The Franco-Italian communities included readers, writers, and audiences who were located in the regions of Venice, the Veneto and Emilia-Romagna from the thirteenth through fifteenth centuries. Members of these communities created, received, and circulated these works among themselves as well as with other readers and writers of French. These included French-speaking communities in Outremer and in Angevin Southern Italy, as well as in the areas now considered modern-day France.
There was considerable interaction between these literary groups and the relationship between them was fluid rather than rigid. Thus the bibliographic division here reflects a taxonomy imposed by modern scholars rather than a reality experienced by those who participated in these literary communities. More important than the division of the community of Franco-Italian writers is an understanding of the generic breadth of the corpus itself, witnessed in the Original and Translated works in Franco-Italian.
Scholars have at times divided the community of Franco-Italian communities into two separate groups:
The reasons for the proliferation of French language texts in the Franco-Italian communities are varied, but include aesthetic, cultural, and political considerations. The effects of this vibrant community on developments in Italian literature are also significant, and reveal the complex nature of the status of this vernacular on Italian soil.
For the current status of Franco-Italian studies, see especially:
Holtus, Günter, Rita Lejeune, Peter Wunderli, Jean Frappier, and Hans Robert Jauss. Les épopées romanes. Tome 1/2 Fascicule 10 GRLMA Franco-italien et épopée franco-italienne. Heidleburg: C. Winter Universitätsverlag, 2005.
Holtus, Günter. “L’état actuel des recherches sur le franco-italien: corpus de texts et description linguistique.” In La chanson de geste: écriture, intertextualités, translations (Littérales, 14). Edited by François Suard, 147-71. Paris, Université de Paris X-Nanterre, 1994.