Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 26, 2011

Pole dancing in Pistoia



I came upon this pretty young thing decorating several poles in Pistoia. There were 2 of them either side of a statue of Garibaldi. I can’t decide whether he was amused or not by the girls.


Pistoia is an interesting city, not far from Florence. It is not a major tourist town, but it has a very well preserved historic centre. There are some very impressive buildings, most of which are in Piazza del Duomo



The Cathedral di San Zeno has a lunette of the Madonna and Child by Andrea della Robbia.


Please note the steps at the top of the Campanile. I am not climbing those.


The Baptistry opposite is elegantly banded in green and white marble.



I found a great face on the facade of the Baptistry.

The Palazzo Pretorio, next door to the Baptistry, I found particularly interesting. I love the vaulted ceilings, and the decoration was fascinating.




I wandered about and found myself in Piazza S. Francesco D’Assisi where there was a pretty park with a stunning war memorial.



Behind this was another beautiful building, Pantheon deli uomini illustri.


I was in Pistoia on a Saturday, when the city centre is taken over by a huge market. These markets are very popular and the city was filled with people. I always head for the food market, as I find this much more interesting than the general merchandise area.






These tiny things are clementines. I don’t know exactly what you do with them, but they are very cute.


This appears to be dried fennel tops.


I have no idea what these are.


I don’t often see passionfruit in Italy.


I can’t resist artichokes.

I had lunch at a delightful restaurant, Lo Storno, in Via del Lastrone, 8, near the food market.


I had tagliata di cinta senese with valeriana and Parmesan. It was delicious.


As I was waiting for my train back to Lucca I spotted Edward VIII. Yes, I thought he was dead too, but apparently he is alive and well and on Saturday at 1.00pm he was waiting for a train to Florence.



You have to admire someone who is prepared to stand out from the crowd in such a jaunty way.

And here is a final look at the pole dancer.



  1. Lovely! As always, makes me hungry and want to go back to Italy!

    • I love the way each town you go to has something different to offer.

  2. Loved it! Let me know next time you go on these nice adventures?:)

    • We will do some adventures together when I come back next year.

  3. Lovely. Every bit of it. I love the narrative journey from pole dancer to church to food to Edward back to pole dancer. Fun.

    • There is much to love in Italy.

  4. that is one town i have to see. i love the food markets. and that food i miss so much. very nice pics.

    • I forgot to mention that Pistoia gave its name to the pistol which was manufactured there from the 16th century.

  5. Great pics….makes me want to go there. Thanks for sharing.

    • I really enjoyed my visit to Pistoia. The market is on every Wednesday and Saturday, and even though it takes over quite a lot of the town it is fun to be in a lively place full of people.

  6. I want those dried fennel flowers! I dry a few of my own to go with potatoes but never have enough.The food market looks great. We go to the zoo in Pistoia a couple of times a year with the boys, I think I need to ensure it’s on a Saturday next time! And is ‘Edward’ for real? Amazing!!!

    • “Edward” was a real treat up close. He had the most amazing tan and I just loved those socks.

  7. Garibaldi looks like he was making a deliberate effort not to stare. 🙂

    Markets look fantastic, Deb!

    • I think he showed remarkable restraint.

  8. I laughed when I saw the image of ‘Edward VIII’ – who knew he was wandering around Pistoia. I agree he looks very jaunty; perhaps The Sartorialist should hop on a plane to Pisota to snap a few images of him.

    • I thought he was great. It was quite cold today, I’m not all that sure that white linen shorts were really suitable. His little legs must have been cold.

  9. I, too, love “Edward’s” socks. What a hoot he is! Glad you didn’t try to climb those stairs!

    • Those stairs look too scary.I wonder who goes up there.

  10. Clementines taste like mandarins and oranges. They are very popular at Christmas time in the US and in size they are between the mandarin and orange.

    Great pictures Debra

    Pam Proctor

    • I bought some and they are just like small mandarines. I thought they would be, but I don’t think I have seen them in Australia and I was not sure whether they would be sweet or just used for jam, like cumquats.

  11. Great blog Deb. Enjoyed it very much


  12. Great blog Deb. Very interesting. I have never been to this town


    • Thanks, Pistoia is worth a visit.

  13. I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t actually heard of Pistoia before today! But seeing those cured pork legs hanging and the market pics got me all excited!

    • It was an excellent food market

  14. Oh I just love the blazer & shorts man – he is right up there in the fashion stakes!
    I think I’ll have to do a tour of inside churches in Italy – they are exquisite aren’t they!
    The carrube beans are locust beans – used for feeding animals ( so I read.)
    The clementines are a cross between oranges & mandarins so you could make anything eg. muffins, sauce with chicken would be delicious. I often see recipes. Try them. Yum.
    Great photos Deb.

    • I did buy some clementines and they were delicious.

  15. edward is CUTE!!!!

  16. I think any man willing to brave a bow tie and shorts must be ok.
    Love all the food market shots. I wonder what the every day cook would do with the Pugliese carrube too.

    • According to Maria, carrube is carob. I think I will just eat chocolate too.

  17. Loved Edward’s photos. What a character!
    Anyway, “carrube” is our carob or mock chocolate, its seeds are made into a flour (similar to cocoa) and made into sweets and pastries. The best one comes from the southern Italian provinces, Puglia and Sicily. In any case, I prefer chocolate….

  18. Beautiful your photographs, how I miss my Italy days… They are all so nicely captured, but especially some of them fascinated me, like this jaunty way of a man, and the restaurant, Lo Storno, in Via del Lastrone, they are typical Italian images… I loved them, Thank you, with my love, nia

    • Thank you for your comments.

  19. I love this blog – pole dancing made me laugh – not to mention the gent waiting for the train!!

    • It was a fun day.

  20. Hey Ma

    Just asked Elena, the Italian girl I am living with, She says the carrube are like dried beans, but are kind of sweet and are eaten usually around Chistmas time. She also says that the seeds were once used as the standard weight for measuring diamond carats.

    • Thanks Brand, I think I’ll have the diamonds.

  21. Wow Deb, you sure know how to catch a reader’s attention! Pistoia looks like a great find – I would never have known about it if it weren’t for your post. I will put it on my checklist for the next time I go to Italy.

    • Pistoia is on the train line between Florence and Lucca, making it easy to get to. There is plenty to see there.

  22. When we were in Italy in october we met a lovely family from Pistoia. We spent the afternoon with them in Parma and were invited to their home for dinner the next night. We had to decline as we were terrified of driving by that point! Little did we know that we could have easily caught the train there! It was great to see these pics of Pistoia! Although sad to see what we missed by not going. Thanks for sharing. It looks like a lovely city! And, yes, we have kept in touch with the lovely family that we met! 🙂

    • I don’t particularly like driving into unknown towns alone. I drove to Lucca, parked at the station and caught the train, easy.

  23. Panini Girl included Pistoia in the trip I took with her this May. The food market was the highlight for our group, but I, too, was fascinated by the Cathedral and the campanile. In fact, a picture I took of the green and white marble of the baptistry is presently the wallpaper on my iPad. Thank you for the beautiful post which brought back fond memories of Italy in the spring while I sit in New York on a rainy fall morning.

    • That’s a great food market in Pistoia, I will certainly be going back there.

  24. […] Click here to see him, he is at the end of a post I wrote about Pistoia. […]

  25. […] Pole dancing in Pistoia […]

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