A tragic plot: April 26, 1478
Giuliano and Lorenzo, same dynasty, different destinies
Imagine the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence the morning of April 26, 1478. All the famed characters of the Renaissance are attending solemn mass, officiated by a visiting member of the Papal delegation, namely Raffaele Sansori Riario, a young Cardinal from San Giorgio, the nephew of Pope Sixtus IV. Beneath the morning’s apparent calm, an attack against the Medici was about to take place. It had all been planned by a noble Florentine family, the Pazzi and by Lorenzo il Magnifico’s historic adversaries Pope Sixtus IV, the King of Naples and Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino.
The attempt was quick and spectacular; the silence was broken by a scream, ‘There, traitor!’ And Giuliano de’ Medici, Lorenzo’s brother, was killed by the knife of Francesco de’ Pazzi. Lorenzo, 30 meters away, would have shared his brother’s fate had he not managed to block the priests who tried to kill him. The heavy bronze doors of the Sacristy, prevented the first act of the conspiracy; they closed behind Lorenzo as he miraculously escaped his attackers.