Although French textual production within this group was limited, this community was instrumental in their role as French language interlocutors. The merchants, bankers, and notaries who travelled to France and then returned to Italy not only provided a community of readers for French texts produced in Italy, but worked to perpetuate and disseminate the French language in Italian language contexts. One example of their familiarity with the French language is found in the famous Florentine history of Giovanni Villani, a common work in fourteenth-century merchant households; the French characters in Villani’s work often speak in French, and Villani offers no translation of the French passages, as he does for the material he included from Latin sources.
Original works from Northern Italy include:
- Li Livres dou Tresor by Brunetto Latini
- Le régime du corps by Aldobrandino da Siena
- Compilatione of Rustichello da Pisa