The Feast of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore
8 September 1296 is the memorable date that the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore has adopted as the date of its foundation.
This meaningful choice is based on the premise that the cathedral may be identified with the entity tasked with looking after it. The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (8 September) in 1296 was reportedly the day chosen to lay the foundation stone of the new ecclesiamaior which was to replace the now hopelessly inadequate church of SantaReparata. What is absolutely certain, at any rate, is that the Opera has not been idle since that memorable day, working unstintingly and without a break for fully seven centuries, making this ancient institution one of the strongest links that Florence still has with its history today.