Torre degli Acciaiuoli; Acciaiuoli Tower


March 12, 2019

Our company Infinity is located in a part of an ancient Tower of Florence,  we will tell you a story of revenge in which the family that at the time was the owner of the Torre dei Buondelmonti was involved!

If you are wandering the streets of Florence, between Piazza della Repubblica and Ponte Vecchio and want to take a break from pizzerias and noise, take the street "Borgo Santi Apostoli": a bit of deserved silence awaits you just a few steps away! 

This ancient alley and the church of the same name can easily summarize the history of Florence in just a few square meters: they embrace the stories of the Romans with Carlo Magno, the second "walls" of the city and even a little of the crusades and of Michelangelo ... if you believe at least a little to the legends and the anecdotes related to him.  As the name says, this small village was born as a natural suburb of the main city, located just outside the "ancient circle", that is the first city wall of Florence originally built by the Romans, and is called Borgo Santi Apostoli.   

The street is rich in historical architecture, in large parts dating back to the 14th century, such as the numerous "palagi", which at that time replaced the tower houses for the rich families of Florentine merchants. The medieval palace most important of the road is located at number 8 and is the Acciaiuoli Palace, which also incorporates the ancient Torre dei Buondelmonti, which belonged to Niccolò Acciaiuoli and later assigned by him to the monks of the "Certosa di Firenze", which he founded, which dedicated the their emblem on the facade, still present, with the cross of Calvary between two rampant lions and the writing Certosa. 

The Amidei and Buondelmonti were two noble and conspicuous Florentine families, whose historic quarrel is considered the beginning of the struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines in Florence.

During a banquet of a party, a jester suddenly took a plate in front of Buondelmonte dei Buondelmonti and Uberto degli Infangati: the first did not accept the joke and took it badly and then a third party, Odarrigo de' Fifanti, a well-known troublemaker of fights , accused Uberto of the disappearance of the dish. He responded in kind ("You lie for the throat!"), accusing Oddo of having interfered in the discussion to take the plate; he reacted in turn by throwing a chopping board full of meat into Uberto's face. At the end of the banquet, while it was being cleared, a brawl broke out during which Buondelmonte attacked Odarrigo with a knife and wounded him in the arm. 

According to the customs of the time, the fight had to be sedated to protect the honor of the contenders: in a council of the Arrighi house, in which also the friendly families (Fifanti, Gangalandi, Uberti, Lamberti and Amidei) participated, it was decided to settle the issue with the classic solution of the pacifying marriage, proposing to Buondelmonte to marry a niece of Oddo, daughter of his sister and of Lambertuccio Amidei.  The proposal was accepted and a regular notary contract was stipulated, complete with a penalty in the event of non-celebration. 

Things seemed to have been smoothed out and resolved for the better, had Gualdrada Donati not been put in the way, wife of Forese Donati the Elder, who went to visit Buondelmonte, accusing him of having accepted the marriage for fear of the retaliations of the Fifanti and their allies, reproaching the little aesthetic attractiveness of the future bride and proposing him in marriage a daughter of his own, renowned for the beauty . Gualdrada even offered to pay the penalty, if Buondelmonte agreed to marry his daughter. 

The enticing proposal had its effect: on 10 February 1216 Buondelmonte did not appear at the church of Santo Stefano where his official girlfriend was waiting for him to celebrate the wedding but went to the Donati house to negotiate new marriage with Forese and Gualdrada; indeed, the failed groom had the audacity to enter Florence from Por Santa Maria, which was near the church where the bride was waiting for him. 

At home Amidei obviously broke loose and called a council with the allied families in the church of Santa Maria sopra Porta; while some proposed a light revenge, like a solemn clubbing or a scar in the face of the reviled Buondelmonte, Moscow of the Lamberti rose, proposing the murder with the famous phrase "Cosa fatta capo ha!", to avoid further retaliation. Once the proposal was accepted, it was decided to organize the revenge well and it was decided that the ambush should take place just for the wedding day. 

On Easter morning, the day chosen for the wedding, Buondelmonte entered Florence from the Ponte Vecchio, richly dressed, to go to the church. Arrived at the Porta Santa Maria, where there was an ancient statue of Mars, under the Torre degli Amidei, Buondelmonte was first insulted and then thrown out with a blow from the Schiatta degli Uberti; once on the ground, he was finished with a knife by Oddo Arrighi.

Of the aggression the Amidei were obviously accused as principals and the city split over the fact, a division from which the factions of the Guelphs and Ghibellines would have arisen some years later.