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Curiosities of Florence - The bull and the Baker

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Did you know there’s a bulls head on top of the Duomo in Florence?

If you look on the left hand side of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral or the Duomo, on top of a supporting column is a bull's head sticking out. It’s been said that it is really a head of a cow to honor all the animals that helped in the construction of the Duomo over the centuries.

However, there is a story that locals believe to be more true as to why the Bull’s head is where it is.

Legends says that the bull’s head was placed in that exact spot by one of the master stonemasons who was working on the Duomo. This man had an affair with a baker's wife who had a shop not far from the cathedral.

The baker found out about the love affair and went into a rage, threatening the master stonemason and condemned his wife for adultery before the court. The lovers were found guilty and forced to stop seeing each other.

As an act of revenge the stonemason mounted a “toro cornuto” or cuckolded bull right in front of the baker's house so that every time he looked out, he would remember his wife’s betrayal.


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