Church of San Leone - Visit Pistoia
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Church of San Leone

The "Sistine Chapel of Pistoia": an art treasure chest in the heart of the city



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A true jewel of 18th century Pistoia art, brought back to its original glory by a recent restoration. It now holds temporary exhibitions.

The Church of San Leone goes back to the 14th century, but it is mainly thanks to alterations made in the 18th century, by the Pistoia architect, Raffaello Ulivi, that it has become one of the most important buildings of 18th century art and architecture in Pistoia.

The walls, ceiling, and the domed apse are covered with pictorial decorations realized by the most important artists of 18th century culture, such as Vincenzo Meucci and Giuseppe Del Moro, who were followed by Mauro Tesi, who decorated the central part of the vault.

Mostra Pistoia Piccola Compostela
Mostra Pistoia Piccola Compostela. L’altare argenteo di San Iacopo. Photo credit: Nicolò Begliomini

Thanks to the restoration and conservation of its interior (stuccos, altars, doors and windows, choirs…..), this church has been brought back to its original beauty. Considered to be one of the most important, yet little known, masterpieces of the 18th century – so much so that it is often called the “Sistine Chapel of Pistoia” – it now holds temporary exhibitions.