The Devil’s mysterious nailprints on the Duomo di PisaMysteries & Legends
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!
Pistoia: Where does the name of the Ospedale del Ceppo in the city of Pistoia come from?
Mysteries & Legends
Ospedale del Ceppo undoubtedly counts among the many masterpieces that the delightful city of Pistoia has to offer. What fascinates tou...View
Florence: The 'Rificolona': a funny name tracing back to the mischievous spirit of Florence’s people!
Lanterns are now very fashionable and are used at parties and weddings. Florence, however, has always been ahead of time, so much so th...View
Florence: In Florence people are known to be a 'short arm'!
How many times have you heard the expression 'avere il braccino corto' (lit. to be a short arm)? Many I guess. You will also then know ...View
Siena: When the 'drappellone' in Siena was stolen…
Usually, the Palio in Siena takes place twice a year: on July 2nd in honor of the Madonna of Provenzano and August 16th in honor of the...View
Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music
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
Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens
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