Prato and Pistoia
Two of the major towns in Tuscany, Pistoia and Prato history is stricktly related to that of Florence and are rich with medieval and renaissance history. The cities still conserve old well kept centers rich in art, monuments, churches, castles and are known for typical products, mainly textile in production in the Prato area and some of the most delicious italian sweets.
Only 30 km north west of Florence, it is one of the most beautiful and less known cities in Tuscany. It’s history richfully stretches from Etruscan times to modern times. The tour will include the main sights in the well-preserved and charming medieval city inside the old walls. The main square Piazza del Duomo, a unique jewel, were the famous Cathedral of San Zeno is lined with attractive original buildings as the Palazzo del Comune, the Palazzo del Podestà, the Palazzo dei Vescovi and the Baptistry. We will visit inside the outstanding Altar of St James, an exemplar of the silversmith’s craft a real treasure of Gothic and Renaissance art, with 628 figures, the total weighing nearly a ton. Nearby the Sala, site of the viceroy’s house during Lombard rule and in the Communal period became the center for free trade and commerce that it is today, were we will enjoy a market, mostly selling food products. Then why resist the ‘Birignoccoluti‘, in Pistoia dialect, otherwise known as comfits, which are famous in this region, the first record of them in Pistoia dates back to the Middle Ages.
Third biggest city in central Italy, after Rome and Florence, it is home to art and culinary treasures. We will admire first the Filippo Lippi frescoes in the Cathedral of Santo Stefano, recently restored and the external pulpit by Donatello, among the most remarkable and beautiful Early Renaissance works of art. We will also stroll our way through the Palazzo Pretorio, built from the 13th century in red bricks and the notable Palazzo Datini, built from 1383 for the merchant Francesco Datini, which housed Pope Alexander V and Louis of Anjou. We will visit Santa Maria delle Carceri, the one Greek cross plan church, inspired to Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel in Florence and commissioned by Lorenzo de’ Medici. We will enjoy, by the end, the visit of the Castello dell’Imperatore, the only castle built by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen in this part of Italy. Of course a must in Prato is the stop in a famous patisserie shop to taste the most typical cookies from Tuscany, the famous ‘cantuccini di Prato’…don’t wait for it!
Integrate your visit to Prato with a special guided visit of the Museo del Tessuto, housing a wide collection of historical fabrics and ethnic costumes. This is the best way to understand and see first hand the evolution of the industry over the centuries.
Up to 6 people party per small luxury van with pick up in Florence or near by. For bigger parties please inquire.
4 hours to Prato or Pistoia. Full day for visit to both cities (approx 7 hours).
Daily, starts at 9,30am (inquire for other hours).
230 Euros flat for 4 hours guided visit.
350 Euros flat for full day guided visit.