The Franzesi FamilyNot far from Meleto, in full mining area, was built during the thirteenth century the Castle of Pianfranzese. Of the medieval manor remains no trace cause of mining, but the story keeps the memory of former owners: the three brothers Ciampolo, Albizo and Niccolò Fanzesi, sons of a small landowner, who had possessions in Pian d'Avane.
The Franzesi brothers were who would today be called "unscrupulous employers" and their business sense led them very far. The first two, Albizo and Ciampolo, also called Musciatto, made their fortunes in France, while Nicholas, the third brother, worked mainly in Florence. Known in France as the "Mouche" and "Biche", the two brothers Franzesi conquered the trust of King Philip the Fair, to become, in recent years of the thirteenth century, tax collectors and treasurers of the crown. They amassed a great economic fortune and a long series of titles of nobility. Their economic success is further increased when they were able to introduce themselves as bankers at the Roman curia, at the time of Pope Boniface VIII. To curry favor with the pope, Niccolò built a convent in Florence dedicated to St. Boniface. Although operating in France, the two lords consolidated their power even in central Tuscany, buying numerous castles in the territory of Siena and in the Lower Valdarno. Also the Castle of Montedominici, for a certain period, gravitated under the influence of the Franzesi that, in 1308, there housed the Ghibellines leaked from Florence.
The Franzesi, although suspected of plotting against Boniface VIII, also received great confidence by the successor to pope Benedict XI, who appointed them papal treasurers. Upon them rests the very suspicion of having appropriate a large sum for a holy war and a part of the papal treasury, which were transported to France.
Older siblings have gone missing at the end of the first decade of the fourteenth century, their death is dated around the year 1307/1308. Niccolò, however, returned to Florence in the chronicles and a failure on his appointment, in 1313, to Captain of the Castle Hill.
The unscrupulous deeds of Franzesi had rather be known if it is true that inspired the novel Ser Ciappelletto contained in the Decameron of Boccaccio.