More than most towns in Tuscany Pistoia has preserved the dark atmosphere of medieval times. The austere beauty of the historical town centre with numerous squares, churches and palaces. Market is held on Wednesday and Saturday in the old part of town, while a vegetable market takes place daily in a small, well preserved square with many grocery stores of high quality. Parking areas are available outside the town centre; they are well signposted and charge a fee.
Places to See
- Piazza della Sala, from the Longobarda era, the “Sala Regis” (King’s Salon) was erected here, that is the palace of the governor of the city. A triangular square, since the year one thousand it has been the Seat of meetings, parties and markets. At its centre is found the Pozzo (well) from 1453 with covered columns.
- Piazza del Duomo; large space of Medieval origins, onto which the major public and sacred buildings of the city face.
- Palazzo del Comune, elegant example of Gothic architecture built between 1200 and 1300 firstly under the direction of the Guelfi, then under that of the Ghibellini. The interior was defined in the XV century. It hosts, on the first floor, the Civic Museum formed by the collection of sacred art.
- Palazzo Pretorio, rich with mullioned windows with two lights and coats of arms, it was built in 1367 on a pre-existing building.
- Palazzo dei Vescovi, constructed in the X century next to the Cathedral, as Episcopal residence, it was successively enlarged . The complex was the Episcopal Seat until 1786. Today it is the property of a bank, and one can still visit it. In the basement the Archaeological Route has been organised, equipped to illustrate the evolution of the zone; The Capitolare Museum, on the first floor, where it is possible to admire the Treasures of the “Opera S.Jacopo” and the extremely precious shrine of the Virgin.
- The Cathedral, dominates the square of the same name with a fascinating façade with three different balconies. Founded in the V century, it was remodelled in the Romanic Pisa form in the XII and XIII centuries. In the following centuries it underwent diverse remodelling, the last in 1951. It is named for S. Zeno. The three nave interior preserves paintings and statues by famous artists, together with the Renaissance masterpiece by Verrocchio: the Sepulchre Monument to Cardinal Forteguerri.
- Baptistery, an octagonal plan, in Gothic style, found in front of the Cathedral. It was erected in 1337 on the location of a previous church. The interior conserves a precious finely worked marble tank from 1226.
- Ceppo Hospital, present day sanitary structure, it was constructed in 1277 between the first and second surrounding walls. The extremely beautiful Fiorentino arcade, was enriched successively by the enamelled freeze from the studio of Della Robbia, figuring the “Sette Opere di Misericordia” (The seven works of Compassion).
- S. Giovanni Fuorcivitas, church constructed between the XII and XIII centuries, with an incomplete façade, but with the northern side covered in white and green marble and decorated with three blind arches. The single nave interior preserves among other works a notable pulpit by frà Guglielmo da Pisa from 1200
- S. Andrea, parish church founded in the Dark Ages, it is an example of Romanic Pistoia architecture; has an incomplete façade. The three nave interior is very narrow and holds a precious pulpit by Giovanni Pisano and diverse sculptures.
- S. Bartolomeo in Pantano, church which owes part of its name to the marshy location on which it was decided to erect it in 1159. The Romaic Pistoia style has an incomplete façade. The bell tower was erected over a cut off tower. The interior with basilica plan is frescoed and conserves a pulpit by Guido da Como from 1250.