Thursday, March 29, 2018

At home in Pistoia

Before this trip we had never heard of Pistoia, couldn't even find it in our Lonely Planet Italy book.  It is right on the train line between Florence and Lucca.  We made it our home base for exploring Northern Tuscany and it was a good pick. 

The way John puts it - there are two Italies, the First Italy where tourists outnumber Italians, the Second where Italians outnumber tourists.  Pistoia is a very good example of the Second Italy.  The historic center is mostly pedestrian, a steady stream of locals going to and fro on their quotidian routes.

To get from Volterra to Pistoia, we take a bus to Pontedera, then a train to Florence, then a train to Pistoia. Here is shot from Firenze Rifredi Station, the closest we will get to Florence (First Italy) on this trip.
Firenza Station

Our first impressions of Pistoia are the Fiat 500 Club meeting, the stairwell railing in our apartment building, and the bike lane on the way to the Esselunga Supermarket.
Firenza Station

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

The Presto Speza guns at the supermarket were very cool. You use the guns to scan/buy items directly into your digital cart. There are random "re-reading the cart" checks when you pay. Pretty cool. Note that we did NOT use the guns. Maybe I'll see this at Harris Teeter when we get back to Raleigh. ;-)
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

The streets are lively in the evenings between 5 and 7pm.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

It's the Saturday evening before Palm Sunday. There's an informal procession to the Duomo and then a Mass to bless olive branches.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Our apartment is those three windows on the top floor.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Every evening we head out for the passeggiata.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

And check out churches that may be open.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

It seems we always end up passing the Duomo and its baptistry and campanile.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

City Hall is adjacent to the Duomo
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia is also home of the La Visitazione by Luca della Robbia. Sublime. Now displayed in a deconsecrated church.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

And there are three 13th century carved pulpits. Here's one.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

And this 16th century terracotta frieze.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia was a prosperous town in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, so in addition to the Medieval and Renaissance art, there are more than several Art Nouveau buildings like this galeria.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

And lamp posts.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

And this abandoned factory facade.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

And more.
Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy




1 comment:

Kathy said...

Great find!