Hidden treasures

Castagno of Pistoia: the small village-cum-museum.

Unknown places & works
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Castagno of Pistoia: the small village-cum-museum.

Near Pistoia, to be precise only 12 km from the enchanting medieval city center, there is an equally charming village: Castagno di Piteccio. The village dates back to the 16th century and is located 450 meters above sea level, on a ridge of the upper valley of the Ombrone River in the middle of an amphitheater of centuries-old woods. There are only 80 remaining inhabitants between the stone alleys and houses! At one time, however, it was one of the most important towns in the area for the production of the charcoal that was used as fuel for the ironworks. So, what's special about this village? It is a village-museum, in other words an open-air exhibition that winds through the ancient streets of the village.

It all began in the ‘70s when Tommaso Paloscia, an art critic and essayist who visited the village for his holidays and had the idea of exploiting the opportunities of the small town in a decidedly original way: he began inviting painters, sculptors and other artists who created art works inside the village. Thus, the fervent artistic production that slowly filled the village with interesting works of art was initiated. There are more than 40, to be precise, 12 frescoes and 35 sculptures.

The ‘call for artists’, that is the invitations for artistic residences, unfortunately suffered an inevitable setback in the ‘90s that coincided with the death of Paloscia. Fortunately, starting from 2019, the Pro Loco of Castagno became active again and thanks to the BorgoMuseumFestival, the artists have returned to donate their works and installations to the village of the Pistoia hills! If you are around there, don't miss it, you can also get there by train via the Porrettana line, just consider that even if there are only 80 inhabitants, it even has its beautiful little railway station!

Also, by train, from Pistoia, you can also easily reach Florence, and if you are an art lover you cannot help but take advantage of our unmissable tours with skip-the-line entrance, such as Duomo of Florence and its terracesor theguided tour of the Uffizi Gallery.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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