Prato: San Francesco

It is clear that the church of San Francesco, which adjoins the eponymous square in Prato, wants to welcome foreign tourists: most of the information panels in the building are in both Italian and English. The church furthermore has an excellent and well-structured website, which contains a lot of information…

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Prato: The Duomo

Unlike many other Italian cities, Prato does not really have any roots in Antiquity. It was preceded by the medieval village of Borgo al Cornio, which had a small church (pieve) dedicated to Saint Stephan the Protomartyr (Santo Stefano) since at least the tenth century. The church was probably a…

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Pistoia: Museo Civico

The elegant Palazzo Comunale, also known as the Palazzo degli Anziani, is situated directly next to the Duomo of Pistoia. Construction of the palazzo started in 1295. As its alternative name indicates, it served as accommodation for the Anziani, the Elders. The magistrate with the prestigious title of Gonfaloniere (literally:…

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Pistoia: Cappella del Tau

It was not easy to get inside the Cappella del Tau, also known as the church of Sant’Antonio Abate. The limited accessibility we encountered was probably related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The chapel is just small and as a consequence there was a considerable risk of infection. This could easily…

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Pistoia: Madonna dell’Umiltà

Pistoia is sometimes called ‘little Florence’. The basilica of the Madonna dell’Umiltà may be largely held responsible for that nickname. It has a dome that closely resembles the famous dome that Brunelleschi built for the Duomo of Florence. Rather unsurprisingly, the dome in Pistoia was designed and built by a…

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Pistoia: Sant’Andrea

We were confronted with two issues when we wanted to visit the church of Sant’Andrea in August of last year: limited opening hours and an admission charge. This may be the standard arrangement, but it may also have been linked to the global COVID-19 crisis. In any case, the first…

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Pistoia: The Duomo

The cathedral of Pistoia is a splendid Romanesque-style building of which the history goes back to the tenth century. The present building dates mostly from the twelfth century, as a fire that broke out in 1108 necessitated a rebuilding. In the next couple of centuries many more changes were made…

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Assisi: San Pietro

The church of San Pietro cannot boast of any fantastic works of art, so why visit it? What the church does have, is a nice façade that – rather surprisingly – turns out to be incomplete. The dome of the San Pietro also warrants closer inspection. Especially at dusk, when…

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