The Legacy opens in the autumn of 1328. Francesco Guidi, the posthumous son of Alessandro count of Romena, is a disinherited, landless nobleman who is in the struggle of his life with his uncle, Tommaso da Porciano, for control of the Romena patrimony, a holding of rich lands, castles and roads leading to Florence. Tommaso seized control of the patrimony after the death of Francesco's father and refused to give up control when Francesco came of age. The struggle has made Francesco desperate to the point of making compromises with enemies just as deadly as Porciano – the Bishop of Florence and his Guidi cousins of the castle of Battifolle. His alliance with them ends in disaster with a complete route in battle for control of Castello di Romena and the murder of Francesco's mistress, Gismonda.
Francesco turns to his mother, the dowager contessa di Romena, a woman on the brink of insanity because of her war against Porciano. Francesco also gains the support of Porciano's disgruntled son, Gian Maria, and together they force a tentative peace with Porciano. Francesco claims his inheritance and goes to Florence. En route, he meets a young girl named Serafina and is beguiled; she is the daughter of his father's business partner, however, and she is engaged to be married. Serafina's father prevents her involvement with Francesco by sending her off to be married and threatening Francesco's life. If this is not enough, Francesco discovers a new enemy, his cousin the priest Azzelino Alberti. Azzelino wants a slice of the Romena patrimony to call his own. To complicate matters, he is a childhood friend of Serafina who is infatuated with her.
When Francesco blocks all of Azzelino's maneuvers, Azzelino and Francesco go to battle. Francesco escapes with his life and after a short stay in exile, returns to take control once more. He is ready to settle for a quiet life when Serafina also returns to Florence, but widowed. Despite the fact that Francesco has promised to marry Azzelino Alberti's sister in exchange for lands and castles bordering his own, and to keep the peace within the family, fate inevitably intervenes and brings Francesco and Serafina together again. On the evening he is supposed to marry the Alberti girl, Francesco meets Serafina at a monastery outside Florence and marries her. His impetuosity starts another war between the branches of the Guidi family and their partisans. In this final struggle, Francesco discovers that the only people he can trust are Serafina and himself.
This report prepared by Elen Ekstrom