Prato and Pistoia
What to expect
Located between Florence and Pistoia, Prato has always sought to build its own identity by decorating the city with artworks capable of testifying its importance. However, the city is mostly recognizable for its devotional aspect. The custodian city of the precious Holy Girdle of Mary relic, Prato features many masterpieces, such as the external pulpit of the Duomo by Donatello or the Chapel where the Girdle is still kept today. The rise to power of the Medici led important artists to visit Prato, including Donatello and Filippo Lippi, who adopted an innovative fresco technique to decorate the walls of the Cathedral chancel with stories relating to the patron saint of the city, Saint Stephen, and other about Saint John the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence. Furthermore, Lorenzo the Magnificent called his favourite architect, Giuliano da Sangallo, to Prato to build the church of Santa Maria delle Carceri in accordance with the new Renaissance principles and spirit. The civic pride of the city is instead represented by the medieval Palazzo Pretorio and the massive Castle, the only example of Frederician architecture in central Italy, where we can climb to the top of the battlements and observe the surrounding city just like ancient guards once did.
Pistoia strikes visitors with its elegance. Its narrow and winding streets and small squares, true jewels of medieval city planning, still conserve traces of a laborious past dominated by artisanal workshops. We will start from the square featuring the main monuments of the city: piazza del Duomo with the Cathedral dedicated to San Zeno and the Baptistery of Saint John, the palazzo dei Vescovi, the Palazzo degli Anziani and the Municipal Palace. The true heart of the city is however Piazza della Sala, which once hosted the curtis domini regis, i.e. the Palace of Gastaldo. The square still hosts a daily fruit and vegetables market, just as it did in the past. Our tour will then lead us to the church of Saint Andrew, where we will see the splendid pulpit made by Giovanni Pisano at the beginning of the 14th century. Our final stop is the frieze of the Ospedale del Ceppo, a secular local institution featuring marvellous glazed terracottas on its outer walls, depicting the Seven works of Mercy in a fully Renaissance work made by the Buglioni workshop.
Guided tours organized by Icona Toscana are conducted by authorized tour guides.
You can choose the language of your tour between Italian and English. However, on request, we can organize tours with trusted colleagues in the following languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian.
Our guided tours take place regardless of the weather conditions.
For information on our tours, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will reply as soon as possible. If you intend to book one or more tours, we will send you a form to compile with data concerning yourself and/or your group plus information regarding the dates of your stay and any particular needs you may want us to know about.
We require the advance payment of 30% of the total fee via bank transfer or Paypal (with an extra 4% to cover service costs) as guarantee of your confirmation. Once the payment is confirmed, we will send you a voucher featuring a summary of your purchase, including the meeting time and place for your tour.
To cancel the service, please contact us at email@example.com and communicate all details of your booking. From the date of booking up to 20 days before the date of the tour, no cancellation penalty will be applied and any payment will be returned. For cancellations communicated between 2 and 20 days before the visit, the penalty amounts to 30% of the total sum, i.e. the down payment which will not be reimbursed. For cancellations communicated less than 48 hours before the tour, we will require full payment of the service fee.
The payment of the tour guide service can be paid in cash (Euro) directly on the day of your visit, via bank transfer or via PayPal (with a 4% extra to cover service costs). This fee does NOT include entrance tickets and reservation fees for museums, churches, temporary exhibits or special events. The fee for tour guide services is VAT free, pursuant to art. 10 – comma 22 – of Presidential Decree n. 633/72. Regardless of reservations, access to museums may be delayed in periods of increased affluence, and the organizer declines all responsibility for these delays.
If you are interested in different tours and visits than those listed on this website, we can agree the compensation fees and conditions via e-mail.