Savonarola’s Disk

September 4, 2008 / Local Interest
Florence
Rightly so, chins are usually pointed upwards in Piazza della Signoria. However, a token of one of Florence’s most infamous moments is fixed in the ground, hidden beneath the thousands of feet that march through this square every day.

From 1494-1498 Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican priest, fulminated against everything he considered immoral, actually becoming de facto ruler of Florence for a year in the process. In 1497, he held his “Bonfire of the Vanities” demanding that the people burn their books, paintings, games, ostentatious clothes, and anything he felt was sinful. (Among other things, a few Michelangelo and Botticelli are said to have gone up in flames.)

Needless to say, by 1498 the Fiorentini had grown tired of him. As soon as political events converged against him he was arrested for heresy and then hanged and burned at the stake on the very same spot of his “Bonfire” the year before.

Lesser known but just as much a part of Florentine history, be sure to find Savonarola’s 400th anniversary commemorative disc next time you’re in the Piazza.

Normanno Ross

by Normanno Ross

TV Producer, Special Events Organiser, and avowed Romaphile.

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