The century XIV is full of attempts at vast lordships, no longer limited to cities, and not even to the neighboring region. Frequent efforts, from Milan or Verona, to cross the Po and cross the Apennines: not to mention the vast influence, dominated in many places, by Robert of Anjou from the south. And all this, no longer on the basis of the ancient juridical title of king of Italy, but on new foundations of political and military strength, of party, etc. The peninsula was still all incoherent and dissolved matter: independent municipalities or only superficially aggregated to another major organism: lordships of one or more cities, no other link between them than the common lord; citizenships willing, to escape from another municipality or from an internal gentleman, to accept a distant gentleman who would have left administrative autonomy. All ill-still and fluctuating. Few solidly constituted paintings. Uncertain and changing boundaries between state and state, sanctioned by treaties of fleeting life or just by custom. But Gian Galeazzo’s attempt was the last.
According to Insidewatch.net, the same vigor with which it was conducted and its large successes, wearing down more and more the surviving urban autonomies, humiliating small and even powerful lords such as the Scaligeri and Carraresi, stimulating the defensive vigor and reactive strength of the others, facilitated and speeded up the formation of regional states such as that of the Savoy, of Venice, of Florence, as soon as the Visconti initiative failed. Thus, when Gian Galeazzo died, the Savoy family snatched other lands in the Vercelli area and Val d’Ossola from the Viscontis, while other acquisitions in the territory of Geneva had also given some greater organicity to the transalpine dominions. This happened with Amedeo VIII (1391-1431). And in 1416, there is also for him, as shortly before for Gian Galeazzo, an imperial recognition, that is, the title of duke. Not only. But this expansion of the Cisalpine lands towards the east, which coincides with the extinction of the Piedmontese branch of Acaia and with the reunion of the two territories in 1418, leads to a shift of the center of the state, from the countries beyond to the countries on this side of the Alps. “Prince of Piedmont” calls Amedeo VIII his son and successor. This now vast state, which stands at the knight of the Alps, has a face turned towards the Po Valley. The marquises of Monferrato, Saluzzo, Ceva still remain in their independence. But now they are surrounded by Savoy lands. And then they must recognize themselves as vassals. Monferrato is also forced to surrender Chivasso and the lower Canavese. Thus the Sesia becomes the border: which it will remain until the eighteenth century.
Florence also felt freer in her movements. By now, after the popular storm, Albizzi, Rucellai, Medici, Strozzi, Capponi, Da Uzzano, etc are at the helm; a small but vigorous aristocracy of merchants and bankers. Foreign policy, which had been swaying and relaxing by the time the commoners had prevailed, has regained all its vigor. In 1404, Pisa was bought for money, surrounded by siege, forced to surrender. Thus, for some time now Pistoia, Empoli, S. Miniato on one side and Arezzo on the other have been folded, the whole Arno valley becomes Florentine, and all the streets around it are free. And since that port is now underground, in 1421 Florence bought the port of Livorno from the governor of Genoa, who at that time was the city of the king of France, to the great spite of the Genoese. In 1439, Volterra too must fold: a territory rich in fodder, cattle, mineral products, a useful integration of a state that had an industrial and commercial city like Florence at its center. No great harmony within that Florentine aristocracy, almost oligarchy. But vigilant sentiment of the common interest in the face of foreigners, vigor in facing any situation.
Venice benefited even more from the Visconti crisis, after it had already obtained good earnings at the time of Gian Galeazzo and in agreement with him, like Polesine, sold to it in exchange for a large loan from the minor Niccolò III, of whom in 1393 he assumed the protection, and the cities of the Scaligeri and Carraresi. Now, yes, there is the restoration of the Carraresi in Padua. But in 1405, suddenly, a Venetian army stormed Padua, took and subjected the Carraresi to trial, executed them, without even waiting for the verdict, to be executed. The vast region behind Venice is now cleared. And the republic is in direct contact, even on the mainland side, with the state of the patriarch of Aquileia. During the 14th century, especially with the treaties of 1307 and 1335, the republic absorbed a large part of the marquisate of Istria: and the patriarchal lordship is now a ruin on the peninsula. At the end of the 14th and early 15th century, even the remains escape her. Muggia, Labin, Buie, Buzet, gradually rebel, join forces to defend their customs in the face of the ancient lord. Conversely, Venetian Istria grew due to subsequent purchases made by the counts of Segna and Gorizia, the Grafenbergs and the Da Porcias, all in need of money. Only Trieste, center and natural port of the patriarchate and of a vast region behind it; only Trieste has escaped it, given to the Dukes of Austria. In 1409, Alexander V frees the republic from the obligation of the annual census due to the patriarch for the Istrian cities and lands: and it is like recognizing it a right on those lands. At the same time Venice acquired Verona, Padua, Vicenza, Treviso, Feltre, Bassano, Belluno, almost circumventing patriarchal Friuli, already deeply troubled by its civil discords. Finally, in 1409, King Ladislao of Naples ceded Zara to Venice. By now the war of Chioggia has shown the vital importance of Dalmatia for Venice.