The Three Arrows – Bologna, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Casa Isolani is a great example of a 13th-century house in Bologna. The structure is impressive, as the oak beams of the arcade reach 29 feet (9 meters) in height to support the third floor of the building.

What makes this stunning medieval structure even more intriguing are the three arrows stuck in the bottom of the third floor. They are not easy to find, as they are thin and camouflaged. It’s common to see people with their heads up, looking for the unique artifacts. There are three legends that surround the arrows.

One story states that the arrows came from assassins, out to kill a nobleman or a noblewoman accused of adultery by her husband in some reiterations of the story. However, when the archers were preparing to take their shot, a woman noticed them and exposed herself to the killers. The three archers were so shocked, they shot the three arrows into the vault of the arcade, missing their target.

According to the second legend, the arrows came from a battle between two nobles and their guards. Lastly, the final story speaks of painter and engineer Raffaele Faccioli, who in 1877 was responsible for the restoration of Casa Isolani. Bologna is a city full of students and it’s believed a few of them decided to shoot the three arrows into the building during the restoration. 

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February 1, 2021

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