Stories by the “Creative Curious Travellers 2017” about the city of Pistoia. Thanks to: Giorgio Tesi Group | Discover Pistoia | NATURART | La Sala | FAI Giovani – Pistoia | BrickScape.it | Brandini – Pistoia | Comune di Pistoia | Pistoia Italian Capital of Culture 2017.
PISTOIA is located in Tuscany, halfway between the more famous cities of Firenze and Lucca. We have visited its centre and its surroundings, the local mountains and some small villages nearby. This map shows our route through the province of Pistoia.
Pistoia is the Italian Capital of Culture 2017. Although it’s not yet so well known as other cities of the Tuscan region, there is a lot to see and do in this welcoming city.
Pistoia by day
The old town of Pistoia can be easily explored in one day and it’s beautiful. Lots of hidden treasures and surprising details, fascinating architecture, romanesque churches and monuments. It’s worth mentioning also the warm-tones buildings with dark green windows.
A characteristic and recurring urban element is the zebra-striped theme in the facades of many important buildings like the Duomo, the Bell Tower, the Baptistery of San Giovanni and the San Giovanni Fuorcivitas church.
Piazza Duomo has always been, for centuries, the civil and religious centre. A meeting place. We have also seen many people sitting there to draw, to be inspired by so much beauty.
Another very interesting square is Piazza della Sala, nearby Piazza Duomo, where everyday it takes place the traditional fruit and vegetable market; local products and so many colours.
One aspect we noticed (and we love) is that in the centre of Pistoia one of the most used means of transport is the bicycle. There were bicycles everywhere, in every corner!
Walking around the centre, we found streets and places full of charm. Also, we can’t forget the local gastronomy, simply delicious.
Pistoia by night
At the evening Pistoia changes. Piazza della Sala, full of market stands and people doing shopping in the morning, turns into a meeting point both for locals and visitors. Here and in the alleys around it’s difficult to choose among the many restaurants with terrace where to have an aperitif or dinner. Walking around by night, more or less everywhere in the old town, you’ll feel and breathe a magical atmosphere.
After having explored the city of Pistoia we decide to visit Montecatini Terme, a near town built around its mineral water springs and so rich in thermal spas. “Il Tettuccio” – founded in the late 18th century – is the largest and most famous resort.
The liberty architecture is simply extraordinary. Here you can drink (or just try!) the thermal water if you want (it’s healthy but indicated in particular to help people with stomach or liver troubles).
Moreover, inside Tettuccio Terme, you can find spectacular gardens, several special halls and also an elegant bar, really impressive, where you can take a coffee, cocktail or ice-cream. A bit expensive but worthy.
On the road to…
Our following destinations were some tiny villages in the mountains nearby. But first we decided to see another little town, to take a break in Pescia.
Then we continued our trip towards the mountains, along beautiful winding roads full of trees.
We arrived to Piteglio and stopped here for a while. It’s a small charming village in the middle of the forests with “nonni” (grandparents in Italian) sitting in front of their home doors and cats wandering or sleeping in the little alleys.
Ponte Sospeso and Cutigliano
Afterwards, we followed our way to San Marcello Pistoiese to contemplate and cross the impressive Ponte Sospeso (Suspension Bridge).
It was built in 1923 to help the local employees to reach the ironworks on the other side of the valley crossed by Lima river – and for a long time it has been the world’s longest suspension footbridge.
We have concluded our exploration in Cutigliano, another pleasant village at the top of the “pistoiese” mountains. This area, known as Abetone, is a skii resort in winter.
Here we have been admiring the Palazzo Pretorio and the great quantity of flowers that decorate the houses’ facades, doors, steps, and lanes at every corner.