Giovanni Sercambi was an apothecary, writer, and politician in late 14th-century Lucca. He supported the rise to power of the Guinigi family, which was willing to sacrifice Lucca’s republican form of government in order to maintain its independence from outside forces. He wrote a chronicle of Lucca’s political history and a collection of tales. The tales, all of which take place during a plague are related by one narrator to people while on a pilgrimage around Italy, often bear some relationship to the places passed or visited by the narrator. Sercambi also wrote practical advice to the Guinigi family based on his experience of local politics.