The beautiful church, San Michele in Foro (it is on the site of the Roman Forum), in Lucca was restored in 1866.
This was the height of enthusiasm for the unification of Italy. The craftsmen of the day replaced some of the badly damaged heads at the top of the columns in the upper part of the facade with heroes of the Risorgimento.
Garibaldi makes an appearance on the the third column from the right.
Vittorio Emanuele II looks down on the passing parade.
Mazzini and Cavour are there, but I’m not sure which is which.
Dante also gets a nod.
At the top of the facade stands St Michael. He holds a ring with a red stone in his left hand. (I can’t see it) It is said that, at noon, it reflects the light of the sun into the eyes of anyone standing in front of the Banca Commerciale in Piazza San Michele. Legend says that if you see this light and make a wish it will come true.
The angel’s wings are made up of mobile feathers so the wind can pass through them.
These are all good reasons to stand in front of this gorgeous building for some time. If you go in the late afternoon, it sometimes shines gold in the light.
I found this information in Secret Tuscany, a very interesting book.