The city is small but has a number of wonderful historical features. In particular the splendid romanesque ‘duomo’, with attached to it one of the loveliest baptistries in Italy. The grand piazza in which the cathedral stands in it’s unpretentious corner will be host to many as the summer events on offer this year. This includes the annual Pistoia Blues Festival, with the band Jesus and Mary Chain, as well as opera and ballet. Outdoor concerts include The Chorus of Maggio Musicale of Florence, The Royal Philaharmonic Orchestra and British singer Tom Odell. Here is a link to the many events on offer here through the year….www.pistoia17.it/en/.
Pistoia City of Culture 2017 This year our provincial capital Pistoia is celebrating it’s status as Italian City of Culture 2017 www.pistoia17.it. This is a highly prestigious event for our local city that sits in the shadow of it’s much more famous neighbours Florence and Pisa. Pistoia is only a 40 minutes drive from Casa Verde, either by the beautiful mountain route across Svizzeria Pesciatina above Vellano; or otherwise down the valley to Pescia and a quick run along the Autostrada.
Pistoia has many good restaurants in the old city centre, a great place to wander and explore with some fine Gelaterie. In the summer along the many old side streets the dining tables outdoors create a special, friendly and intimate atmosphere to enjoy your evening passeggiata, followed by delicious local food.
The other highlights of the city also include the lovely Romanesque church of San Bartolomeo, with a splendid carved pulpit from 125o by Guido da Como. The Ospedale del Ceppo with a famous tiled frieze above the colonnaded portico by Andrea della Robbia. Close by the Ospedale marks the entrance to the Pistoia Sottoterreneo– these are the underground passages under the city. These vaults and cellars existed for the purpose of protecting the city from flooding due to the large river beds on which it was built, so they provided storage, warehouse, workshops, a sewage system and perhaps escapes from invaders even.
They even hold concerts in the vaults from time to time!
The Fondazione Marino Marini celebrates the work of the local artist and contemporary sculptur Marino Marini, who has a museum in Florence but is a native of the city. Pistoia is a city of flowers and plants and all to the south in the flat marshlands, there thousands of acres of plants nurseries selling plants to all over the world. To the north of the City there are the lower and higher Appenines reaching all the way to walking paths and the ski resorts at Abetone.
If you have been to Tuscany before and missed this quiet neighbour to the more famous places in the area then now is the time to go.
Pistoia City of Culture 2017: Click Here: www.pistoia17.it
Open Week’s great video: Click Here: Open Week