HIDDEN TREASURES

An original section to reveal legends, mysteries, anecdotes and Tuscany curiosities


The exuberant spirit and strong attachment to their land
that have always characterized the Tuscans - it seems that the term 'parochialism' was born here - have spawned hundreds of legends, anecdotes, folk beliefs and mysteries.

In this section, curated by a true insider and constantly updated, you can discover many curiosities of Tuscany and get to know the hidden treasures of Tuscany!

Do you want to know about illustrious and famous people from Tuscany? Or are you curious to discover the most famous (but even the less known) Tuscan anecdotes and legends? Then you are in the right place! Toscanainside will reveal the myths, legends, anecdotes and curiosities of Tuscany: based on historical facts, these brief descriptive texts will take you on a fun journey through the history, folklore and mysteries of a hidden Tuscany!

Anecdotes and Tuscan Curiosities is the fortnightly publication of toscanainside.com dedicated to those who want to learn about places, oddities, legends and whimsical Tuscan characters who, for some reason, have become part of the history of this land. Do you find the history and culture of Tuscany interesting? Our legends, mysterious places and Tuscan historical curiosities will be the same! Embrace this exciting reading... we're sure you will want to visit first-hand the places mentioned and the villages where the most famous Tuscan historical characters lived!

If you want to be kept informed about new anecdotes of Tuscany (curiosities about Tuscany, but also photos, tours and current events), visit the Facebook page of toscanainside and click 'Like' and start interacting with us: let us know what your curiosities linked to the Tuscan territory are and we will do everything to satisfy them!

Highlights

Orsanmichele in Florence: church or market?

Orsanmichele Church, on top of being one of the oldest churches in Florence, has a rather curious history, starting from its name. The space now occupied by this church, was once the location - until the twelfth century – of an oratory and a church, surrounded by allotments and fields. For this reason, the small church was originally called San Michele in Orto, later Orto di San Michele and finally, to shorten everything, Orsanmichele. Let's concentrate on its complicated origins: for purely economic issues, the municipality of Florence decided to demolish it to make way for a lodge, destined to become a corn market. While frescoing two columns with images of St. Michael the Archangel and Our Lady, in memory of the little ruined church, the Florentines never knew which function to attribute to Orsanmichele: church or market? On this basis, in the fifteenth century, the market was moved and the building became a place of worship again, still keeping its rectangular plant - most unusual for a church.The first floor was used as a granary storage whereas the ground floor became the church as you see it today: in the niches on the outside you can admire the sculptures of important artists such as Santo Stefano by Lorenzo Ghiberti, San Marco by Donatelli and San Luca by Giambologna. Do you want to know some secrets on Orsanmichele Church? Here they are! The church and the opposite building – namely Palazzo della Lana - are connected by a skywalk... a sort of miniature Vasari Corridor! How can you understand how this building could have been used as a granary? After entering, look to your left and you will see that the vaguely floral shapes in the first two pillars are nothing more than slits, connected to the upper floors, filled by the bakers with grain received from the second floor! Carefully observing the external corners of the church you will notice some carved images depicting vines and ears of wheat: this is because Orsanmichele didn't only store wheat, but even various types of food including wine. Make your way to this site and have fun exploring these little facts... the entry is free! 

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