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  Logic Path: Home Page >> The Secrets >> A 'UFO' arrivarono marmi e legname

A 'UFO' arrivarono marmi e legname

"Ad usum Florentinae Operae". A Latin expression that had to be written on materials arriving from every part of Tuscany for the "Opera del Duomo" the Organization for the building of the Cathedral. The reason was simple: from marble of Carrara to timber of Casentino, everything that was to be used for the enormous work was tax free. The only problem was having to write the Latin phrase every time, which was somewhat inconvenient. For this reason, someone with an innate gift of synthesis decided to shorten the expression. No "Latinizations", it was enough to write just the initials. And thus the acronym "A U.F.O." came about to replace the Latin phrase"Ad usum Florentinae Operae". The shortened formula became a rapid and effective pass. It appeared on marble, timber, ropes, iron and everything else that was needed for the Operation. And by just observing the acronym on these goods, the city door guards and tollhouse guards allowed their entrance - no questions asked. There was no need to check for anything since all shipments to the Cathedral were "sacred". And the letters gave the guarantee. It goes without saying that the intelligent creation of this acronym struck the imagination of the people at that time. And "a ufo" became an expression to indicate everything that was obtained without having to pay: to eat "a ufo"&;, to sleep "a ufo", to travel "a ufo". The word itself had an infinite range of possibilities from which the scroungers could benefit. The first stone of Santa Maria del Fiore was laid on September 8, 1296 by Cardinal Pietro Valeriano from Piperno, who was passing from Florence on his way to Lombardy as an envoy of Bonifacio VIII. But the works of the Cathedral officially finished only on May 28, 1472, that is, 176 years later. However, they really didn't finish because maintenance work began immediately thereafter. If we think about all this we can understand very well why Florentines have the habit of saying that it is the "Opera del Duomo" that defines every project that is very long and probably never ending. As for the costs of the Organization, the Republic assumed the enormous disbursements. Until it was possible, they used their cash resources, allocating aid and supplies. Then they had to try to find other means of gathering money, often with unpopular measures opposed by the people. From the enormous construction of Santa Maria del Fiore began a new generation of taxes, special laws, tolls and heavy duties of every type. Everything was game, from the confiscation of goods of rebels to the already imposed taxes on inheritance. And of course, they were laws not only pertaining to the city of Florence but that were extended to all the cities, villages, and districts in the entire dominion. Adding to the cost was the bell tower, with construction beginning in 1334 under the watchful but tired eye of Giotto. The artist was already in his seventies and died three years later, in 1337, leaving the work to Andrea da Pontedera, better known as Andrea Pisano. The bell tower was complete in 1360 by Francesco Talenti, after a long pause due to the plague that decimated the population. But, other than the epidemic, there was a problem of funds. Fortunately, the exhausted funds were given a boost by a good number of rich merchants, whose noble gestures were driven by the need to cleans their souls. Last but not least came the construction of the Dome, which from 1421 to 1436 drained money and resources to no end. And if that wasn't enough, money was also being used for Federico Zuccheri's frescos, painted from 1574 to 1579. The frescos costed seventy thousand Tuscan lira, which at that time was a good some of money. Many other items could be added to the secular list of costs, but it's probably better to stop here. It's more than enough to realize that the Operation of the Cathedral costed the Florentines blood and tears, not to mention a lot of blasphemy that was for free, or better, "a ufo".


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