Pistoia and all its surrounding area are just waiting to be discovered through slow walks, sporting activities, art, gastronomy, and music.
The Tuscany of these itineraries is a place still as yet little known, far from the mass tourism of other parts. Pistoia and all its surrounding area are just waiting to be discovered through slow walks, sporting activities, art, gastronomy, and music. Let’s go in search of the history and culture of this corner of Tuscany, always keeping in mind nature and its scenery.
Medieval treasures and contemporary art
For a stay devoted to art, the Pistoia region is the ideal destination. Art treasures can be found everywhere, in the beautiful and authentic old town centres of Pistoia and Pescia, and in the famous spa town of Montecatini with its Art Nouveau buildings in green surroundings, or in the numerous villas, marvellous examples of the harmonious balance between art and nature.
Evidence of a great medieval past can be seen in the many Romanesque churches with their typical green and white marble, scattered throughout the old centre of Pistoia, in particular the Duomo in which can be found the wooden Cross by Coppo di Marcovaldo and the silver altar of San Jacopo, a masterpiece of gothic silverwork, and also in the church of San Francesco in Pescia, with its precious tablet depicting the Saint and stories from his life. Still in the centre of Pistoia, an example from the Renaissance period to be admired is the Basilica della Madonna dell’Umiltà whose large dome is one of the symbols of the city, and from the baroque period, the great altar designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the church of Santo Spirito.
Just as rich in history and art are the towns and villages of the surrounding area, from the villages of Montalbano (Larciano, Lamporecchio, San Baronto) through the most beautiful vineyards and olive groves in Tuscany to the distinctive hamlets both in the green hills of the “Svizzera Pesciatina” and in the shade of the old mountain churches (in Cutigliano, San Marcello, Popiglio and Sambuca).
And finally, contemporary art and architecture can be found throughout the region, one of the richest in Tuscany in important works, including the Fattoria di Celle, an open-air museum of environmental art immersed in green surroundings and the Pinocchio park in Collodi, a masterpiece of contemporary art.
The province of Pistoia is a corner of Tuscany where the tourist can find surroundings that are still unspoilt, made up of genuine, picturesque scenery, typical of the Apennines and rich in flora and fauna. Between panoramic points and gentle hills, nature reserves and protected areas, the visitor will travel through splendid woods of oak and chestnut, beech and fir; will come across lakes, valleys, hillocks cultivated as gardens and fields covered with age-old olive trees and grapevines, echoes of a rural culture not yet lost.
The colours and flavours of the region can also be tasted by going to one of the many festivals that are held throughout the year in the towns and small villages alike, and which offer a wide range of traditional local produce.
The touristic worth of this province, already rich in art and history, is also owed to the conservation and salvage of its natural environment, to the high-quality services and to the numerous facilities for sports and leisure. The tourist will find hospitality not only in the usual hotels but also in the old farmhouses converted into accommodation or in the cosy, traditional bed and breakfasts set in enchanting scenery, studded with small quiet villages.