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Antonina and the others
on the site of the Fabbrica di San Pietro

Although absent from the daily work lists, many women worked on the site of the Reverenda Fabbrica di San Pietro. They were mostly widows of workers engaged in tasks that did not require specific technical skills. As a sheet recalls, "In the shadow of the large dome" (completely renovated), these women substituted their husbands in order not to incur the penalty stipulated in their contracts. Antonina de Pozzo, widow of James Carone, for example, appears on the list of transporters of travertine marble from 1548 to 1550. While it turns out that Madonna Perna, "washer women of Nostro Signore", in 1542 leased her six donkeys to Master Craftsman Lorenzo at fifteen baiocchi a day in order to transport the earth necessary to build a service road behind the basilica. Throughout the sixteenth century, there was a female presence amongst manual labourers, and it seems that they may have earned the same as men. Even some noblewomen had economic ties with the Reverenda Fabbrica. This was the case with Francesca Farnese (who provided wood from the forests of her own land in 1546) and the Countess of Anguillara, who committed herself to cutting down her pine trees in Cerveteri quickly. On May 17, 1549 she was urged "to speed up delivery to the site."

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 26, 2018

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