Statue of Fernando I - Atlas Obscura

Statue of Fernando I

A plaque on the base of this statue holds a bewitching design. 

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The statue of Ferdinando I, astride his horse in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, is a familiar sight. But take a closer look at the base of the statue. On the bronze plaque at the rear of the statue is a curious circle of bees, all facing the queen in the center: the bees represent the state of Florence as an industrious community ruled by the grand duke. 

The plaque has acquired a local legend. Some say that it is impossible to count the number of bees using only your eyes. Because of the irregular concentric arrangement, those who try will always lose count—said to be a deliberate trick on the part of the grand duke and the sculptor, Pietro Tacca, who finished the statue started by his teacher, Giambologna. (There are a total of 91 bees depicted on the plaque.) 

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