Monday, March 06, 2006

Ghibellines in Florence

I am a supporter of Fiorentina, the football team of Florence, and yesterday, as usual, I went there (a 220 km drive from Padova, the city in which I live) for the football match: Fiorentina vs Siena.

Florence is the main city of Tuscany, while Siena is one of the small medieval cities in the beautiful country of Tuscany.

During the Middle Ages, Florence and Siena were hostile cities: in the conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, Florence was Guelf and Siena was Ghibelline.

Several centuries have passed since then (the Battle of Montaperti, in which the two cities clashed, was fought on September 4, 1260) but the two cities have not forgotten their history.

In fact, the football match was very harsh and Fiorentina's supporters showed the banner in the picture to the visitors from Siena; the banner says:

"Ieri schiavi Ghibellini,
Oggi solo contadini!"
That in English sounds like (but the rhyme is lost):

"Yesterday Ghibellines slaves,
Today just country folks!"
For the ones interested, Fiorentina won the match (2-1) thanks to a goal of Pazzini during the last minute of the match: there was an explosion of joy at the stadium... Ghibellini will be slaves of Florence for another year.

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