Church and Home

Homes across Italian City States were of two types: brick homes (case in muratura) and wood or partial wooden homes (case in legno). Brick homes were primarily for the wealthy, and wood for the less affluent. Homes in Italy were usually multi-floored to deal with crowded cities, and they assumed multiple roles as home-store-office. In Italy, more than any other European country, the wealthy preferred the city. Often the back of the home opened directly onto the street and could be a store-front. Many times the kitchen was placed on the top floor to allow for escape in case of fire.
People in medieval times viewed religion as an integral part of their daily lives. Attending mass was not a voluntary decision, all people went to mass. Praying for help was not a farfetched idea, because for them the spiritual and supernatural worlds were real and tangible. When ill, the practice of attending mass for relief was as relied upon as seeing a doctor for medicine. The use of relics and holy objects for protection was just as practical as carrying a knife. On one hand war was a horrible thing that took the lives of many and prayers were given so that it could be avoided. On the other hand war was a possible sign of God’s favor for one side or the other.

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