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Vanni Fucci: the thief from Pistoia

Historical Curiosities

Vanni Fucci: the thief from Pistoia

If, after reading the title, you are trying to recall some piece of news to do with Vanni Fucci, unfortunately you are completely wrong! In fact, we need to go back a long way before our time and actually call upon 'the great poet' Dante Alighieri. Vanni Fucci is in fact one of the characters included in Dante's Inferno. It goes without saying that this does not bode well for Pistoia but there is no escaping the truth, among the many characters of this city Dante was impressed precisely by Fucci! Here is how he is presented in the XXIV canto:

Not long since rained down from Tuscany, to this dire gullet.
Me the bestial life, and 
not the human pleased, mule that I was
Who in Pistoia found my worthy den

No doubt about it, his reputation was not the best: he was even dubbed a beast and a mule! But what had Vanni Fucci stolen to be confined to the gulf of the robbers? He had been accused of Simony for pillaging sacred items and other objects in the Cathedral of Pistoia. There are many stories and hypotheses about the theft! It seems that it came about after a drunken night with two friends, Vanni della Monna and Vanni Mironne, so much so that it was also called the theft of the three Vannis. Another hypothesis is that Fucci, rather than the items, was after some archive texts that detailed his wrongdoings and that perhaps he wanted to remove or alter them.

One way or another, Dante puts him among the damned souls, in the seventh gulf, where by the law of retaliation they are chased by snakes. Moreover, it is likely that Vanni Fucci was treated in this way by Dante because he belonged to the faction of the Black Guelphs, and as such was a political adversary of Dante. Well, talking about Dante perhaps made you think of the book by Dan Brown that as you know is in some parts set in Florence. How about booking our 'Dan Brown Inferno tour' and experiencing Robert Langdon's adventure first hand?

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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