Pistoia Italian Capital of Culture 2017

A culture-filled year with many events for young and old

From 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017

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Pistoia has made it! Beating its dignified rivals, including cities like Spoleto, Ercolano and Parma, Pistoia has won the title of Capital of Culture 2017. What does this mean? Each year, the Ministry of Culture, Heritage and Tourism (MIBACT) selects one city as part of an initiative to support, encourage and promote projects relating to culture. Soon after receiving the news, the members of the Scientific Committee - Giulia Cogoli, an expert in communication and publishing, Virgilio Sieni, a dancer and choreographer, and the Art expert Carlo Sisi - quickly set to work to put together a program. One reason that tipped the balance in favour of this pearl in Tuscany was undoubtedly the importance Pistoia has given to culture in its broadest sense for many years.

Pistoia Italian Capital of Culture 2017 does not denote a single date in Pistoia, but rather groups a series of Pistoia events spread uninterruptedly throughout the whole year. All the major initiatives of this important year will evolve around a few underlying threads: promotion of the historical and cultural heritage, art, music, theatre, the municipal museums, libraries, festivals, gardening with, as expected, special focus on children.


The wealth of Pistoia in terms of works of art is testified by the wide range of museums located in this city: the Museo Civico di Pistoia with works ranging from the twelfth to the twentieth century, the Museo della Sanità Pistoiese in the historic part of the Ospedale del Ceppo and Palazzo Fabbroni, an exhibition centre for contemporary art.


The most important project explores the restoration of Antico Ospedale del Ceppo, which boasts the valuable Fregio Robbiano, a sixteenth century work of art. A few historical churches will also be restored.


Art is one of the most important threads and was one of the first to be implemented. Particular emphasis will be given to contemporary art with two fundamental centres: Villa di Celle and its Gori Collection, and Palazzo Fabbroni that will host several exhibitions including:

  • 'Pret a Porter' by the painter Giovanni Fangi from 5th February to 2nd April
  • 'Marino Marini. Visual passions' from 16th September to 7th January, 2018;

Two more exhibitions will be held in additional locations:

  • 'The city of Michelucci architect', who was born in the Tuscan town, to be held in the frescoed rooms of the Town Hall from 25th March to 21st May
  • An exhibition and a conference on the Jesuit missionary Ippolito Desideri, a forerunner of dialogue amongst different religions.


For music enthusiasts, the calendar is filled with many important events that should not be missed. The Promomusica Association, promoter of the Leonore Orchestra, offers a series of concerts ranging from chamber music (January-June) to Bach’s 'Brandenburg Concertos'. As part of the events linked to Pistoia Italian Capital of Culture, the Orchestra and Chorus of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino will pay homage to the city with two concerts:

  • Mozart’s 'Idomeneo' at the Teatro Manzoni in Pistoia on 26th and 30th April and 3rd and 6th May;
  • Mahler‘s 'Symphony no. 2 in C minor Resurrection' on 5th July, 2017 in Piazza del Duomo.


Running alongside the programme of the Teatro Manzoni of Pistoia, which as usual presents high-level events, there will also be the 'Pistoia Theatre Festival' with two projects by choreographer Virgilio Sieni and director Federico Tiezzi. 'Project T' will instead be housed inside a train carriage that has been converted into an itinerant theatre stage. The programme of il Funaro, a long-established vibrant theatre and culture centre in the city of Pistoia, which over the years has seen the participations in its productions of important artists such as Alessandro Bergonzoni, Peter Brook and Dario Fo, will feature during this special year the come-back of Daniel Pennac, the latest production of Cristina Morganti, a dancer of Pina Bausch’s ensemble and finally the premiere of Stefano Massini’s latest work.


Pistoia is home to two wonderful libraries complementing each other in their repertoire: the long-established Biblioteca Forteguerriana, housing a collection of ancient books of great value and Biblioteca San Giorgio, housed in one of the buildings salvaged from the homonymous former factory, and converted into a modern culture centre where lectures, conferences, screenings and meetings will be staged as part of Pistoia Italian Capital of Culture 2017.


Events in Pistoia such as festivals have become regular features in the city. They have been running for many years and are well known on a national and international level. Pistoia Town of Culture is a unique opportunity to join them:

  • 'Leggere la Città' from 6th to 9th April, an event dedicated to the city that this year has chosen as its theme the slogan 'Culture is community'
  • 'Pistoia –Dialoghi sull’uomo from 26th to 28th May, the now famous anthropology festival this year featuring 'Culture makes us human' as its leitmotif
  • 'Pistoia Blues' the music festival that every year presents the big names of blues (and more) which will take place mainly between June and July.


Pistoia nurseries are among the most important business activities of the city, as evident as soon as you approach the city. Pistoia is in fact surrounded, right from its closest suburbs, by the green areas of its many nurseries. The main event of this feature will be 'Vestire il paesaggio' from 11th to 17th June, during which there will be seminars but also visits to nurseries that for the occasion will open their doors to the public.


Being a UNICEF nominated 'Child Friendly City', Pistoia has rightly reserved particular attention to its younger inhabitants and visitors during Pistoia Italian Capital of Culture 2017! After arriving in the city, ask for information about the many events dedicated to them. Staged at the Teatro Bolognini of Pistoia there will be many theatre shows for children but you will find entertaining and fun-filled events all over the city!


Be honest, don’t you feel flabbergasted after reading what the Tuscan city has to offer during the year of Pistoia Italian Capital of Culture? Do not forget that Pistoia is a really nice place to visit, with a fully pedestrian medieval centre and many excellent destinations for day trips in its surroundings: Collodi, Montecatini, Pistoia mountains and Lucca. Why wait to book one of our hotels in Pistoia? If you decide to stay for more than a day, you can also travel to the Tuscan capital, about half an hour by car or train. And why not consider one of the tours of Florence that you will find on our website? They are the best opportunity to learn about interesting and unexpected aspects of this wonderful city. In short, Pistoia Italian Capital of Culture offers you yet another reason to visit Tuscany that you should definitely consider!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff