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'Via Abbi Pazienza' in Pistoia, the story of a botched ambush

Historical Curiosities

'Via Abbi Pazienza' in Pistoia, the story of a botched ambush

If you find yourself in Pistoia, you might happen to be walking along one of the streets in the town centre with a rather bizarre name: 'Via Abbi Pazienza' (literally ‘Have patience street’). You will probably think that this name was introduced to celebrate the mild character of Pistoia folks. Given, however, that the inhabitants are all but patient and, instead, rather inclined to argue and complain, there must be a different explanation. Indeed the origin, as it often happens when you delve into the past, seems to be manifold. There are, in fact, two historical explanations that describe how this original name came about, both originating from the same beginning: the fight between White and Black Guelphs in the late 1200s and early 1300s.

The first hypothesis derives from an engraving found on a small fountain located on the side of the palace belonging to the Rossi family, a very powerful one in the Blacks faction. After fires and looting at the hands of the Whites failed to tear the Rossi’s mansion down, they decide to have these words engraved on all four sides: 'Man changes. Why? For the better. Have patience '. And this is the first explanation, a plausible one, based on circumstantiated facts... but rather dull, don’t you think?

So I will tell you about the second much more exciting one. It starts with the classic dark and stormy night . One of the members of the Rossi family had a tip-off, according to which, that night, one of the Whites, and in particular their archenemy, was supposed to walk past the street corner where their palace was located. What better occasion to finish him off? The murderer, all muffled up, stood waiting, fully alert and with a knife in his hand. As soon as he heard the sound of footsteps and saw a shadow walk down the street he pulled his knife out and ... nothing else! The other, as quick as a flash, grabbed his hand causing the knife to drop out of reach. After the initial commotion, the Rossi family member soon realized that the person he almost killed was instead his best friend. What a wuss, we would call him nowadays! He found nothing better than to say: 'Have patience. We got it wrong!'. So, a clumsy ambush could instead be the cause of the funny name. What do you think? Did you like this second story better?

Considering this particular anecdote, we would like to advise you to visit this charming city, proclaimed as the Italian Capital of Culture 2017. Book one of our hotels in Pistoia and discover its extraordinary events!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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