When you exit the Uffizi gallery, perhaps after having taken our Masterpieces of the Uffizi tour, the street that leads to the Duomo is called Via dei Leoni. It is an unassuming street which takes its name (“street of the lions”) from the fact that the Medici kept live lions caged there! This was done purely to show how important they were and to brag about the fact that they could afford real lions shipped all the way from Africa.
One day one of these lions escaped from her cage and was wandering around the city. Everyone nearby ran away screaming to hide in their homes. The lion went to small square where a little boy was playing. The little boy was unaware of the danger he was in and he smiled up at the large lion, his mother was terrified in the background. The lioness picked up the little boy and carried him, unharmed, to his petrified mother.
The little boy was named Orlandino and after this he became a hero, it was thought that he was a miracle child and many people gave him gifts and the Signoria council established a trust fund in his name so that he never had to work a day in his life. All thanks to a lion!
At Artviva’s Festival Evenings you can meet actual princes and counts whose ancestors served on the Signoria council in Florence during the Renaissance. Our Festival Events are the perfect way to spend your evenings in Florence ? relaxing in a beautiful historic palace while you enjoy great Tuscan wine and meet interesting and entertaining noblemen, artists and literati.