The piazza del Duomo is now defined by its main buildings that, over the centuries, has characterised the political and religious life of the city: the Palazzo Comunale, the Palazzo Pretorio, the San Zeno Cathedral, the Palazzo dei Vescovi, the Baptistery and the spectacular bell tower.
The intriguing Piazza della Sala belongs to the oldest part of the town, the part that includes various sacred buildings (although some are deconsecrated) which offer evidence to the centrality of religion in Pistoia’s history. The historic centre is designed in the shape of a ring which follows the layout of the first circle of walls. Whilst walking through these streets, you’ll come across precious and surprising works: alongside the Piazza del Duomo, it is also worth mentioning the Ceppo Hospital, decorated with the majestic "Robbiano frieze", the parish church of Sant'Andrea with the splendid pedestal by Giovanni Pisano, or the Church of Tau, extensively decorated with beautiful medieval frescoes.
If you visit Pistoia, you’ll find your gaze drawn to the magnificent white and black marbles that decorate the exterior of the church of San Giovanni Fuorcivitas. Just beyond the church is the church of San Filippo Neri and the Fabroniana Library.
Next is the Civic Museum of Pistoia, where you’ll find a flood of historic art inside the Town Hall, alongside an in-depth study of twentieth-century and contemporary art at Palazzo Fabroni.
But to truly discover Pistoia, you need to head out of the city centre and explore the hills that surround it, losing yourself among the Montagna Pistoiese Ecomuseum trails. The village of Orsigna is unmissable and, once here, it’s worth stopping at Molino di Giamba, to truly experince the city’s hidden and rural soul.