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Underground Pistoia

Overview

Water has always flowed in and through Pistoia: even the Brana stream has been a precious water resource in living memory. In the Middle Ages, the first hospitals, i.e. places of shelter for pilgrims on their way to the cathedral, were located along the Brana. The most established hospital in the city was the Ceppo Hospital, and its history has inevitably been intertwined over the centuries with the history of the river government.

Gradually, even the surface Pistoia changed its areas by incorporating bridges, towers and city walls. It was after the forced submission of the city to Florence, that it was decided to build a new and wider circle of walls. At that point, the course of the Brana could no longer serve as a moat, because it was in the middle of the urban fabric: diversions and channelling ensued, until it led the stream to the place where one now descends with curiosity to explore the underground.

In the underground, the water was also once used for working activities: an old oil mill that probably served the hospital itself seems to reveal this. Visits to discover all this are run by the Institute for Historical and Archaeological Research, a cultural association institution that has been involved in the field from the planning stages in collaboration with public bodies and universities.

 

Underground Pistoia

Piazza Papa Giovanni XXIII, n°15, 51100 Pistoia PT, Italia

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