Since medieval days, the territorial battles between Florence and Siena have become the stuff of legend. The battle of Montaperti is still a dispute that can make blood pressure rise and cause faces to become red with indignation. The Guelphs (Florentines) and the Ghibellines (Sienese) fought out their differences in 1258 at the hill of Montaperti outside Siena. The opposing sides were fairly even until the evening, when a man called Bocca degli Abati, a Florentine but apparently a Ghibelline at heart, cut off the hand of the Florentine standard bearer. With a fallen flag, the Florentines lost hope and were routed by the Sienese. The river Arbia was said to have ‘run red with blood,’ as over 15,000 men died that day. Dante Alighieri (a Guelph) reserved a place for Bocca degli Abati in the ninth circle of Hell in his Divine Comedy.