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December 1, 2018

Pistoia – A Jewel in Our Regions Crown

Filed under: Uncategorized — Darren & Malcolm @ 1:57 pm

Pistoia – A Jewel in The Region’s Crown



Many people visiting Tuscany are naturally dazzled by the glories of the Renaissance at Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa. I would suggest that you can spend a day of your holiday discovering the wonders of a lesser known city like Pistoia.

According to one theory, Pistoia lent its name to the pistol, which started to be manufactured in Pistoia during the 16th century. Today, it is notable for new industries such as the building of trains and for the extensive plant nurseries surrounding the city, producing plants and trees delivered around the world. Pistoia is also famous for its flower markets, as is at our nearby city of Pescia.

Catiline & His Slain Men

Pistoria in Latin other possible forms are Pistorium or Pistoriae and was a centre of GallicLigurian and Etruscan settlements before becoming a Roman colony in the 6th century BC, sitting along the important road Via Cassia:

Via Cassia

In 62 BC the demagogue Catiline, not a nice chap it would seem, but very popular with the poor and his fellow conspirators were slain in a battle near Pistoia. From the 5th century the city was a bishopric, and during the Lombardic kingdom it was a royal city and had certain privileges. Pistoia’s most splendid age began in 1177 when it proclaimed itself a free commune, or city state: in the following years it became an important political centre, erecting walls and several public and religious buildings such as it’s hospital, cathedral, city hall and baptistry.


City Hall at The Palio


The river that ran through the city was converd over and the dry riverbed can now be visited beneith the city streets and acient buildings. It is an interesting Tour with quite an insight into the city’s workings and history. A wheel that would have pressed olives can seen which used the water as a power source.

As was very common, a war in 1254 saw the taking of ‘Ghibelline Pistoia’ by Guelph Florence, it good to ‘hiss’ here as Florence is not part of our Region! Pistoia remained a Florentine holding except for a brief period in the 14th century, when Castruccio Castracani captured it for Luccaagain ‘hissing’ is good because Lucca is a regional rival, but a great Tuscan city to visit.

Water wheel that would have pressed olives.

Dante mentioned in his Divina Commedia, the free town of Pistoia as the home town of Vanni Fucci, a thief who is thrown into the Inferno tangled up in a knot of snakes and burnt to death. Nice!



One of the most famous families of the city was that of the Rospigliosi, cloth and wollen  merchants and owners of agricultural estates. The Rospigliosi family provided a pope in 1667 with Giulio Rospigliosi, who briefly reigned as Clement IX (1667–69), and gave several cardinals to the church. One cardinal Rospigliosi named “Il bambino Rospigliosi”.

Pope Clement IX

The 11th Prince Rospigliosi, Filippo, is the present (12th) Earl of Newburgh in the peerage of Scotland. The family have palaces in Rome and Pistoia, which can be    visited. The current Earl & Price Rospigliosi live in Milan.

‘Il Bambino’




11th Prince Rospigliosi






Eating in Pistoia is a delight. Its a relaxed afair with fantastic local food businesses who have a great pride in making such delicious food for locals and visitors alike.

Image result for Resaurants and streets in Pistoia






There are many fantasitc places to visit in Pistoia not least the Cathedral and the Baptistry. However smaller churches have fantastic works by Pisano for example at San Andrea.

San Andrea with Pisano Pulpit

Della Robbia at San Leone

We hope you will visit Pistoia and Casa Verde its a joy to see.

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