The Dallas of the Middle Ages
LIGHT MODE
DARK MODE
Get 1 year from 27.50 €

Digital and paper subscriptions available worldwide

Subscribe now

The Dallas of the Middle Ages

The powerful feudal Gherardini clan owns houses and towers in Florence’s por Santa Maria and the neighbouring streets, as well as land, castles and fortresses; but with varying fortunes.   It is February 8, 1303, a Friday, and during a battle between opposing factions in por Santa Maria,

bookmark
Thu 30 Jan 2014 1:00 AM

The powerful feudal Gherardini clan owns houses and towers in Florence’s por Santa Maria and the neighbouring streets, as well as land, castles and fortresses; but with varying fortunes.

 

It is February 8, 1303, a Friday, and during a battle between opposing factions in por Santa Maria, at the intersection of via Vacchereccia, a tragic episode seems an astonishing medieval foretaste of what is to happen in Dallas, Texas, six and a half centuries later. This flash from the past sends a shiver down the spine: the victim is the ‘valiant’ Lotteringo, a member of the Gherardini family, whose descendants in Ireland, the Fitzgeralds (sons of Gherardo), will produce another powerful twentieth-century clan, the Kennedys.

 

The assassination of Lotteringo, leader of the White Guelphs (Dante’s faction), who is killed by an arrow as he gallops toward piazza della Signoria, surrounded by his faithful men, strikingly anticipates the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on the morning of November 22, 1963, also a Friday.

 

Here, too, the killer is a sharpshooter who has been lying in wait with his crossbow and aims from above at Lotteringo; the fatal dart is the quadrella. The mortal blow tears into Lotterino Gherardini’s breast, eliminating him forever and casting a sinister shadow over the future.

 

Lotteringo Gherardini is buried ‘in a stone tomb’ in the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte, near the Ponte Vecchio.

 

 

This is an edited excerpt from The Dark and Bloody Guide to Florence, an e-book that takes you on an interactive journey back in time. Available from Amazon and App Store for iPhone.

Related articles

Lifestyle

Tomorrow’s Leonardos: the United States and Tuscany

The U.S. Consulate in Florence was established exactly 300 years after the death of Leonardo.

Lifestyle

Rental diaries, vol. 22

My mother calls something a “Rear Window experience” when it fails to live up to great expectations (“I’m excited to take you to this restaurant. Sure hope it’s not a ...

Lifestyle

Florence Cocktail Week is served

Building on the success of previous editions, Florence Cocktail Week returns this May with a celebration of dressed-up drinks. Organised by Paola Mencarelli and Lorenzo Nigro, the event, which runs from May 12, will feature masterclasses, roundtables and tasting sessions.

LIGHT MODE
DARK MODE