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St. Peter's Obelisk

Around the obelisk in the center of St. Peter’s Square there is a famous story. The historical events that provide the context is in itself extraordinary, but certainly not fail to fascinate the reader looks legendary reporters wanted to hand down.
The magnificent obelisk now know that all adorn the center of the famous elliptical square comes from ancient Egypt and has more than 3200 years. Transport was made in Rome in 37 AD by a ship, as Pliny tells us, was built specially, and then place it in the circus of Caligula.
Took about 1500 years and clearly the scenario changed radically around the obelisk, but it also considered its enormous bulk (25 meters high and 350 tons of weight!) Stayed where Caligula had it originally lay, although by now half-buried ‘ and neglect over the centuries.
Since the time of Pope Nicholas V (1450) they wanted to bring the obelisk in the center of the square, about 250 meters from where it left off, but the enormous technical difficulties prevented that realization. Only after about 150 years, however, the energetic Pope Sixtus V was able to complete the enterprise. Among the projects presented for the displacement of the Colossus, the architect Domenico Fontana met the approval of the Pope
The Fontana realized with the utmost precision his project: he built a large and sturdy scaffolding around the monolith, along a sort of street cabinet, and finally a “castle” around what would be the final location. All with a bold system of winches and pulleys. The operation was delicate and very complex, and it went on from April to September 1586, with the simultaneous use of winches 44, 900 workers and 140 horses. To direct the work of this huge amount of workers, the famous architect had made scaffolding and she gave orders to his staff, orders were transmitted to the sound of trumpets and drums, and with reports of flags.
In anticipation of the difficulties and dangers of the company, the architect had obtained in the course of the work St. Peter’s Square was completely blocked, and the crowd of onlookers were forbidden to emit any noise and to pronounce a single word. The death penalty awaited offenders. Says a chronicler of that to make more effective the strange edict was erected in the square a fork, manned by the executioner and his assistants.
Here the story so far center, mingles with the legend.
It is said that 10 September 1586 came the final moment, the most difficult, that is the moment to hoist the obelisk above the base. Acting divided into 52 shots had managed to place it and lift it vertically on the base, when suddenly the workers realized that, due to friction, the ropes were threatening to break. The obelisk stopped his ascent. The architect, dismay, he did not know what to do. It was then that rose the cry of a man in the crowd, regardless of the edict of the pope: “Water on the ropes!”.
Was the cry of a sea captain named Bresca that, given its long experience with the use of ropes, they knew that under the action of water shrink resisting better to failure. Thanks to his advice the obelisk could be straightened completely and the work was finished.
Bresca, instead of being killed, he was called before Sixtus V and invited to ask a favor. The man, a native of San Remo, asked to have the privilege for himself, for his family and for his descendants, to provide to the Vatican for the ceremony of the palms on Palm Sunday. The monopoly was granted.
Is also a legend that the captain Sanremo, but the fact is well established that the Vatican still held the ancient faith covenant, by which, even today, the descendants of Captain Bresca are the official suppliers of the traditional woven palm (so-called “Parmureli “) to the Vatican, and it is thanks to the courage of their ancestor that nowadays these descendants enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.