Posted by Smokey Stover on April 15, 2005
In Reply to: Go to the mattresses posted by ESC on April 14, 2005
: : Found the origin of "go to the mattresses"? At San Miniato al Monte before going to war with Charles V and Medici Pope Clement VII, Michelangelo was put in charge of defense of the building. "After throwing up dirt ramparts and cobbling together defensible walls out of oak timbers, Michelangelo helped poor Lapo out by devising an ingenious way to protect the tower: He hung mattresses down the sides to absorb the shock of the cannonballs fired at it and left the tower (and, more important, Lapo) still standing." -Quote is from Frommers. http://www.frommers.com/destinations/florence/A33303.html
: All I know is from The Godfather. When the families went to "war," they would get mattresses, etc., and hole up in apartments/houses away from their homes. At least that's what I thought they meant.
Plainly San Miniato is famous for more than one thing. Besides that interesting story, there is the picturesque architecture and outside appearance--memorable. And then, there are the windows. Thin, translucent marble. Neat-o. If you step a few feet down the slope, you find the graves. San Miniato was located on a slope, with little attached land. In order to keep burying people in the "churchyard" they had to be buried on top of people already there. Quite a stack there. SS
See Go to the mattresses - meaning and origin