The Palazzo dei Vescovi (“Bishops’ Palace”) is a historic building in the Piazza del Duomo in Pistoia, which today serves, among other things, as the seat of the Museo Capitolare della Cattedrale di San Zeno. During the restoration of the building, two Etruscan tombstones were found, after which further searches were conducted and ceramic objects were found, as well as ruins of dwellings that had previously stood on the site. The excavations are now part of the tour.
Palazzo dei Vescovi Pistoia
Address, Opening hours and Entrance fee
The address of the Palazzo dei Vescovi is Piazza Duomo, 3 – 51100 Pistoia (tel. +39 0573369275). Tours on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 10:15, 11:45 and 13:15; on Saturday and Sunday also at 15:00 and 16:30. Entrance fee: 5 Euro; students and 65+: 3 Euro; under 18: 1 Euro.
History Palazzo dei Vescovi Pistoia
The Palazzo dei Vescovi (also called Palazzo Vescovile) is an example of medieval architecture in Pistoia. It was built towards the end of the 11th century and with its huge corner tower and battlements looks more like a fortress than an ordinary mansion.
In the 14th century an extensive restoration took place, during which the building was also enlarged. During this time, the arches were also added.
Until the end of the 18th century the building was the residence of the bishop. In 1786, however, it was sold and the then bishop Scipione de’ Ricci had a Palazzo Vescovile Nuovo built by Stefano Cirdi.
Today it is the seat of a bank and of the Museo Capitolare della Cattedrale di San Zeno, which includes a cycle of tempera paintings by Giovanni Boldini (early 20th century).
During the restoration of the building, two Etruscan tombstones were found, after which further searches were conducted, which brought to light multiple ceramic objects, together with the ruins of dwellings that had previously stood on the site. The excavations are now part of the tour.
Museo Capitolare della Cattedrale di San Zeno
The collection of this museum consists of sacred objects, documents, manuscripts and relics from the Cathedral of Pistoia. Highlights are a reliquary of San Jacopo made by Ghiberti in 1407 and some 14th-century frescoes formerly on display in the Cappella di San Niccolò.