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Discover Pistoia on a Day Trip from Florence

Discover Pistoia

Tuscany is a region bursting with places to visit, all of which are possible on a day trip from Florence. From Pisa to Siena and San Gimignano to Montalcino, the heart of Italy is blessed with so many wonderful architectural, historical and cultural attractions. Even beyond the famous towns, cities and villages, more off the beaten path beauty spots are just waiting to be discovered.

Pistoia is one such example and, located between Florence and Lucca, it is often overlooked in favour of its more glamorous neighbours. For those who do take the time to include it on a day trip from Florence, this unexpected hidden gem is one that won’t disappoint.

Interesting Fact: The main starting point for the Camino di Santiago is in the main square of Pistoia!

Exploring Pistoia Despite being very easy to explore without a set itinerary, this place has some definitive must-sees.

Cathedral of San Zeno

Situated in the main square, and dating back to the tenth century, this cathedral exudes an elegant presence. As with many cathedrals of its age it has been reconstructed in parts, so what you see today is not all original. The cathedral honours the influential bishop known as San Zeno, and displays his statue on its roof alongside that of the city’s patron, San Jacopo. The relic of San Jacopo is now held in the Cappella del Crocifisso, which you will find on the right wall of the building.

San Giovanni Fuorcivitas

A beautiful religious complex, this is one of the most appealing buildings in the town. The facade resembles that of the Duomo in Florence with its striped polychrome marble design. The arch of the main doorway houses a sculpture of the last supper, while inside there is a myriad of religious artefacts, including a polyptych by Taddeo Gaddi.

Museo Capitolare Di Pistoia

Anyone interested in visiting a museum on their day trip from Florence to Pistoia should make their way to this one. Famous for housing a huge number of relics and artifacts taken from the influential buildings around the town, the museum is a haven for culture buffs. The Reliquary of St. Zeno, the Cross of St. Atto and the monument of Cardinal Niccolo Forteguerri are a few among many others.

Palazzo Del Comune

The Piazza del Duomo is encircled by many buildings of historic interest, including the Palazzo Commune, which dates back to the thirteenth century. You may or may not realise that the palace was actually never finished, a fact that often goes unnoticed thanks to the striking stone work and ornate arches, as well as the prominent Medici coat of arms. Inside, the rooms are decorated to replicate what they would have looked like originally and many walls are adorned with beautiful artwork. The small but interesting municipal museum can also be found inside and is definitely worth a look.

Pistoia Zoo

While this may not be the first attraction on the list when you visit the town, if you have young children with you it might be one worth considering. It is home to more than 700 species of animals and is an excellent example of a modern zoo.

Hopefully this introduction to an often overlooked town has given you a little insight into what this place has to offer on a day trip from Florence. Book with a local tour operator and they will be able to lead you to these attractions and many more.

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