“I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.”
The summertime Pistoia Blues festival might be one of the most popular events that Pistoia is known for in the wider public. The Blues descends on the town every July bringing internationally famous names, local musicians and music loving fans together in one big social ensemble that takes over the Piazza del Duomo at night with the square literally becoming a musical stage set.
It is also a piazza that every day of the year like many main city squares in Italy features the protagonists of the town: its citizens.
Here you find a different energy and a slower pace. It’s no wonder that Douglas Gayeton’s beautifully photographed book on Pistoia is called Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town with an introduction by Alice Waters, owner of the famous Chez Panizze in Berkeley, California, and pioneer of sustainable and local cooking ingredients.
The rhythm here truly is a little like the blues.
On any give day you may find people sitting around the square on the steps chatting, friends passing through embraced tightly arm in arm under an umbrella on rainy days, lawyers working on their laptops, children running around playing or biking, others strolling through on their way through town off to the post office or the daily open air produce market in Piazza della Sala (which transforms into its own urban green stage set for a day in June). Some days you may see big soapy bubble blowing in the air for kids by a street performer who lays his hat out for a few coins in exchange for a few bubbles and his characteristic groaning and snarling at the children who love his theatricality.
On Wednesday and Saturday mornings the square becomes host to the mercato, its orgins dating back to the year 998. For the most recent article on the mercato‘s history in the square with stunning photos, see what the local magazine Naturart has published in their latest issue.
In these photos there are children simply running after a balloon or playing and biking. There is a couple strolling by. No traffic. No noisy mopeds zooming past. No ipads or tech devices to distract the kids in this square.
It is a perfect piazza for the blues. It is also a perfect place for pouting (in a true blues mood!) whether you’re a child or not.