A city not yet discoverd by mass-tourism but full of hidden gems: Pistoia won't disappoint you.
Pistoia is a city with many faces - it is therefore no coincidence that Pistoia was the Cultural Capital of Europe 2017. This city will amaze you with its charm and harmony.
The origins of Pistoia go back to the time of the Romans who built the city to assist their troops in their struggle against the Ligurians. It was a center of Gallic, Ligurian and Etruscan settlements before it became a Roman colony in the 6th century BC. This Roman influence can clearly be seen when you visit the city, as it features a rich collection of churches, monasteries, palaces, and artistic treasures. A surprising city emerges between the picturesque alleys and hidden squares: this is Pistoia.
Pistoia, as mentioned earlier, is rich in beautiful Roman and Renaissance monuments and has one of the most beautiful squares in Italy: the Piazza del Duomo. This historic square represents two opposing forces: the cathedral, the focal point of religious power; and the Palazzo Comunale, of political power.
The most striking about this beautiful square is the Bell Tower of the Cathedral, made from an ancient column with Lombard style built in the twelfth century, which offers a spectacular view of the city.
Another valuable structure of the square is the cathedral of San Zeno, which dates back to the period of the early Middle Ages and which was rebuilt in the thirteenth century after having endured two fires. Opposite the church, with its octagonal plan, stands the Baptistery, formerly the chapel of Santa Maria in Corte.
The best time to visit Pistoia, in terms of events and things to do, is definitely July. During July there are a number of (international) music events that characterize the summer. Every year the "Giostra dell'Orso" is organized - a kind of horse race where the various districts of Pistoia are challenged to a duel: il Grifone, Drago, Cervo Bianco and Leon D'Oro.
A second event that has characterized Pistoia for years is the music event "Pistoia Blues", a blues festival that is considered to be the best in Europe.