The streets are alive with undercurrents of history: Buondelmonti Tower.

All you have to do is stop from time to time, then you will receive the currents.

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In the past 6 months, I’ve said this over and over:  “I walk by this landmark…several times a week, a day, a month” and it’s true, I do.  In Florence, every inch of earth is covered or filled with history.

About a block from where I live stands this medieval tower, the Torre dei Buondelmonti, from 12 or 13th century.  I use the alley way beside it at least daily. I always admire this tower, as I walk by.

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It’s so tall and the streets of Florence are so narrow that it is hard to get the tower in one shot.

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This appearance of this antique tower is very faithful to the 
original 13th century appearance. On the ground floor there
is an opening with a double arch, while on the upper floors 
there are five high and narrow windows of different sizes.

The ground floor exhibits a slight use of rusticated ashlar masonry, known in Italian as bugnato; this is among the first examples 
of its use in Florence. At the top there is a stone filaretto,
while the topfloor has a simpler brickwork. The tower's left
side, facing the alleyway called the Chiasso delle Misure,
originally had two doors and a window, which were enclosed
at later revision.

In the 14th century, the Buondelmonti family moved from the location of this tower on Via delle Terme, to the newer Palazzo Buondelmonti in Piazza Santa Trinita.

The feud between the Buondelmonti and other Florentine aristocratic families is well known.  The famous wedding that ended in Buondelmonti bloodshed took place not 5 minutes away, near the Ponte Vecchio in a particular event during the Guelf and Ghibelline conflicts. In 1215, during a banquet celebrating the ennoblement of a young Florentine, one of the guests, Buondelmonte de’ Buondelmonti, stabbed a rival in the arm. In restitution for the injury and dishonor, the elders decided that young Buondelmonte should wed a girl from the Amidei family. That arranged, the Amidei and Buondelmonti families arranged an engagement ceremony, where Buondelmonte was to publicly pledge troth to the Amidei girl. With the Amidei assembled in the piazza, the young Buondelmonte man rode past the Amidei, and instead asked for the hand of a girl from the Donati family, members of the Guelf faction.

Furious, the Amidei and allies plotted revenge. They debated whether they should scar Buondelmonte’s face, beat him up, or kill him. Mosca di Lamberti took the floor and argued that they should kill him at the place where he had dishonoured them. His famous words, ‘cosa fatta capo ha‘, were recorded in Dante’s Inferno and an earlier chronicle known as Pseudo-Latini. On Easter morning, on his way to marry the Donati girl, as Buondelmonte crossed the Ponte Vecchio, he was waylaid by the Amidei and their allies, and murdered. The Buondelmonte murder and its associated clan rivalry became the legendary origin of the Guelf and Ghibelline conflict in Florence.  For more, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amidei

 

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