Florence – Curiosity: No ball play!

Firenze Proibizione Giuoco Palla

The streets and alleys around the monastic complex of Badia Fiorentina in the heart of Florence, we always cross quickly, were at the times of Dante, who lived there, one of the most silent districts of Florence. The presence of the Badia saw to it to the peace reigned over the quarter. To be sure the silence order was respected there, like in other town districts, the so-called Signori di Otto di Guardia e di Balia watched over.

It was a sort of district policemen ahead of their time who put special plates in the most strategic places to remind what was forbidden in order to not disturb the quiet and sleep of the inhabitants. Stone plates are still well visible; it’s enough to raise the eyes in the area around the Badia Fiorentina, in Via Dante Alighieri and Via dei Magazzini. These plates didn’t beat about the bush and enjoined “not to play ball under severe punishments for transgressors”. How come, if just near Via Dante Alighieri there is Piazzetta dei Giuochi (Game square)? A contradiction? No, just the irony of destiny, because Giuochi stands for the name of family living there…

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