The Italian capital of culture of 2017

The beautiful Pistoia is one of the main art cities of Tuscany. Located at the north-western end of the plain where Florence and Prato also rise, the city is located in the northern part of the region and its province extends to the border of Emilia-Romagna. Pistoia is a city with unquestionable charm and a great historical-artistic and cultural heritage, so much so that it was named Italian Capital of Culture in 2017.

The city was founded by the Romans and already in the fifth century A.D. it was elected bishopric. During the Lombard domination, Pistoia experienced a strong economic and demographic development which continued also during the central centuries of the Middle Ages, when the city acquired the status of free municipality. Ghibelline city, Pistoia was an ally of Pisa and Siena and enemy of Florence and Lucca who defeated it in 1306. Having lost its autonomy, Pistoia experienced a period of decline that ended with the advent of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany when the city experienced a new cultural awakening.

Pistoia has its center in the magnificent Piazza del Duomo overlooked by some of the main monuments of the city: the Cattedrale di San Zeno with its majestic bell tower, the Palazzo Vescovile, the Baptistery, the Palazzo Comunale and the Palazzo Pretorio. This has always been the center of political and religious power in the city but it is certainly not the only thing to see when visiting Pistoia. The city is really rich in monuments, churches and museums. In the picturesque Piazza della Sala is the Pozzo del Leoncino and not far from the beautiful Chiesa di San Giovanni Fuoricitivas. Other churches to see are the one dedicated to San Bartolomeo and that of San Pier Maggiore. Do not miss also the Fortezza di Santa Barbara and the many museums of the city such as the Museo Marino Marini, the Museo Civico, and the Pistoia Sotterranea.

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