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The role of the Executioner was necessary prior to the abolition of torture and the execution punishment in 1786.
He was a shadowy figure, a professional assassin.
The State had given the Executioner Fiorentino a house, a vegetable garden, and a horse. Because it was considered impure, the residence had to be placed outside the city walls or at the outskirts of Florence, in an area isolated from other residences.
The Executioner received a salary and was a professional figure who required technical expertise and special attention.
To avoid ineffective suffering, he needed to be capable and precise in carrying out the death sentence. Death had to come quickly, unless the practice of torture was required.
The vocation passed from generation to generation: the son, to whom the father had imparted all the secrets of the trade, had grown into a true and self-taught learner.
When the Executioner had to enter the city, he had to wear red and green cloths to ensure that the citizens recognized him, and not just that: he had to wear gloves since he couldn't communicate with the people, touch, or be touched .
In Via Ghibellina 69, between Via delle Pinzochere and Via San Cristofano, there is a building that stands out, both for its imposing appearance and for its singular feature of being isolated on three levels. As if he had to be kept at a safe distance from ordinary citizens.
It was the house of the executioner,the residence assigned to the official prosecutor of the city's sentencing ties. Because of the dwelling of his guests, he has acquired a sinister and unsettling appearance, fueled by the fact that he is isolated from the other buildings along the road, solely to keep an eye on all Florentine and Florentine. Originally,it appeared to be a distinct type of prison; after all, Florence has not always had an executioner with a fixed assignment. Prior to being discovered,the task of pursuing the capital punishment was assigned to another condemned to death, to whom hospitality in solitude was granted at the Via Ghibellina building.The Dwell of the Executioner is a four-story house, but the three upper floors are a much more recent addition; if you look at the facade, near the intersection with Via San Cristofano, you'll notice a date of 1547, which indicates the date of the original construction, while another date, 1915, could indicate the date of the "restructuring."The stall and the executioner were once located in Via delle Pinzochere; Piero Bargellini and Ennio Guarnieri recall in their "Strade di Firenze" that prior to the 1966 flood, the shape of a horseshoe was visible on a washed piece of stone. According to the researchers, that type of "U" indicated the point at which the executioner left the bridle of his horse.
The executioner house is very next to the home of one of our city's most famous artists, Michelangelo Buonarroti.It is said that, during the well-known rivalry between Michelangelo and Raphael, "being a Raphael in the company of his disciples, he met Michelangelo who said: Where are you going, Raphael, so surrounded as a proposal?" And he says to him, "And you, just like an executioner?"
Here's how Florence's idioms evolve through the centuries!
Last but not least, a specific observation.
When the Executioner's life improved, the problem of his seclusion arose.
Because he was an assassin, and therefore in mortal danger, he couldn't be buried in a sacred land; on the other hand, a compromise had to be found in order to provide them burial.
It was for this reason that he decided to choose a... "middle path" between sacred and profane.
And then there's the bell tower of Sant'Ambrogio Church.
It was a respected location that, at the same time, was not a dedicated location, making it ideal for a squeamish figure!
The tomb of the executioners of Florence was placed inside the bell tower, which dates back to 1500, in the room of the ropes that served to operate the bells, beneath the pavement.
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