The big names of Italian and international music gather every year for the Pistoia Blues Festival, one of Italy's longest-running music events, in the heart of Pistoia's historic town center.
The stage in Piazza del Duomo gives unique emotions to the artists and spectators, who are surrounded by the beauty of the city's most symbolic monuments, such as the iconic Baptistery of San Giovanni, the Cathedral of San Zeno, the Palazzo Comunale, and the Antico Palazzo dei Vescovi.
Not just another festival, but an opportunity to take a break and treat yourself to an itinerary between art, nature and taste, in an authentic and fascinating city of art, just a stone's throw from the Pistoia Mountain.
The best way to start your trip to Pistoia is to start from Piazza della Sala, a meeting place and the beating heart of the city, home to the daily fruit and vegetable market, where you can find seasonal delicacies and fresh fruit. From here, every Wednesday and Saturday, you can reach the bustling market in Piazza del Duomo. The streets joining the two squares are home to artisan workshops, boutiques, bars and restaurants: an intricate maze of streets to discover.
After lunch at a local trattoria before the concert, immerse yourself in the ethnic and folkloric atmosphere of the Luigi Tronci Foundation, a museum of music and percussion instruments, with more than 800 exhibits, created by Luigi Tronci, current president of the Unione Fabbricanti Italiani Piatti. UFIP is a world-renowned and sought-after manufacturer of musical cymbals. Its customers include Italy's leading percussionists and drummers, as well as international stars such as Charlie Watts, the late Rolling Stones drummer.
Dedicate a day to seeking relaxation on the Mountains around Pistoia in one of the picture-postcard villages, such as Cutigliano, about an hour's drive from Pistoia. A green oasis and center of medieval culture, the village is known for the Palazzo dei Capitani di Montagna, whose facade is richly decorated with the coats of arms of powerful Tuscan families.
From Cutigliano take the cable car to the Doganaccia, a ski resort with an adventure park. If you love breath-taking views, take another cable car from the Doganaccia to the Croce Arcana Pass, at an altitude of 1,737 meters, with unforgettable views.
Dedicate the third day to Pistoia's museum offerings, in the footsteps of two illustrious figures: Giovanni Michelucci and Marino Marini.
Start at the Museo Civico, housed in the Palazzo Comunale, where the Giovanni Michelucci Documentation Center, with drawings reconstructing the works of the great architect of the Santa Maria Novella railway station in Florence, is housed alongside the most significant examples of Pistoian art since the 14th Century.
Before entering, in the entrance hall of the palace, stop to view the Miracle by Marino Marini, the great 20th Century sculptor known for his abstract bronze horses.
The day can continue with a visit to the Museo del Novecento e del Contemporaneo in Palazzo Fabroni. With an overview of Italian art movements from the post-war period to the present day, the museum's permanent collection features works by Alfredo Pirri, Jannis Kounellis, Umberto Buscioni, and Enrico Castellani, among others. On the upper floors is a space for temporary exhibitions.
Moving a little further away from the city center, children will have a chance to see penguins, tigers and giraffes up close during a walk at the Pistoia Zoological Garden, with more than 400 animals spread over more than seven hectares, a wild paradise a short distance from the city.