Florence and Pistoia join forces for art: a combined ticket to visit the treasures of both Cathedral
“I due tesori” ticket through 31 December 2023 and a partnership between the two old hospitals: Museo degli Innocenti and Museo del Ceppo
Florence and Pistoia join forces in the name of art! A true journey from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance that you can do easily thanks to a partnership between some of the main attractions in the two cities. A unique opportunity for sacred art enthusiasts looking for things to do in Florence with the opportunity to get to know the masterpieces of art in Pistoia in a single trip.
A combined ticket to visit the treasures of Florence and Pistoia Cathedrals
For the first time, thanks to an agreement signed between the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and the Chiesa Cattedrale di San Zeno, with the “Il tesoro di San Jacopo” visit itinerary, you can visit the “treasures” of the two monumental complexes of Florence and Pistoia with a combined ticket from 1 August to 31 December 2023. The itinerary links the two Tuscan cities, which are close in terms of geography, history and culture.
The symbol of this affinity and the cornerstone of the project are two crucial works of sacred medieval silversmithing: the silver San Giovanni altar in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence and the silver San Jacopo altar in the San Zeno Cathedral in Pistoia. These are two masterpieces of sacred medieval art, and the older San Jacopo altar likely inspired its Florence successor.
The two altars share similarities in terms of materials and techniques (silver embossed with gilding, parts with full relief and enamels), invention (bas-relief stories in frames arranged around niches with full-relief figures of the titular saints), and both being the result of work conducted over the centuries (1287-1456 the details of the Pistoia altar; 1366-1483 for the Florence one) by the hands of leading Tuscan artists and silversmiths of the time.
Additionally, there are works by the leading artists and architects who worked in the two cities from the Middle Ages to the height of the Renaissance, including Filippo Brunelleschi, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Giorgio Vasari, Il Verrocchio, Della Robbia and Buglioni, Michelozzo, Coppo di Marcovaldo and others.
The “I due tesori” combined ticket, which costs 18 euro full price, 10 euro discounted, grants entrance to Florence’s Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, home to the silver San Giovanni altar, Ghiberti’s North Doors of the Baptistery and many other masterpieces dating to the early Renaissance, the Baptistery and the Santa Reparata Crypt in the Cathedral. In Pistoia, the ticket provides access to San Zeno Cathedral with the “Il tesoro di San Jacopo” visit itinerary, which includes an audio guide tour of the main artworks and the silver San Jacopo altar, as well as the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Corte and the bell tower.
Visit the Museo degli Innocenti in Florence, and receive a complimentary ticket for Il Museo del Ceppo in Pistoia
Before leaving for Pistoia, we recommend that you visit Museo degli Innocenti in piazza Santissima Annunziata in Florence. It’s an architectural masterpiece that retraces the halls of the old children’s hospital established in 1445. Here you'll admire the works of art created by Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Piero di Cosimo, Luca and Andrea della Robbia, all featured in the art gallery. In addition, the museum holds an inspirational temporary exhibition. Through 8 October 2023, you can see Steve McCurry’s “Children”.
On visiting the museum, you will receive a complimentary ticket for the Museo Spedale del Ceppo in Pistoia, which is also based in the historical and monumental part of the former hospital complex. Founded in 1277, it was the city’s hospital until recently and houses an important surgical school equipped with an anatomical theatre that can still be seen today. It is interesting to admire the likenesses between the loggias of the two “spedali” and to compare the artistic contribution of the Della Robbia on show in both museums.
Getting to Pistoia from Florence
Pistoia is easily reached by train from Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station. The journey takes 45 minutes.