|Piazza San Marco (Statue in the square)||10:00||Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday|
Greed is the desire for material things and excessive wealth. In Dante’s Inferno, the greedy were condemned to push huge weights with their chests, which symbolized the selfish drive for fortune during their lifetime. But it gets worse. The greedy usurers, those who profited from other people’s labour by lending money, were severely punished by Medieval laws through death by hanging and could even be refused burial in holy grounds.
Cosimo the Elder, his father Giovanni di Bicci and his grandson Lorenzo the Magnificent were probably the most notorious moneylenders of the 14th and 15th centuries, but nobody dared contrast their power nor accuse them of criminal behaviour. How did they manage to get away with the terrible sin of greed and the consequences it necessarily brought?
In this fully-guided tour on the origins of the wealth and power of the Medici Bank, we will take you to two significant places which exemplify the bizzarre relationship between art, money and the Medici: the Museum of San Marco and the Church of San Lorenzo. We will read the architecture, the paintings and the tombs Cosimo and his descendants commissioned to give you an insight into the cunning strategy the Medici had devised in order to be the richest men in Europe and yet remain invisibile…