Pistoia is a city and comune in the north of Tuscany, the capital of a province of the same name, located about 30 km west and north of Florence.

Although it is not yet as visited as other towns in Tuscany, Pistoia presents a well-preserved and 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.

The city hosts various cultural events involving visitors with theatre shows, musicals, guided tours, art exhibitions and literary meetings, and there are plenty of events related to the local folklore.

The ancient gardens in the surrounding countryside have been turned into modern nursery centres making Pistoia one of the most famous cities in this field.

There are several lively small towns in the province of Pistoia, such as Monsummano Terme, with its spectacular natural caves and chocolate festivals, Pescia with its renowned flower market and the 18th century Villa Garzoni surrounded by a marvellous garden in Italian style.

Many notable people were born in Pistoia: Marino Marini, sculptor, Giovanni Michelucci, architect, Filippo Pacini, anatomist, Mauro Bolognini, film director, Pope Clement IX etc.