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Its peak was between the 12th and 13th centuries. Still set within its walls, Pistoia’s art treasures have earned it the title of “city of art”.

 

Founded by the Romans, its peak was between the 12th and 13th centuries. Still set within its walls, Pistoia’s art treasures have earned it the title of “city of art”.

The most important buildings are on Piazza del Duomo: the Cathedral, dedicated to the cult of the city’s patron San Jacopo; Palazzo degli Anziani, the town hall; and Palazzo del Podestà, or Pretorio, the past and present seat of the Court.

Once a political centre during the Lombard period, Piazza della Sala is one of the symbols of the city with the Pozzo del Leoncino, and today one of the most popular places with its food market, historical shops, and many trattorias – the city’s enduring heart.

The churches of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas, Sant’Andrea, San Bartolomeo, and San Pier Maggiore are all wonderful expressions of Pistoia’s Romanesque architecture.

Renaissance Pistoia is represented by the Basilica of the Madonna dell’Umiltà and the loggia of the Spedale del Ceppo, with its ceramic frieze by the Della Robbia school.

The city’s museums reflect Pistoia’s historical and cultural wealth: from the oldest art in the town hall’s Civic Museum of antique art, the Museum of the Spedale del Ceppo, the Antico Palazzo dei Vescovi, the Rospigliosi Museum and Diocesan Museum to modern art with the Museum of the 20th Century and the Contemporary in Palazzo Fabroni, the Fernando Melani House-Studio, the Marino Marini Museum, the Giovanni Michelucci Documentation Center, Palazzo de’ Rossi, and Palazzo Buontalenti up to those linked to the area’s history, like the Embroidery Museum, the Luigi Tronci Foundation, and the Pistoia Sotterranea underground tour.

Outside the city walls: near the railway station are the Historical Rolling-Stock Depot, a leading national centre for the repair and protection of steam locomotives, and the San Giorgio Library, the largest in Tuscany.

It is worth visiting the Medici Fortress of Santa Barbara, the historical park of Villa Puccini in Scornio, the Sigfrido Bartolini House-Museum, and the Jorio Vivarelli Foundation. Just outside the city is the Zoological Garden of Pistoia.

Pistoia

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