Only twenty minutes drive from Florence extends Pistoia, a minor touristy attraction for the first time traveller to Italy. A relaxing destination with a bit of everything!
A perfect destination for the art and history lovers for its selection of buildings and monuments such as the Duomo or Cathedral of San Zeno, which was built in the 10th century on the edge of the Piazza del Duomo. This is the seat of the Bishop of Pistoia and has a Romanesque façade, nave and two side-aisles, with a presbytery and crypt. It is first mentioned in 923, but suffered greatly over the centuries, being damaged by fire in the 12th and early 13th centuries and then by earthquake in 1298.
|Cathedral of San Zeno, Pistoia|
Fantastic place for who loves contemporary art! Pistoia offers a big selections of museums, including the Marino Marini, which offers exhibitions for contemporary living artists.
Market: Piazza della Sala is one of the most ancient squares of the city and dues its name to the longobard word used to indicate the palace where the government of the city resided. Later, it became the place of the every day market and the trades, and still today this is the square where, every day, there is market, where fruits and vegetables can be bought. Here you can meet the locals whilst also grabbing a bargain or two!
Summer events: each year during the month of July, Piazza del Duomo becomes the centre of the Carousel Bear (Giostra dell'Orso), whose name has its origins in 1947. This competition was already held in 1200 in honor of St. James, the patron of the city. This was attended by famous knights and nobles from all over Italy, such as Piero Giambacorta of Pisa (1380), Erasmus Gattamelata of Venice (1434) and Carlo of Oddi of Perugia (1456).
Pistoia is a mix of everything, an alternative day, only a short ride from Florence or Prato.
Go and enjoy yourself!