The greatest factor in the fluctuation of grain prices in the Middle Ages was the distance between the fields where the grain was grown and the ports from which it was shipped. In Italy, the grain trade was hindered by poor roads between Apulia and Naples. Yet grain was shipped everywhere, and both merchants and the middlemen made money. It was cheaper and easier to send grain by sea rather than by land. Grain-laden ships from Italy preferred crossing to Spain from Sicily than from Tuscany owing to the shorter distance.
Francesco d’Arezzo is a succesful wheat trader in Northern Italy.
Deeply frowning, he looks into the fire at his home.
It has been three months now and he has not received any single report from his farmers in the northern valley. With the wheat prices steadily going down, there is no time to lose. His wheat crops have to be brought to the market soon.
What has happened to his farmers expedition in that unknown valley ?
A scout sent to his remote grain fields reports the next day.
All the farmers in the settlement have been slaughtered. Terrible news.
One can only guess if this was the work of bandits or wild animals.
Francesco decides to go there and find out for himself.
A truly magnificent sight. The astonishing view in the valley makes him smile.
The land plot, abandoned by his farmers near the river, will turn out to be good fertile ground. He will organize the farming himself this time.
A good profit can still be made on the market of Arezzo.
Better get to work right away.
Being a huge fan of slow paced economic missions, I hope you will enjoy this map.