In which I’m given some answers

Thanks to Miky (*)  who writes a most interesting blog, we now know what this stemma I saw in Pistoia represents. 

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The pig/swine is the attribute of the Cancellieri family, who once figured in the political life of Tuscany. This particular depiction can be found on the facade of the palace that bears their name.

If heraldry is of interest to you, follow this link and run the Italian through a translator.  Cancellieri

(*) Miky blogs at https://passion4food4fashion.com/  She is trying to find some information about the other image shown on my post  frustration That’s over and above the call of duty, I reckon!

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Door of the Stock Market building, Venice

Interestingly, borsa means purse (or bag) in Italian. That led me to think about the word bourse, which describes a stock exchange, especially one in a continental European city. And, that word in French also means purse (or sac), and is derived from the Latin bursa. What started as simply a couple of photos took me further afield than I expected!

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I found out more that I actually wanted to on this site:  history-of-the-stock-market  including this reference to the early influence of Venice on the economy  “Later on, the merchants of Venice were credited with trading government securities as early as the 13th century. Soon after, bankers in the nearby Italian cities of Pisa, Verona, Genoa, and Florence also began trading government securities.”

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Spaghetti All’Amatriciana —A tribute to Amatrice.

When in Italy don’t ask for a plate of ‘spaghetti bolognaise’ (don’t even dare to say ‘spag bol’). The dish simply doesn’t exist in this country but is a concoction made abroad (and, I believe, actually sold in tins in the UK!). Ask instead for ‘tagliatelle al ragù’. The ragù is a sauce generally made […]

via Spaghetti All’Amatriciana — From London to Longoio (and Lucca and Beyond) Part Two

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Basilica San Marco Venice

We’re all familiar with the appearance of this famous Basilica, thanks to  TV documentaries, newspapers or holiday photos.

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Photo sourced online

If you climb the steep stairs to access the museum of the Basilica, and then go out onto the loggia, you’ll be treated to a close up view of some of the intricate details of this place of worship.

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What lucky workers were chosen to place the highest of the statues? Did they enjoy their work? Were they paid danger money?

To my knowledge, I’ve never heard this bell ringing. Has anyone else?

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At the risk of a very stiff neck, there are a number of mosaics to admire as you walk around the loggia. 

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I wonder how many pieces of mosaic are in just this one work? And, who put them all into their proper places? And, why couldn’t they have been put at eye level to save my neck?

Not on the Basilica, but visible from your place of elevation, is this rooftop with a splendid example of an ancient chimney. I know some of you will be able to identify the building that’s under that roof. 

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Frustration

I saw these in Pistoia, and now, of course, I’m kicking myself for not finding out more about them. What are the odds I shan’t be able to find them if I go back to this interesting city in Tuscany?

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What is the collective name for a group of nuns?

A superfluity of nuns, viewed from above.  group

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From Melusina to the Starbucks logo

In my previous post, the last, rather strange image evoked mild response, with some of us curious to find out more. I posted the image on a Venetian group page on Facebook, with a plea for any information that could be provided. Many people responded, and  I can now tell you a bit about this unusual creature and her offspring.

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She is a depiction of Melusina (also spelt Melusine), a  spirit of fresh water in a sacred spring or river. She is usually shown as a woman who is a serpent or fish from the waist down, sometimes with two tails. If you like myths, follow this link to find out more about this spirit.  melusine   Melusina was one of a set of triplets, by the way. There were a few suggestions about the two half human, half goat infants suckling, but no one came up with a suggestion I felt was useful to the discussion.

One of the people on Facebook mentioned that Starbuck’s logo features Melusina! Sure enough, when I did an online search, there she was in her two-tailed glory. By 1992, the image had been modified to omit this characteristic. But, just look at the 1971 version … that’s our lass for sure. You can read the history of this logo here: starbucks

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You just never know where a topic or comment will lead you!

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