On Wednesdays and Saturdays a morning market transforms Pistoia’s main square, Piazza del Duomo, as well as its surrounding streets, into a lively sea of blue awnings and jostling shoppers. Otherwise, on Monday to Saturday peruse open-air stalls heaped with seasonal fruit and vegetables on tiny Piazza della Sala.
Pretty Pistoia sits snugly at the foot of the Apennines. An easy day trip from Pisa, Lucca or Florence, it thoroughly deserved its 2017 status as European City of Culture. A town that has grown well beyond its medieval ramparts, its centro storico is well preserved and stands guardian to striking contemporary art.