Things to do in Pistoia

Top Things to Do in Pistoia

Things to Do in Pistoia


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Top Attractions in Pistoia

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Architectural Buildings
Built in its present form in Gothic style in the first half of the XIV c. on the site of the old “Paleochristian” and Baptismal church of Santa Maria and San Giovanni. The name “in corte” certifies the presence of a Curtis domini regis, the headquarters of the “gestaldo” in the Lombard period. During the building, which lasted from 1338 to 1360, the grave of Bishop Atto, who died in 1153, was found (he introduced the “Jacobean” cult in Pistoia). Even though Vasari claimed that Andrea Pisano had designed the baptistery there’s no sure proof about that. It is sure, however, that Cellino di Nese managed the operation: he’s responsible for the outside marble facing. The white marbles originate from Siena and Carrara; the green ones from Prato. The octagonal shaped building presents a pyramidal roofing completed by an elegant lantern. The cupola is covered with sheets of lead surrounded by an open gallery with marble balustrade enriched with spires and statuettes. In the lunette of the main door we can notice the sculptures of Madonna with Child between St. John the Baptist and St. Peter that are traditionally attributed to Nino and Tommaso, sons of Andrea Pisano. The architrave is divided in four bas-reliefs depicting stories of St. John’s life. The door-knockers of the central portal are a masterpiece of wood-cutting and are the work of Pier Francesco Ventura (1523). Inside, the baptismal font can be seen, carved by Lanfranco da Como in 1226. During the Baroque period, this was included in a structure surmounted by the marble statue of St. John the Baptist, a work by Andrea Vacca, now on view in the Baptistery.
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What travellers are saying

  • kgilbert78
    Columbus, OH2,711 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We happened to go on one of the hottest days of the year--it was well over 100 F. But we enjoyed our time there. It is fairly easy to find, though out in the country a bit. Many of the animals were not doing much due to the heat, though the penguins were active (they were African penguins, however) as were the otters. Unfortunately, the elephant was in its barn. The reptile exhibits were in an interesting building. There is a good restaurant near the entrance (which we visited). Parking is easy. Admission was not expensive. They give you a good map with admission, and the park is well marked. This is not a fancy zoo--it's closer to three stars than five stars. But we had an enjoyable time except for the heat.
    Written 11 May 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Vicky Silve
    Abbadia Lariana, Italy699 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pistoia is not a very well-known city, you mightn’t have heard about it so many times, but it offers some beauties too, such as the beautiful Cathedral of St. Zeno in the main square of the town. It’s in Romanic style, recognizable from the black stripes.
    Written 5 August 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • David S
    London, UK177 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    An unusual and distinctive museum in a former hospital, with three diverse elements. Closest to the entrance is an explanation of how the magnificent frieze that graces the front of the building was produced. Then in a large room is a display of largely 19th century surgical instruments, along with a video describing the history of a mental health institution in the outskirts of the city. The final, most memorable part of the museum is a beautifully preserved anatomical theatre (note you need to go back to the ticket office in order to be taken to see it).
    Written 3 June 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • stappFlorida
    Bradenton, FL100 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pistoia is a lovely city for a day trip. The piazza is beautiful. It has a lovely duomo, a magnificent bell tower and an octagonal baptistry.
    Written 29 December 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Michael H
    Norwich250 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    How wonderful to find a traditional market square which was a bustling, thriving centre selling fresh fruit and vegetables. No transit vans or noisy generators here ... just simple covered market stalls selling high quality local produce and attracting good custom. Turn the clock back and this would be a scene from yesteryear! The smell, sound and local community engaging together was a delight, and exploring Pistoia was to reveal some stunning architecture and wonderful hidden surprises. Lots to see here and not as busy as many of the popular tourist destination in Tuscany.
    Written 25 May 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • LadureeFan
    Richmond, VA1,210 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We had a skip the line tickets for Brunelleschi's Dome which allowed us entrance to the Baptistry so we went. Not as impressive as other structures we visited....but glad we saw it. The doors are impressive so if you don't go inside, at least take a look at the doors.
    Written 25 November 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • G.B.
    871 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This church contains within it several works worthy of attention. I highly recommend a guided tour (we went with a tour organized by the Tourist Office), to discover all the features of the Pulpit made by Pisano (the son, however), with some truly spectacular sections.
    Written 16 November 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TrishEn
    Florence, Italy33 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pistoia is a lovely little town and this museum is well located in the centre. It is not large and only takes a short time to visit. A well -trained and informative guide is assigned to take you around. Tour times are on the door. If you're only in the town for a short time, you'll still have time for a tasty lunch. And a bro use around the shops.
    Written 28 September 2015
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Borzov
    Rijeka, Croatia5,258 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Romanesque church was built in the 14th century on the site of the old Lombard church which was located outside the city walls, hence its name “Fuoricivitas” meaning “outside the city”. It is a huge structure with nice facade and very interesting interior. The most notable work is the white ceramic glaze by Luca della Robbia named “Visitation”.
    Written 16 October 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • tanya K
    Thessaloniki, Greece4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice view from the Top in the center of the City all people were nice enough to provide information, we were lucky it was open
    Written 27 October 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Borzov
    Rijeka, Croatia5,258 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The church dedicated to Saint Bartholomew the Apostle and named after the marsh area (“pantano”) that surrounded the building, is another gem of the city. It was founded in the 8th century and restored in the 12th century by Abbot Buono in the characteristically Romanesque style, with arches supported by the columns and marble decorations made in two different colors (usually white and dark green). The latest renovation aimed to bring the interior of the building in its original appearance, after many modifications made over the years, which also brought to light many forgotten frescoes.
    Written 17 October 2018
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • ktbeenthere2015
    New York City, NY260 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not intending to go to Pistoia, I was delightfully surprised when visiting this town and discovering a place that is not on the beaten path. We originally were drawn to the beautiful ceramic glaze frieze with figures depicting the acts of mercy on the hospital (worth the time to see) when we happened upon the Pistoia Sotterranea. We arrived at the start of an English tour. Our guide, Silvia, made the tour interesting using her sense of humor to highlight points along the way. Part of the tour that gets second billing was the medical school anatomy lab where dissections of human cadavers by medical students took place in the 18th Century. The room is a work of art, and we all wanted to sit in the room a little while. (I wish there was more information on the life of med students in the 1700s, how much money was required to attend a school like this, was this considered prestigious?) The subterranean tour is the main billing and piques your interest at how to dispose of garbage, did they ever clean the river (in the way we might now), was there ever a low river or shortage of water flow backing up dead animals or other blockages under the hospital, how does usage of the river for waste affect clean water supply, and how were they able to create such durable vaults 500 years ago.

    I agree with another comment that "those looking for the wow factor will be disappointed, but we like to see things from alternate viewpoints so enjoyed the experience." This is one of those places. If you catch it on the right day and you are in a frame of mind to be open to it, it is a 5 star event.

    If you are claustrophobic, you should consider if you will be comfortable. There are stairs and a low ceiling, someone with walking difficulties should ask questions before descending (it is not long, difficult or far but it is uneven).
    Written 4 January 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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