The snake(il Biscione) is the symbol of the Visconti Family from Milan, since the end of the 1200. The coat of arms, symbol of the family who created Grazzano Visconti, is frequently diffused all around the village: it’s iron casted, stone carved or painted on the walls.
A legend,which tells about the snake, talks about the brave Ottone Visconti.
The legend of the snake (Il biscione)
The Visconti Lord, a great and brave leader, had earned seven wins on many strong enemies. His shield was decorated with seven crowns. When Ottone Visconti was in the Holy Land, he had to fight against the most fearsome Saracen warrior; he had a terrible sign: a winged dragon with a baby in its mouth.
With his win, Ottone Visconti decided to keep the coats of arm of his enemy and change the meaning of the image: the dragon has now in its mounth the Saracen warrior. Through the Divina Commedia(Divine Comedy) of Dante Alighieri, the dragon was transformed in “Visconti snake”, how Dante named it in the Purgatorio.
The snake around the streets of Grazzano Visconti
In the little village of Grazzano Visconti is possible to see the coat of arms from Milan on different buildings. Entering the village from the north side, it’s possible to meet the symbol on the walls of a building which seems damasked. It’s possible to find the symbol represented in different ways, as the wrought-iron one.
Actually, the banner of the Hotel Restaurant “Il Biscione” is the Visconti snake.