Wednesday - February 15, 2017 Filed in: Iconic Italy | Art | Fine Arts
It's a new year, and Italy would like to bring your attention to a new unsung “Cultural Capital” over the next 12 months. Cultural Capitals are small, jewel-like cities that have less star power than Venice or Florence, but offer their own understated beauty and artistic and architectural treasures to discover. Last year, the honor fell to the “Sleeping Beauty” of Mantua
, a beautiful Renaissance center and UNESCO World Heritage Site between Milan and Venice, and this year the fêted city is the Tuscan town of Pistoia
, just half an hour outside Florence at the foot of the Apennine mountains.
(Photo by mksfca on Flickr)
Christened “La Città dei Crucci”, or “City of Sorrow”, by Gabriele D’Annunzio, Pistoia has long had a reputation for being particularly contentious, with its residents embroiled in protracted battles between warring factions and families for centuries. “I love you, city of sorrow, bitter Pistoia,” wrote D'Annuncio, “blood of the Whites and the Blacks, that turns red before your proud people, men of ideology, with ancient joy.” Today, rather than bitterness and blood, you'll find Pistoians harbor a fierce civic pride and enduring affection for their home town.
Pistoia has grown in popularity over the past few years, as visitors to Florence look to escape the crowds in Tuscany's capital city by venturing out to the relative peace of the nearby provincial towns
for day trips and overnights. If there was ever a time to visit Pistoia's pretty piazzas, elegant churches, and world-class museums, it is 2017...the calendar is full of special cultural events, exhibitions, and concerts and the center has been spruced up and is ready to receive travelers curious to explore one of the most charming small cities in Tuscany. Read More...