Hidden treasures

The Devil’s mysterious nailprints on the Duomo di Pisa

Mysteries & Legends
Unghiate_Diavolo

The Devil’s mysterious nailprints on the Duomo di Pisa

When you think about it, the devil in Tuscany has done a great job: he built bridges like the one in Borgo a Mozzano, he gave the name to entire areas like the boraciferous fumaroles of Larderello called Valle del Diavolo - which seems to have inspired Dante’s inferno – he left footprints in many places, such as Pedata del Diavolo in the Pistoia mountains. In short, in Tuscany the Devil has messed about a lot – especially in Pisa!

Are you skeptical? Then I will tell you this story and then I shall explain how you can check if it is true. In Piazza dei Miracoli, the one where the Leaning Tower is located, there is also the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. In the north façade, the one facing the Camposanto Monumentale, there is a piece of marble of Roman origin, on which, upon a close look, you can see many small holes. These would be precisely the Devil’s nails’ imprints. When and how did he leave them? It seems that he was jealous of the construction of the Duomo and he climbed on the roof to prevent the continuation of the work and destroy what was already done. But an angel managed to keep the devil from completing his plan, and the only thing the devil could do was to cling to the piece of marble with his nails.

The mystery does not end here! It seems that you just cannot count all the holes: every time someone tries the final result is never the same. The students who follow the traditions of celebrating 100 days until high school exams go to Piazza dei Miracoli for their superstitious rituals always try to count them! But they, too, never get the same result!

Still skeptical? Well, then you just have to book one of our tours in Pisa, go in person to the Cathedral and try for yourself. Count all the holes you see attentively and let us know!

 

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Siena: The Robin Hood of Radicofani

Ghino_di_Tacco
Historical Curiosities

Albeit not as famous as the one of the Sherwood Forest but nonetheless one of the characters mentioned by Dante in the Divine Comedy, T...

View

Lucca: The smallest theater in the world is near Lucca!

Teatrino_Vetriano
Did you know that...

Do you know where the smallest theater in the world is? According to the Guinness World Records Book you have to go to Vetriano, a smal...

View

Florence: Antonio Magliabechi: a life of books

Antonio_Magliabech
Historical Curiosities

The Central National Library of Florence, in Piazza Cavalleggeri, is one of the most important libraries in Italy with a collection of ...

View

Lucca: The mysterious story of Lucida Mansi

Lucida_Mansi
Mysteries & Legends

The ghost of Lucida Mansi is one of the most famous in Tuscany, so much so that she is one of the main characters wandering around Borg...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View