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Address: Piazza del Duomo, Pistoia, Italy

Built in its present form in Gothic style in the first half of the XIV c....

Built in its present form in Gothic style in the first half of the XIV c. on the site of the old “Paleochristian” and Baptismal church of Santa Maria and San Giovanni. The name “in corte” certifies the presence of a Curtis domini regis, the headquarters of the “gestaldo” in the Lombard period.

During the building, which lasted from 1338 to 1360, the grave of Bishop Atto, who died in 1153, was found (he introduced the “Jacobean” cult in Pistoia).

Even though Vasari claimed that Andrea Pisano had designed the baptistery there’s no sure proof about that. It is sure, however, that Cellino di Nese managed the operation: he’s responsible for the outside marble facing. The white marbles originate from Siena and Carrara; the green ones from Prato.

The octagonal shaped building presents a pyramidal roofing completed by an elegant lantern. The cupola is covered with sheets of lead surrounded by an open gallery with marble balustrade enriched with spires and statuettes.

In the lunette of the main door we can notice the sculptures of Madonna with Child between St. John the Baptist and St. Peter that are traditionally attributed to Nino and Tommaso, sons of Andrea Pisano. The architrave is divided in four bas-reliefs depicting stories of St. John’s life. The door-knockers of the central portal are a masterpiece of wood-cutting and are the work of Pier Francesco Ventura (1523).

Inside, the baptismal font can be seen, carved by Lanfranco da Como in 1226.

During the Baroque period, this was included in a structure surmounted by the marble statue of St. John the Baptist, a work by Andrea Vacca, now on view in the Baptistery.

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A Bite of Pistoia Small Group Tour with an Authentic Italian Brunch
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Octagonal Beauty .....

A part of the religious trio of Duomo, Campanile and Baptisry, the building is another architectural treasure in the layered alternating color marble style with sculptural... read more

Reviewed 30 October 2015
David B L
Los Angeles, California

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145 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 14: English reviews
Pistoia, Italy
Level Contributor
34 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2016

Absolutely beautiful wedding cake of a baptistery, beautifully restored. Not as much a masterpiece as Florence's is, but it is a superb example of the style...

Thank CapnPeBo
San Gwann, Malta
Level Contributor
227 reviews
149 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2016

From the outside it is very nice and interesting, especially the balcony on the right side of the main door. However inside it is quite bare except for the marble baptism tank. So if you find it closed, do not worry, you will be missing nothing. But if you do not see it from the outside then you will be... More 

Thank Pierre B
Level Contributor
62 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2016

Worth visiting to see how many bricks were used to build it! Very similar in style to the Baptistery which we visited about ten years ago.

Thank crossstitchgill
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
1,946 reviews
1,234 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 618 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2015

A part of the religious trio of Duomo, Campanile and Baptisry, the building is another architectural treasure in the layered alternating color marble style with sculptural masterpieces by Pisano adorning it. Interior is that of the typical bare wall's style. ...

Thank David B L
Pistoia, Italy
Level Contributor
130 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2015 via mobile

It's a speedy visit, but you can miss the interior of this wonderful building. It's as simple and dark inaide as bright and coloured outside.

Thank Marco D
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 September 2015

The Baptistirion is in the Duomo sqare, for babies to be baptized, an octagonal beautiful building covered with white and green marble

Thank niki r
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2015

Beautiful outside and in, restored, a calm cool historic building in the middle of medieval Pistoia, which is worth a trip in itself

Thank Clare V
Utica, New York
Level Contributor
1,788 reviews
1,145 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 680 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2015

The Baptistery exterior is executed in the same multicolor marble patterns you see in Florence. Beautiful little building with the Pisano reliefs that match his masterpiece, the pulpit in the adjacent Duomo. Love this little building…. we'd visit Pistoia just to see it again.

Thank RonL40
Saltillo, Mexico
Level Contributor
104 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2015

Once in downtown Pistoia and after visiting the Cathedral why not to take a few steps by the side of the Cathedral and visit the Baptistery, with an interesting structure and with local marble.

Thank a_isabel_a1
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
235 reviews
109 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

This is an important landmark with beautiful marble, but it is now partially covered up due to renovations and closed. A disappointment to be sure. There is a nice food store adjacent, which will set you up for a picnic on the closed Baptistery steps.

Thank ScoopTraveler

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