Pistoia is a pleasant trip, easily accessible from Florence. Unfortunately I have not spent enough time there to write much about it, but I do recommend visiting. But this proud citizen has written a perfectly good virtual tour.


The Duomo complex dates to the 12th and 13th centuries, built in the Pisan Romanesque style – the black and white marble striation on the facade reminds us both of Prato and of Siena.

The Ospedale del Ceppo makes a nice comparison to the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence, although it did not serve as a foundling hospital. Rather, from its foundation in 1277, this was a hospital in the way we normally consider it, a place for the sick and dying. In the early 16th century it was under the direction of the Florentine hospital of Santa Maria Nuova. Aesthetically, though, we can return to the Innocenti comparison. The portico dates to after Brunelleschi’s and is clearly inspired by it. The remarkable terracotta frieze by Giovanni della Robbia depicts scenes that reflect the activities of the hospital.

Delicious lunch is to be had at the Enoteca Baldo Vino (Piazza San Lorenzo 5), a slowfood locale at which the wild boar in chocolate sauce made for a memorable meal.

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