A curious story regarding the tomb of the merchant Tignosini

Posted on by

Just a few steps away from the tombstone commemorating Adele, at the corner of the second cloister near the entrance to the Church of San Francesco, visitors will note an old medieval tombstone with a lunette overhead that has one of the oldest frescoes in Lucca. The tomb dates 1274 and contains the remains of a merchant of Lucca, who was named Tignosini. In the chronicles of San Francesco, compiled in the 17th century by the archivist of the convent, there is a lot of information and news regarding the foundation of the convent, much of which is unpublished, strange, and sometimes, quite disturbing. The rich merchant Tignosini, who was a resident in the parish of San Frediano, died in 1286. He had expressed the desire of being buried in the Church of San Francesco in his will, probably...

San Michele - graffiti

The exterior graffiti on the Church of San Michele

Posted on by

On the south-facing external wall of the church, at about a height of two meters, we can make out some medieval graffiti dating back to about the mid-14th century. There are several depictions that passers-by in a hurry will have difficulty seeing and understanding. Starting on the left, there is a fairly large phallus, then a walled city with towers, domes, and flags. Above it, there is a rough outline of a sailboat, similar to what we would have drawn as children in our notebooks. You might think that some youngster, with nothing better to do, had played a prank and defaced the white walls of the Romanesque church the evening before. This is not the case and the proof lies just a short distance away. There are sentences written in Gothic script and some in Hebrew. I don’t...