Pegasus: history of the symbol of TuscanyDid you know that...
Pegasus: history of the symbol of Tuscany
Do you know which is the symbol of Tuscany is? It is Pegasus, the mythical winged horse depicted in silver and inserted, as usually happens in heraldry, on a red shield. Pegasus was born from the neck of Perseus's murdered mother and will become his companion in many heroic deeds. Thanks to the golden bite inflicted by Athena, Bellerophon managed to subdue the winged horse and he too performed memorable feats like fighting against the Chimera, the Solimi and the Amazons. At this point Bellerophon felt he was as important as a god and for this reason he flew to Mount Olympus. This angered Zeus, who sent a gadfly to sting Pegasus. The winged horse bolted and Bellerophon fell into the void.
Pegasus was chosen as the symbol of Tuscany because it represents the hero who builds peace and fights for freedom. When and how was this choice made? Pegasus appeared for the first time in 1975 even though it was already present on the flag of the Tuscan Committee of National Liberation which fought during the Second World War. Pegasus depicted on the flag and today the symbol of Tuscany derives, even if slightly modified, from a coin made by the Florentine artist Benvenuto Cellini in 1537 to honor Cardinal Pietro Bembo and today kept in the National Museum of Bargello in Florence. The Tuscan flag as we know it today was introduced in 1995 when Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, president of the Republic at the time, wanted all the regions to display their flag in a room of the Quirinale Palace.
What we have told you about, and which involves Benvenuto Cellini's coin, is just one of the many stories that you can discover by visiting Florence’s museums. You can do this with our 'Guided Visit to the Uffizi Gallery' or the 'Guided tour to the Accademia Gallery which include the skip the line option that will allow you, once booked on our portal, to avoid the long queues.
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