PIAZZA DELLA SALA
This was once the location of the steward’s palace – the royal representative of the Longobards in the 8th century. Since the Middle Ages a food market has been held in the square, at the centre of which stands the “Leoncino” well, donated to the city by the Medici in 1451.The Sala, as it is commonly referred to in Pistoia, is one of the city's oldest squares. lts name comes from the Lombard word for the building where the public administration was located and, in fact, this was the site of the viceroy's house during Lombard rule. No trace of this prominent building has survived today but the site's importance is recalled in the name of the Baptistery which has always been referred in as in Corte because of its location near the curtis domini regis. The street that linked the Sala to the gate of Porta San Pietro (today the via di Stracceria and the via della Torre) was called the via regis. With the construction of the Palazzo degli Anziani in the Communal period the center of city life shifted back to the piazza del Duomo and the Sala became the center for free trade and commerce that it is today. A market, mostly selling food products, evolved and artisans established their workshops here. The memory of these different activities still survives in the names of the nearby streets and squares: via del Cacio, sdrucciolo dei Cipollini, via dei Fabbri, via degli Orafi, via del Lastrone (which takes its name from the large stone on which fish was sold) and the piazza degli Ortaggi (which today hosts the sculpture Giro del Sole by the Pistoian artist Roberto Barni).
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