One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Italy: a Church or State-funded lending house or pawnshop; = Mount of Piety.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in James Howell (?1594–1666), historian and political writer. From Italian monte di pietà from monte + di of + pietà.
Monte di Pietà/ˌmɒntɪ dɪ ˌpiːɛˈtɑː/
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