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 Our journey started at Firenze Santa Maria train station, we were heading to Pistoia. The Trenitalia train was taking us to the Italian Capital of Culture 2017. It was a quick 30 min journey and once we saw a lot of plants lined up perfectly in thousands of rows outside of our train window- we knew that we arrived at Pistoia – the world famous for producing the huge variety of the ornamental plants.
Pistoia is a hidden gem of Tuscany – beautiful historic Tuscan town without crowds of tourists, delicious food, and wine! It’s one of those places where you get better value for the price in accommodation, food, etc. Our trip was short but sweet, in 3 days we discovered 3 Tuscan cities -Pistoia, Florence and Montecatini Terme, staying every night in Pistoia. The location of this town is so convenient to explore the Tuscan region both by car and train.
La Sala: some food recommendations!
We arrived on Friday evening and straight away went out to the town for a dinner. Friday in August in Pistoia means you can stroll the beautiful medieval streets and choose which place you like to eat. No reservation needed, no queuing, no wait – just what you need after a long day traveling, in our case from Glasgow.
Piazza della Sala is the food square in Pistoia with plenty of choices! I highly recommend to try truffle pasta in Locanda Capitano restaurant – with no doubts it was the best pasta I’ve had in my life (at least by this date) it was heavenly delicious (dinner, 14 euros). Also, Rust Factory bar makes super good Mojitos – it’s just a must have after surviving the day under the sun in 35C heat. And then a sweet tip: try the most delicious pistachio and pine gelato in Gelateria Voronoi (2 euros).
Museums & Libraries
Pistoia has various Museums and Libraries to visit but my favorite landmark discovery was the Bell Tower, which is located in Piazza del Duomo. The only way to get there is to buy a guided tour (7 euros per person) and you get to walk up a few hundreds of steps (which are 900 years old, because the tower was built in the 12th century) , the views over the town you get are so worth the effort going up, and as a “bonus” you get some breeze and the 16th century cupola by Giorgio Vasari.
We’d love to come back again and explore more of the Tuscany, included the local mountains where you can explore different thematic paths thanks to the Eco Museum and enjoy nature. For sure, something we’ll do during our next time in Pistoia!
The “zebra striped” Churches of Pistoia
The Zebra-Striped Churches of Pistoia (Le Chiese Zebrate di Pistoia) are a strong characteristic of this Tuscan city. English architect Bill Homes has dedicated an interesting illustrated book about!
Pistoia, City of Plants
Pistoia is world famous for producing an infinite variety of ornamental plants.
CCTip! The location of Pistoia is really convenient and strategic to explore the Tuscan region by car or by train. It’s also a good choice to break away, for a while, from the mass tourism (unavoidable in nearby cities like Florence/Firenze or Pisa) and enjoy more the authentic local life!