Hidden treasures

The Florentine Carroccio

Historical Curiosities
Carroccio_fiorenitno

The Florentine Carroccio

If I say Carroccio what comes to mind? The mental association with the Northern League, of which more than a symbol it has become almost a synonym, is quite obvious. Having said that, it should be noted that the Lombards were not the only ones in the communal era to have a Carroccio. We also had one in Florence, and what a Carroccio it was!

The Carroccio was a war-cart. It was a large four-wheeled cart pulled by four oxen wrapped in red 'gualdrappe' (blankets). It was used when the decision was made to start a war outside of Florence. The bell called 'Martinella', which was located in Por Santa Maria and heralded the beginning of war, was hoisted on the Carroccio and this then left the city. The vexillum standards and the flags of the city were also mounted on it and due to its symbolic value, it was strongly guarded. So much so that the bravest soldiers were nearly always relied upon. The capture of the Carroccio was really an irretrievable event that was avoided in all possible ways. On the Carroccio, sometimes, there was also a chaplain who celebrated mass from an altar on the front. On the back of the altar were the trumpeters who had the task of sounding the signals of assault, gathering and retreat.

Certain information on the use of the Carroccio dates back to 1230 and a battle against Siena. The episode according to which the cart fell into the hands of the enemy dates instead to 1360 and the battle of Montaperti, again against the Siena’s army. It seems that since then it was never replaced with another one. How much history and how many stories have characterized the streets and squares of Florence! It would be really nice to know them all! But as we can’t just tell you about all of them in one go, your best option is to take part in one of our tours in Florence. Our guides, who know everything about the beautiful lily city, will tell you many other anecdotes like this.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Lucca: Who invented 'Burlamacco'?

Burlamacco
Did you know that...

Do you know who Burlamacco is? If you've been to the Carnival of Viareggio you've certainly seen him, otherwise I'll tell you all about...

View

Florence: Roberts Borotalco was born in Florence too!

Talco_Roberts
Did you know that...

Have you ever seen Roberts talcum powder? It’s the one in the green box with Art Nouveau decorations and red words. Those of you born...

View

Pisa: The legend of St Minias, the beheaded saint

San_Miniato
Mysteries & Legends

Saint Minias is a highly venerated Saint in Tuscany. Evidence of this is for instance the charming village in the province of Pisa that...

View

Arezzo: Clarke: the young captain who saved the 'Resurrection'

Uomo_che_salvo_resurrezione
Historical Curiosities

Today I'm in the mood to tell you a nice story. No ghosts this time! It's such a beautiful story that a movie could be made out of it. ...

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