Pistoia celebrates Christmas by decorating the historical center with lighting and decorations, the days are warmed up with special events, markets, entertainment and cultural events, designed for both local residents and visitors. The official start to Christmas in Pistoia is given by the mayor with the traditional lighting of the Christmas fir tree in Piazza del Duomo.
Make sure to download and check the official calendar for the month for full details, which includes holiday hours for the main museums in town, and also check our calendar of other Christmas markets in Tuscany as well to better plan your itinerary during this period.
The city lit up for the holidays
During this time, the entire center of the city is lit up with bright Christmas lights and decorations. On November 30 at 5:30 pm, you can participate in the lighting of the Christmas tree, a focal point for the holiday celebrations. In addition to the large tree reigning in Piazza del Duomo, the entire city center will be illuminated in an event called “M’illumino d’inverno”, which translates into a video mapping of many of the more distinguished monuments of the city including Piazza Duomo, Piazza San Bartolomeo, the ex Hospital Ceppo, the Giardino di Cino, the Chiesa di San Filippo and the Basilica dell’Umiltà.
Fun for all ages
There are over 100 events planned during this holiday period in Pistoia! Piazza San Francesco is one of the main locations for fun: here, you will find a panoramic Ferris wheel right next to the ice skating rink and the station for the Pistoia Express, a small train that cross the center of town during the holidays. The train will operate every day from 4pm to 7:30pm from November 30 to January 6, with the exception of December 8 and 15.
Forever Green in Pistoia
The main Christmas tree is not the only thing greenery you will find in the city! The decorations in the town squares and city streets will highlight one of the main industries of Pistoia: the plant nurseries. Several of the many and common areas will be "spruced-up" with a wide variation of local plants grown right here in Pistoia adding life, fragrance, and color to the holiday festivities, including greenery in the shape of a bear, reindeer and a piano!
New Year’s in Pistoia
On December 31st, Pistoia will say good-bye to 2019 with music and fun activities.
The stage for the main event will be Piazza del Duomo starting at 11pm with a free music concert, to be followed with a toast to the new year and a DJ set.
For those that want to stay away from the large crowd in Piazza del Duomo, there are also free concerts elsewhere but earlier in the evening. Starting at 9pm, there is a homage to Duke Ellington at the Piccolo Teatro Mauro Bolognini, while Palazzo Fabbroni will host a brass quartet playing a mix of holiday and popular tunes and the Antico Refettorio of the Convento di San Domenico will host a Chamber Music Concert.
As tradition will have it, on January 1 at 3pm, kids can enjoy the new year in Piazza del Duomo with activities organized by the firemen.
If you're around on January 6, at 4pm, the Befana climbs down the bell tower in Piazza del Duomo and brings candy to the children (those that have been well behaved over the last year, of course!)