florence free tour
Florence free tour
Florence free tour

Giuliano, brother of Lorenzo the Magnificent, has always been described as handsome, tall and austere. This last name was given to him because, when he walked, he had his chin raised and his gaze downwards. At first glance he could be considered haughty and confident in his beauty. ‘Bel Julo’, as he was renamed by the Florentines, was not at all austere, he was very kind and joking with everyone and aware of being handsome, the most handsome of the Casa Medici. Precisely for this reason, someone maliciously claimed the existence of a rivalry between the two brothers, nothing could be more false, Lorenzo loved Giuliano and boasted to everyone about.

On the occasion of the joust held on 29 January 1475 in Piazza Santa Croce in Florence to honor the new alliance concluded in November of the previous year between Florence and the cities of Venice and Milan, Giuliano de’ Medici brought to the field a Botticellian banner which was intended as a chaste homage to his love for Simonetta Cattaneo, wife of the doctor Marco Vespucci, famous Florence for its beauty. In fact, the knight’s banner depicted the image of the goddess Pallas who, armed in the ancient manner and protected in her chastity by an armour, after having chained the god of Love to an olive tree, turned her gaze to the sun of glory, as he trampled on a bundle of thorns expiring the flames of love he had set.

Thus, just as in 1469 Lorenzo had dedicated his carousel to his beloved Lucrezia Donati, Giuliano, who won the carousel, dedicated it to Simonetta Cattaneo, perhaps the most beautiful woman of his time. However, the occasion of the joust in Piazza Santa Croce was one of the most important events for the public visibility of Giuliano who was definitively consecrated alongside his brother as one of the most influential personalities in Florence. his virtues as a great man.

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