Pistoia, Province of Pistoia, Tuscany
Pistoia (ancient Pistoria) is located about 30 km (18 mi) west and north of Florence. Pistoia lent its name to the pistol, which it started manufacturing in the 16th century. But today it is also notable for the extensive garden nurseries spreading around it, and the well-preserved, charming medieval city inside the old walls. The large Piazza del Duomo is lined with attractive original buildings, and is the setting (in July) of the Bear Joust (Giostra dell'Orso), when the best horsemen of the districts of the town tilt with lances at a target held up by a dummy shaped like a bear.
- Altitude: 67 metres a.s.l.
- Population: about 90,000 inhabitants
- Zip/postal code: 51100
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0573.
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Provinces of Tuscany
The comune includes the following frazioni: Badia a Pacciana, Baggio, Bargi, Barile, Bonelle, Borghetto, Bottegone, Caloria, Campiglio, Canapale, Candeglia, Capostrada, Casamarconi, Case Nuove di Masiano, Cason dè Giacomelli, Cassarese, Castagno di Piteccio, Castagno di Pieve a Celle, Castel dè Gai, Castel di Cireglio, Chiazzano, Chiesina Montalese, Chiodo, Cignano, Cireglio, Collina, Corbezzi, Corsini Bianchi, Corsini Neri, Cucciano, Fabbrica, Felceti, Forralpitta, Gello, Germinaia, Grabbia, Groppoli, Iano, Il Cassero, Le Fornaci, Le Fornaci di San Giorgio, Le Grazie, Le Piastre, Le Pozze, Le Querci, Lupicciano, Masiano, Nespolo, Orsigna, Piazza, Piestro, Pieve a Celle, Piteccio, Piuvica, Pontelungo, Pontenuovo, Ponzano, Pracchia, Pupigliana, Ramini, San Mommè, San Biagio, San Felice, San Giorgio, San Pierino Casa al Vescovo, San Rocco, Sant'Agostino, Sant'Alessio in Bigiano, San Quirico, Santomato, Sasso di Cireglio, Saturnana, Spazzavento, Stazzana, Torbecchia, Valdibrana, Valdibure, Vicofaro, Villa di Baggio, Villa di Cireglio, Villa di Piteccio, Villanova di Valdibrana.
The town was a Roman colony in the 6th century BC, and in 62 BC Catiline and his fellow conspirators were slain nearby. In 1254 Ghibelline Pistoia was taken over by Guelph Florence, but supposedly resulted in the division of the Guelphs into "Black" and "White" factions. Pistoia remained a Florentine holding except for a brief period in the 14th century, when Castruccio Castracani captured it for Lucca, and was officially annexed to Florence in 1530.
What to see
- The Cathedral of San Zeno, burned down in 1108, and rebuilt during the following century, received improvements until the 17th century. Its outstanding feature is the Altar of St James, an example of the silversmith's craft, begun in 1287 but not finished until the 15th century. Its various sections contain 628 figures, the total weighing nearly a ton.