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  FLAG OF ITALY

 

 
 
 
  ITALY  
  JEWISH AND KOSHER TUSCANY, ITALY:
  Region: Region Capital: Other Important Cities:
9. Tuscany Florence Siena, Pisa, Arezzo, Pistoia, Pitigliano, Camaiore,Viareggio, Lucca, Livorno, Grosseto, Massa Carrara
PISTOIA:

Picture Source: http://www.cultura.toscana.it/progetti/giardini/immagini/pistoia.jpg 
A. Facts
Region: Tuscany
Province code: PT
Zip code: 51100
Phone area code: 0573
Distance from: FIRENZE 34 Km / 21 Miles
Elevation: 65 mt / 214 feet
Tourist Office
Address: P.zza del Duomo
Phone: 216221
B. The City

Pistoia, in the middle of the Tuscan province of the same name, is 67 meters above sea level. It is located on a wide plain on the Ombrone River and lies between Monte Albano and the slopes of the Appenines. The city, rich in monuments and medieval architecture, is a vivacious cultural center. It houses the Academy of Organ Music. Its economic development is tied, above all, to plant and flower cultivation, to nearby thermal establishments, and to industry in general.

C. Historical Information

Created as an oppidium in Roman times (2nd century B.C.), Pistoia had great strategic and political importance under the Lungobards (6th to 9th centuries). It was a free commune from 1117 on, enjoying great urban expansion. In the 12th century it was surrounded by walls. Internecine battles among various factions (13th to 14th centuries) weakened the city, however, and it fell due to conflicts between the neighboring towns of Lucca and Florence. After long dependence on the Medici (15th to 18th centuries), in 1737 Pistoia was placed under the control of the Lorena, who carried out a series of reforms. In 1860 the city was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.

D. Things To see

The Piazza del Duomo constitutes an interesting artistic complex, where all the major civil and religious buildings are gathered. It is characterized by a faחade with white and green bands. The Duomo of S. Zeno, which originated in the 5th century, was rebuilt in Pisan Romanesque style (12th to 13th century). The faחade, with three rows of loggia, is in Pisan Romanesque style. The doorway from the 1300s is enriched with a magnificent panelled ceiling in glazed terracotta by Andrea della Robbia (16th century). The beautiful bell tower, 67 meters high, is the work of Giovanni Pisano. The three-naved interior contains masterpieces by Coppo di Marcovaldo, Lorenzo di Credi, and Verrocchio. Outstanding are the silver Altarpiece of S. Iacopo, an excellent piece of crafting from the 13 to 15th centuries, and the Reliquary of S. Iacopo, made by Lorenzo Ghiberti in the 15th century. These were destinations for pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. In front of the Duomo is the beautiful Baptistery, on an octagonal plan. It was made by Cellino di Nese according to the plans of Andrea Pisano. The interior, transformed in the 1700s, presents an elegant baptismal font from the 13th century. The recently-restored Palace of the Bishops (1300s) today houses religious ornaments and artworks from the Capitolare Museum (the Sacrestia dei begli arredi or sacristy of beautiful religious ornaments, recalled by Dante because of its theft by Vanni Fuci). Closed Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Beside the Duomo rises the beautiful Communal Palace in pietra serena (literally, serene stone,), from the 14th century, embellished by a fine doorway and decorated with crests. The Communal Palace houses the Civic Museum, where more than two hundred pieces of Tuscan origin are on display: sacred paintings from the 13th to 15th centuries, altarpieces from the 1500s and canvases from the 1600s and 1700s. Closed Mondays. The Palace of the Podestא (14th century), where in the past justice was administered, has an atrium containing a doorway that is decorated by frescoes and crests.

Not far from the Piazza del Duomo, one finds the
Ospedale del Ceppo, so-called for the tree trunk (ceppo) in which alms were placed. It was built in the 1200s. A splendid polychrome frieze by della Robbia, representing the Works of Misercordia, decorates the doorway (1500s).

The Diocesan Museum, established in the Rospigliosi Palace (1500s), preserves furnishings, ceiling and frescoes from the 1600s. There is a notable collection of objects and sacred furnishings from the Pistoian Diocese. Closed Mondays and holidays.

The beautiful unfinished Romanesque faחade of the Church of S. Andrea is distinguished for its bi-chrome arches and for the bas reliefs over its doorways. The three-naved interior preserves two masterpieces by Giovanni Pisano (14th century): the hexagonal Pulpit with beautiful reliefs on Biblical themes and the painted wooden Crucifix.

The huge Church of S. Giovanni Fuorcivitas, built in the 12th century outside the walls, presents the characteristic covering in white and green bands. The faחade has remained unfinished. A splendid Romanesque doorway opens onto one of its two sides, which is decorated with blind arches, galleries and embossing. Within one finds works by Giovanni Pisano, frא Guglielmo da Pisa, Taddeo Gaddi and Andrea della Robbia.

The Basilica of the Madonna of Humility begun in 1495 according to the plans of Giuliano da Sangallo, was finished by Antonio da Sangallo and Antonio del Pollaiolo. From the magnificent frescoed vestibule, one reaches the wide octagonal hall that culminates in the grand Vasarian cupola, or dome.

The charming street called
Via Stracceria is dominated by the Tower of the Captain of the Populace. Enlivened by ancient shops, via Stracceria leads to the market Piazza del Mercato della Sala, the center of the ancient city, where Lungobard justice was administered. The piazza is made even more beautiful by the medieval Pozzo del Leoncino (well of the lion cub).

E. Art

Civic Museum
Piazza Duomo, tel. 0573-371296

Diocesano Museum
Via Ripa del Sale, tel: 0573-28740

Museo Capitaolare
Piazza Duomo, tel: 0573-369272

F. How To Arrive

By car
Highway A11 from Florence and from Pisa-Lucca
Highway A1 from Rome and Bologna
State Road SS12 from Abetone

By train
Connections follow the routes of the major roads: connections with Florence, Lucca, Prato, and Bologna.

By air
The nearest airport, well connected to the local railway line, is the international airport A. Vespucci of Florence (tel. 055-30615).

G. How To Get Around

The best way to visit the little historical center is by foot. In the summer season, in Piazza Duomo, there is a bicycle rental service. The main parking areas are downtown: Piazza San Francesco to the west, Piazza S. Lorenzo to the north, Piazza S. Paolo and Piazza Leonardo da Vinci to the south

H. Useful Addresses

Tourist Information
APT, information and tourist reception
Piazza Duomo, 4, tel. 0573-21622

Useful Numbers
Carabinieri (police): 112
Emergencies: 113
Fire Department: 115
Road Assistance: 116
Doctor on Call: 118
Urban Police: 0573-22022
State Railway: 0573-31192/ 20789; Railway Information: 147-888088
Taxi: 0573-24291

I. Shopping

Many pastry shops maintain the tradition of Pistoias hand-made confetti, and of the famous Brigidini from Lamporecchio, sweet wafers flavored with anise. Worth visiting is the historic Caffי Faliani, established in the ex-oratory of S. Antonio Abate, which contains splendid ceilings and precious frescoes. Some shops downtown display precious handmade embroideries made according to local tradition.

J. Theatres

Teatro Comunale Manzoni
Corso Gramsci, tel: 0573-991609

K. Shops and Markets

Pistoia Blues: Concerts with artists of international fame, during the month of July.
Giostro dellOrso ( the game of the bear): horseback tournament originating the 1300s, preceded by a historical procession; the 25th of July.

Source: http://www.itwg.com/ct_00022.asp
 
L. Pistoia on the NET:

 

 

 

 
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