The lion, the man and the Duomo

Curious Florence

Katie Acompora
July 3, 2014

An ancient proverb holds that a lion’s power lies in our fear of him. If you look at the door on the left-hand side of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, you will find a lion and a lioness atop a column. The lion figures in a tragic anecdote about a fifteenth-century Florentine named Anselmo, a member of the Cornacchini family. Anselmo suffered from a terrible recurring nightmare in which he was being devoured by a lion. Legend has it that he tried to rid himself of this nightmare by placing his hand in the mouth of the stone lion on the column. To his dismay, a scorpion bit his thumb and he died the same day. 

Support The Florentine

The Florentine: keeping you connected.

Established in 2005, The Florentine remains true to its mission as a community magazine. Whether you live in the States, the UK or here in Italy, our aim is to keep you connected to Florence through news, events, arts + culture, food + wine and much more.


Please make a contribution, small or large, so that we can continue our coverage from Florence.



Personal Info

Donation Total: €20,00

more articles

Comments