Pistoia

Pistoia, a city of Roman foundation, which maintains its original urban aspects even in the Dark Ages.


PistoiaThe municipal territory of Pistoia extends over an area of 236,77 square kilometres on the edge of the plains, between Monte Albano and the Appenniniche slopes on the left of the river Ombrone, partly in the plain partly hilly and part on the first foothills of the mountains. A city of Roman foundation, which maintains its original urban aspects even in the Dark Ages. In the first centuries after the year one thousand it was surrounded by walls which enclosed a surface of around ten hectares, enlarged during the 1200s in so much that the new walls, constructed in the first half of the 1300s and still in existence, contained an area of one hundred and forty hectares. The municipal growth stopped like this until 1877 when the municipal borders were enlarged with the aggregation of the districts of Porta al Borgo, Porta Carratica, Porta Lucchese and Porta San Marco, while in 1939 part of the district of Cireglio was detached and aggregated to the municipality of Piteglio.
The city of Pistoia, which claims its origins in the II century B.C. due to the fact that the Roman army needed to make use of a fortified settlement as a logistic base in the war against the Liguri for the conquest of the Appenninica area, it developed rapidly, also thanks to the fact that it was crossed by the via Cassia.
Pistoia It was on the rise overlooking the city that, in 62 B.C., the rebel Catilina was surrounded by two Roman legions and killed. At the time of the first Barbaric invasions it suffered destruction and consequent depopulation which considerably reduced the urban area; at the end of the V century however, the presence of their own Bishop was documented. Elevated to the rank of King’s City by the Longobardi (who made it Seat of a Gastaldo [Steward] independent of the Duchies of Lucca and Firenze), at the centre of a committee in the Carolingian era, during which most of the Pistoia territory ended up being divided up in a series of possessions already held by certain Lordly dynasties like the Counts Guidi and the Cadolingi, its inhabitants quickly organised themselves in a municipal organisation, as is shown in the first mention of the Consuls of Pistoia, which goes back to 1105, while the oldest written statute is ascribable to 1117. In the XII century the city was in full expansion and enlarged its boundaries with a second surrounding wall. Under the influence of notable commercial instigations, its politics were orientated towards an alliance with Pisa, which is also testified by the artistic activity of Giovanni Pisano, preserved in the church of Sant’Andrea. Pistoia’s importance grew with the expansion of the exchanges and commercial traffic in the Dark Ages, thanks to its position at the point of convergence of the routes to the north of Italy, the Valdarno Inferiore and Firenze.

During the XIII century it fought a long series of conflicts against Prato, Firenze, Lucca and Bologna and at the same time it was divided internally by the district struggles between the Guelfi and Ghibellini, aggravated at the end of the 1300s by the split between the Bianchi and the Neri, originating from an internal division in the Cancellieri family. In 1306, in order to punish a government in part Bianca filo Ghibellino the Fiorentini army and that of Lucca united, after a hard eleven month siege and starvation the city was conquered and the walls razed to the ground. In the following years there were episodes of struggle and brief moments of independence which were alternated by the incidents by certain members of the local magnate class and Castruccio Castracani from Lucca (Lord of Pistoia from 1322 to 1328) and to the always more unavoidable Fiorentina guardianship, in the person of the magistracy by the Captain in Charge. From 1401 the dominion of Firenze was definitely affirmed over Pistoia, helped not least, by the civil struggle which continued to divide the two opposing families of the Panciatichi and the Cancellieri. Using as an excuse the centuries old feud which continued in the city and in the territory for a further century, Cosimo I in 1538 abolished for a decade all forms of auto-government, trusting the city and its territory to four all powerful commissioners and successively (1556) to a consul of the Pratica Segreta (secret commission) so that in time Pistoia followed, completely overwhelmed, the choice and the fate of the Medicea politics. In 1643, it was attacked by the Barbarini, in the war between the Farnese of Parma and Pope Urbano VIII, but was able to fend them off. During the Leopoldina era, which without doubt marked a moment of economic and cultural revival for the city, a politics of dynamic attention to the needs of the people was put into action, with the administrative reforms, prepared by considerable public works incentives for the resurgent entrepreneurial class.
Museo Rospigliosi - Sacra conversazioneThe encouragement by the Grand Duke also maintained the important diocese synod convoked in September 1786 by Bishop Scipione de’Ricci with the intention of activating many reforms in the Jansenistic sense, pronouncing among other things of being in favour of the subordination of the church to the State; nevertheless the synod decisions were definitively condemned in 1794 with the edict “Auctorem fidei by Pontiff Pio VI. The French domination at the beginning of the 1800s was lived without particular tension, in fact even with a little satisfaction to see the city made Seat of a Subprefecture. The Lorenese restoration determined in the first place an appreciable withdrawal by the jurisdictional faculty, with the establishment of a Kings Commission in the city and the reestablishment of the county Podesta office, in order to establish an enlargement of the jurisdictional territory with the nomination of Pistoia as capital of the district, and finally a new downgrading (1851) as soon as an animated hotbed of anti Grand Duke activity emerged. The cultural urban centres such as the Science, Letters and Art Academies in fact promoted meetings of lettered men with patriotic aims and Niccolò Puccini, a landed gentry from there, was a person of not little importance in the domain of the moderate Toscans. Between the 18 and 1900s another from Pistoia, by adoption, stood out for his intense political activity as well as his cultural interests: Ferdinando Martini. During the twenty years of Fascism founded in Pistoia by the agreement of the land owners and managers of the major industrial complexes, compensated by the provincial autonomy granted in 1927, the opposition to the regime, even though severely repressed, had survived clandestinely by way of groups which were seen in the Italian Communist Party, but also of diverse orientation, above all among the students: libertarian communists, anarchists, Catholics. Following the armistice Pistoia was occupied by the German army for a further twelve months, the population continued to suffer and it was made worse by the frequent allied bombardments; even with many difficulties the partisan movement managed to distinguish itself with both actions in the city and from bases placed in the Pistoia mountains.
After the war Pistoia keenly applied itself to the work of reconstruction, while the local administration powers were trusted to the political strength of the left. The notable improvement of the way of life, evident in part from the 1960s, brought a consistent growth of the resident population and rapid construction development in the suburbs, without evident strain on the tranquil and industrious Pistoia society.

Museo Rospigliosi - Museo DiocesanoAmong the illustrious men who were born in Pistoia one must at least mention the poet and jurisconsult Cino da Pistoia (1270 ca.-1336), artist Niccolò di Tommaso (middle XIV sec.), chronicler ser Luca Dominici (1363-1410), humanist Sozomeno (died1478), poet Antonio Cammelli (1436 1502), Giulio Rospigliosi (1600-1669) who became Pope with the name of Clemente IX, burlesque poet Niccolò Forteguerri (1674-1735), sculptor Marino Marini (1901-1980) and architect Giovanni Michelucci (1891-1991).

Visit Pistoia:
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.
Museo Rospigliosi - Museo DiocesanoPalazzo 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.


Pistoia: discover the surroundings

  • Travel Pistoia Travel Pistoia
    Pistoia and all its surrounding area are just waiting to be discovered through slow walks, sporting activities, art, gastronomy, and music.
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  • A Tour of the villas and gardens of Pistoia A Tour of the villas and gardens of Pistoia
    Set in the Tuscan countryside among farmhouses and hamlets, woods, cultivated lands and gardens, the villas of Pistoia bring together many things.
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  • Montemurlo Montemurlo (10 km)
    The Fortress dominates the center of a beautiful park. It is a strong building made of "alberese"stone in quadrangular form.
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  • Monsummano Terme Monsummano Terme (11 km)
    Monsummano Terme is a thermal resort in the northern part of Tuscany, near Florence, Pistoia, Montecatini and Lucca.
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  • Montecatini Terme Montecatini Terme (13 km)
    Near of highway from Florence and from the Tyrrhenian sea it is to the center of a stupendous valley of ulivi and flowers, Montecatini Terme is an oasis of peace in one of the most suggestive landscapes in Tuscany.
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  • Montecatini Alto Montecatini Alto (13 km)
    Montecatini Alto was a castle of romanesque origin , 299 meters of altitude, that in the past time was the seat of the municipality until the year 1905.
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  • Carmignano Carmignano (16 km)
    Surrounded by the fascinating hilly landscape of Montalbano where vineyards and olive groves supply excellent wines and extra virgin olive oil, Carmignano has much to offer.
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  • Prato Prato (16 km)
    Prato, a comune square, made at the end of the thirtieth century at the crossroad of two main roads, is the ideal and geometrical centre of the town.
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  • Travel Prato Travel Prato (16 km)
    Prato and its surroundings are ideal destinations for tourists, especially young people looking for a vacation of study and intelligent entertainment.
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  • Buggiano Buggiano (16 km)
    The ancient medieval village of Buggiano can be found mentioned in documents from the 10th century.
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  • Vinci Vinci (16 km)
    Set amidst vineyards and olive groves which produce excellent wine and oil, Vinci lies on the slopes of the Montalbano, a range of hills straddling the provinces of Florence and Pistoia.
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  • The Ancient Boundaries of Mountain of Pistoia The Ancient Boundaries of Mountain of Pistoia (17 km)
    The Pistoia mountains, as natural obstacles, are often considered borders destined to separate opposing sides.
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  • Poggio a Caiano Poggio a Caiano (17 km)
    Set in a pleasant spot on the Ombrone river, Poggio a Caiano is a modern town dominated by its magnificent Medici Villa "Ambra".
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  • Vaiano Vaiano (18 km)
    Vaiano it is the most important town in the valley. The most important building is the Badia di S.Salvatore located in the center of the town
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  • Collodi and Pinocchio park Collodi and Pinocchio park (18 km)
    Collodi is famous throughout the world for having given the author of Pinocchio, Carlo Lorenzini, his nom de plume.
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  • Pescia Pescia (18 km)
    The city of Pescia has ancient medieval origins; divided by the river, it is clearly countersigned by two urban sectors: that of the Cathedral and that of the Town Building, where the great plaza is extended.
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Accommodations in the area


    • Fucecchio (Florence)
    • 23 km from Pistoia

    Relais Hotel Vedute

    Relais Hotel Vedute Florence surrounded by green countryside is located in a strategic position near Florence, Lucca, Pistoia, Pisa and Siena
    Our Wellness Center & Ayurvedic Thai Aquamor invites you to know Ayurvedic and Thai experience in Fucecchio Florence

    Availability request


    • Lucca (Lucca)
    • 28 km from Pistoia

    Historic Villa Lucca 12 beds pool

    Historic villa 14 km from the center of Lucca immersed in the green of the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves, it has a private swimming pool and a large park.
    Set on 350 square meters in a dominant position offers a unique view of the hills of Tuscany.

    Availability request


    • Firenze (Florence)
    • 32 km from Pistoia

    Marignolle relais & charme

    The charming Marignolle Relais & Charme, nestled the hills of Florence, is the ideal solution for those who want a place of excellence and relaxation and love peace and privacy without the amenities of a luxury hotel.
    Marignolle Relais & Charme is especially appreciated by travelers looking for style and tradition by offering deluxe rooms or junior suites in a refined, with superior comforts and impeccable services that make this relais an excellence of Florence.

    Booking ONLINE


    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 46 km from Pistoia

    Stone Farmhouse Massarosa 8 beds pool

    Stone farmhouse in typical Tuscan style skilfully and elegantly renovated in a dominant position on the hills of Massarosa with spectacular views that reach the sea of Tuscany. The farmhouse has a swimming pool with whirlpool.
    Perfect solution for those that search the real authentic Tuscany staying in the hills but not far from the Versilia sea.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 47 km from Pistoia

    Villa Camaiore Hills 10 beds pool

    Villa located 3 km from the center of Camaiore in a quiet and sunny position 10 km from Tuscan sea.
    Ideal for those looking for a villa accommodation on the hills of Versilia a few miles from Tuscan sea.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 47 km from Pistoia

    Villa Prato di Sopra Camaiore 10 beds pool

    This villa is really some thing special, perched on the top of a hill the views are endlessly breath taking.
    This villa is really some thing special, perched on the top of a hill the views are endlessly breath taking.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 47 km from Pistoia

    Villa Pieve di Camaiore 8 beds pool

    Luxury and charming villa with swimming pool for rent surrounded by the green hills of Camaiore not far from the sea of the Tuscan coast.
    The villa is ideal for those looking for an oasis of absolute peace and relaxation guaranteed by the elevated position and the external fence in style.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 47 km from Pistoia

    Villa Camaiore Hills 7 beds pool

    Wonderful villa with swimming pool surrounded by greenery, tranquility and privacy of the Pieve di Camaiore about 10 km from the sea of the Tuscan coast.
    The villa has all the comforts necessary to ensure an unforgettable stay in Tuscany and is the ideal solution for small groups up to 7 people who want to stay in the countryside but not far from the sea of Versilia.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 47 km from Pistoia

    Restored Farmhouse Camaiore 9 beds pool

    Beautiful fully restored farmhouse located on the hills of Camaiore. The villa is surrounded by a park of 2500 square meters in which is inserted the beautiful pool.
    Thanks to the dominant position on the valley from the farmhouse you can enjoy a beautiful 360 ° panoramic view.

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 48 km from Pistoia

    Agriturismo Cesani

    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.
    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.

    Availability request


    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 48 km from Pistoia

    Farmhouse Massarosa 14 beds pool

    Beautiful ancient Tuscan farmhouse completely renovated located on Tuscan hills 10 km from the golf course of Versilia. The villa can accommodate up to 14 people.
    An oasis of peace for those looking for a stay in the Tuscan hills while staying close to the sea. Perfect for a relaxing holiday in close contact with nature.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 49 km from Pistoia

    Countryhouse Camaiore 16 beds pool

    Ancient and charming country house located in Camaiore on the Tuscan hills and just 10 km from the sea of Versilia.
    The villa is the ideal solution for those looking for a solution of typical Tuscan charm and in a position of absolute tranquility and relaxation.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 51 km from Pistoia

    Villa Camaiore Hills 10 beds pool

    Prestigious villa for rent on the Hills of Camaiore with a unique position and a panoramic view that extends from the surrounding hills to the sea of Versilia.
    The large park in which the beautiful panoramic pool is expertly set gives this exclusive residence a characteristic of absolute privacy and relaxation.

    Availability request


    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 51 km from Pistoia

    Villa Massarosa 10 beds pool

    Beautiful and spacious villa in the countryside located in the hills of Versilia, 3 km from the golden beaches of the Tuscan coast with private pool and park.
    Perfect solution to stay in the green hills of Tuscany, 3 km from the golden beaches of Versilia

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 51 km from Pistoia

    Villa Camaiore Hills 6 beds pool

    Charming villa for rent on the hills of Camaiore surrounded by beautiful Mediterranean vegetation with three rooms for a total of 6 beds.
    The spectacular view of the surrounding hills and Camaiore from the garden and the swimming pool make this villa particularly interesting for those looking for a solution to relax in absolute privacy.

    Availability request



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