I may have not been able to visit Pistoia’s fabulous food shops on my recent visit, but I was able to stroll around town. When I visited the town with my group last year we were all about shopping and dining and didn’t enough time to do any exploring.
The Piazza del Duomo is an amazing collection of structures including the tower at the Palazzo Azzolini and the Baptistry of S. Giovanni in Corte.
One of the buildings that I missed on my previous visit was the L’Ospedale (the Ceppo Hospital) pictured below. Not far from the center of town this building’s facade is decorated with marvelous scenes made of ceramic glazed terracotta. The seven round medallions were done by Giovanni Della Robbia, son of Andrea della Robbia who popularized this style.
On the way back to the station I walked by one more beautiful church (S. Giovanni Fuoricivitas), this one an amazing display of marble.
Pistoia is an easy train ride from both Lucca and Florence. It’s off the tourist track and worth a visit if you are in the area and have a free day. Be sure to make your way to Piazza della Sala and its collection of food shops. You’ll be sure to walk away with an armful of Italian delicacies.