Pistoia, Fascinating City of Worries

Pistoia, one of the most beautiful cities of Tuscany, city of murky feelings and disagreements?
 
 
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Oct. 26, 2012 - PRLog -- “The City of Worries” is a definition that comes from the poem “Pistoia” written by the Italian writer Gabriele D'Annunzio; however, the association between "worries" and Pistoia is to be granted to Dante Alighieri in the canto dedicated to the most famous Pistoiese citizen of his Inferno - Vanni Fucci – who created his hiding haven in this beautiful city. The American Historian William J. Connell also writes in “The City of Worries” that during the Middle Ages and in the following centuries, the Pistoiesi honored the tradition that they were direct descendants of Catiline, a Roman politician who was mean and corrupt and whose troops were defeated near Pistoia in 62 B.C. The idea that Pistoia is a city with factious spirits was consolidated at the time of the battles between the Panciatichi and the Cancellieri Families whose feuds protracted for almost three centuries and finally terminated in a civil war from 1499 to 1502.

But where did these violent fights take place? One of the symbolic points is surely Palazzo Panciatichi located on the central Via Cavour and towards the east, between the Church of San Pier Maggiore, San Bartolomeo, the Palazzo Cancellieri and the Church of San Paolo. The Church of San Paolo in particular was transformed by the Panciatichi in a fortress and it is sadly known as the place where the Cancellieri members threw their enemies from the bell tower, in the bloody Summer of 1500.

Some corners of the city still echo with the battles that took place here, the story of Via del Can Bianco (can bianco = white dog) for instance is tied to the Cancellieri Family who had properties in this area: rumor has it that one night the citizens were awakened by the barking of a dog, that had smelt the enemy getting close to attack the dwellers of this neighborhood... Thanks to the dog, the people were able to reach the streets and thwart the plan of the aggressors. Near "Canto dei Rossi" there is also a street named "Abbi Pazienza" (be patient): legend tells that a man was awaiting in the shadows to assault an enemy, when an innocent passerby crossed his path... The innocent man was assaulted and came close to death, when the assaulter realized his mistake just told him “Abbi pazienza”!

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Caterina Pomini
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