the Council of the Commune.
The Emperor at Rome—The Florentines refuse to purchase Lucca, and repent of it—Enterprises of the Florentines—Conspiracy of the Bardi and the Frescobaldi—The conspiracy discovered and checked—Maffeo da Marradi appeases the tumult—Lucca is purchased by the Florentines and taken by the Pisans—The duke of Athens at Florence—The nobility determine to make him prince of the city.