Although not visited as much as other cities in Tuscany, Pistoia presents a well-preserved and charming medieval city inside the old walls.
Piazza del Duomo
The large Piazza del Duomo, dominated by the cathedral, is lined with other medieval buildings, such as the Palazzo del Comune and the Palazzo del Podestà: it is the setting (in July) of the Giostra dell'Orso ("Bear Joust"), when the best horsemen of the city's traditional quarters tilt with lances at a target held up by a dummy shaped like a bear.
• Basilica of Our Lady of Humility (Madonna dell'Umiltà) (1509), finished by Giorgio Vasari with a 59-metre (194 ft) high cupola. The original project was by Giuliano da Sangallo, but works were begun in 1495 by Ventura Vitoni. The dome was commissioned by Cosimo I de' Medici to Vasari, the lantern completed in 1568 and the church consecrated in 1582. In the apse is a painting by Bernardino del Signoraccio (1493).
• Santissima Annunziata, baroque church famous for its Chiostro dei Morti ("Cloister of the Dead").
• San Bartolomeo in Pantano (12th century).
• San Giovanni Battista (15th century). Damaged during World War II bombardments, it is now used as an exhibition center.
• San Giovanni Battista al Tempio (11th century), owned for a while by the Knights Templar and then by the Hospitaller Knights.
• San Benedetto (14th century, restored in 1630). It houses a 1390 Annunciation by Giovanni di Bartolomeo Cristiani, a 16th-century Florentine school St. Benedict with the Redeemer and, in the cloister, Histories of the Order of the Knights of St. Benedict by Giovan Battista Vanni (1660).