The Medici family suffers a great loss with the death of its patriarch Giovanni. When the designated heir Cosimo discovers that his father was poisoned, he decides to keep the news to himself and to put Marco Bello, his right-hand man, on the assassin's trail. Cosimo, who has long abandoned his dream of becoming an artist, then takes his father's place as head of the bank and of the Signoria, where he needs to defend himself against the hostility of the noble families, headed by Rinaldo Degli Albizzi. When the Duke of Milan annexes the city of Lucca away from Florentine dominion, Cosimo must decide whether to side with the nobility, as Giovanni would have done, or to free himself from his father's shadow.
The war is throwing Florence into chaos. Piero, Cosimo's only son, is eager to fight, but his wife lucrezia tries to restrain him. Meanwhile, Marco Bello continues his investigation into Giovanni's murder, and tracks down a pharmacist who may know something.
Pazzi has convinced the Pope to remove the Medici as Church bankers, but Cosimo is disinclined to surrender what he's worked so hard to attain. Meanwhile, Maddalena is faced with a life-altering decision.
The Signoria now has a vacant chair, and Cosimo is asked to choose who should occupy it. Meanwhile, Lucrezia, sure of Lorenzo's innocence, helps him - along with the accountant UGO and Piero - to find evidence that seems to shift suspicion about Giovanni's death to someone else: Marco Bello.
The return of the Medici to Florence is an out-and-out triumph, with Albizzi in prison for his attempt to become the city's tyrant. The Signoria is inclined to sentence him to death, but when Pope Eugene IV - having led to Florence following riots in Rome - asks for clemency for him, the situation becomes complicated.
While the Medici are in exile in Venice, the situation deteriorates day by day in Florence, with Albizzi imposing his rule over a city gravely depleted by the absence of the Medici. Contessina remains alone in the city, where she is at risk, but Cosimo is too busy to defend himself from Venetian plots or to find a way to safeguard his wife's fate. Meanwhile, Contessina encounters Ezio Contarini, a childhood sweetheart she has never forgotten.
Albizzi accuses Cosimo before the Signoria of wanting to be the city's dictator, and the trial begins. From prison, Cosimo asks Contessina to bribe a member of the Signoria to buy votes in his favour.
The Medici take refuge in the country to avoid contagion, but Marco stays in Florence to investigate the Corona, a family that seems to have something to do with Giovanni's murder.
This political family drama takes audiences on a journey through stunning medieval Italy, telling the story of the Medici dynasty and how they found extreme wealth, which sat at the core of their power and influence. Starring Dustin Hoffman as the family patriarch Giovanni de' Medici and Richard Madden as Cosimo de' Medici, the family come into power at a time of great social and economic inequality. When the designated heir Cosimo discovers that his father Giovanni was poisoned, he puts his right-hand man on the assassin's trail.
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