The Medici and their balls

You thought we meant something rude by the title involving Medici Balls, but we’re actually referring to the “palle”, literally balls, on their coat of arms. The Medici family has always been associated with balls. Six of them to be exact. Their family emblem, five red balls (palle, in Italian) and one blue, on a gold shield, decorate numerous buildings all over Florence and Tuscany-any palazzo, church or monument to which the Medici had connections or that was financed using Medici money. Considering that at their prime the family had its fingers in virtually every pie in Florence, it is not surprising that half the buildings in the city seem to display the symbol. A coontemporary of Cosimo il Vecchio once declared, outraged, that in the church of San Marco, ‘he had even emblazoned the monks’ privies with his balls!’

Read more about the Medici coat of arms and their balls, and watch the video above to find out how, in fact, it’s nothing rude.

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