Not all, in Florence, have noticed the cow’s head that is atop a pillar of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo). This sculpture which may seem bizarre at first glance, is actually an homage to the beast that has helped more than any other the men in the construction of the cathedral, carrying on its back the heavier stuff. But, as often happens, about this unique animal’s head a legend was born the lead to believe for a long time that the animal was not a cow but a bull: actually it is said that a master carpenter who worked on the construction site of the Dome, had become the lover of the wife of a baker who had his shop nearby. The affair lasted for a while until her husband, became aware of it, denounced the faithless wife and the carpenter at the Ecclesiastical Court. The two were condemned and had to terminate the relationship. The carpenter, to get back at the baker who made a complaint, put the horned bull in the direction of the baker, an eternal reminder of the betrayal of his wife (in Italian “horned” means “cuckold“!).
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