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[en] In this paper we propose to interpret the large discretization artifacts affecting the neutral pion mass in maximally twisted lattice QCD simulations as O(a2) effects, whose magnitude is roughly proportional to the modulus square of the (continuum) matrix element of the pseudoscalar density operator between vacuum and one-pion state. The numerical size of this quantity is determined by the dynamical mechanism of spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking and turns out to be substantially larger than its natural magnitude set by the value of ΛQCD.