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HIDDEN TREASURES OF FLORENCE: THE SCORPION INSIDE THE LION Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral – Firenze

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore hides a little secret that few people know: on the left side of the Duomo, facing Via Ricasoli, you find the Cornacchini Door framed by two columns sustained by two lions. Guido Cavalcanti narrates that Mr Anselmo, living in “Via del Cocomero” - now via Ricasoli - had recurring nightmares of being torn apart by a lion. Although some friends would propose him to visit the lions closed in a cage inside Palazzo Vecchio to overcome his fear, we was still too scared. Eventually, as a remedy against his fears, a doctor from Medici’s family suggested him to put his hand in the mouth of the stone lion at the Cornacchini Door. Unfortunately the statue’s mouth was hosting a scorpion which bit Anselmo, who died the day after.

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