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Pescia

Copyright © Editori dell'Acero Pescia: Borgo Collodi

Pescia (ZIP code 51017) is 28,8 kilometers far from Pistoia, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Pescia has a population of 17.421 inhabitants (Pesciatini) and a surface of 79,15 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 220,10 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 62 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Piazza Mazzini 1, phone ++39 0572 - 4920, fax ++39 0572 - 492253: the E-Mail address is info@comune.pescia.pt.it.

Population: The municipality of Pescia had a popolation of 18.123 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 17.421 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of -3,87% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 6.948 families with an average of 2,51 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 23 and 1.131 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 1.108 metres.

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Work and workers:There are 571 industrial firms employing 1.975 people that are the 27,38% of the total of the workers. There are 598 service firms employing 1.413 people that are the 19,59% of the total of the workers. There are also 509 firms employing 1.618 people that are the 22,43% of the total of the workers. There are also 176 administrative offices emplying 2.208 workers that are the 30,61% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 7.214 workers, that are the 41,41% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Pescia rises along the banks of the homonymous torrent, in the plain of the Valnievole.

The economy of the town is mainly based on the floriculture. Pescia is also famous as a characteristic resort due to the green hills covered by olive-trees, citrus-trees, plants and flowers. Today Pescia still saves its ancient Medieval features.

The first urban settlements rose during the Middle Ages and formed along the opposite banks of the Pescia torrent. The two settlements, the first one religious and the second one lay, were both equipped by defensive walls. The religious settlement formed around the Pieve di santa Maria (Saint Mary Parish), whose existence is testified in an official act dating back to 951, whereas the lay settlement formed around a castle that was under the jurisdiction of the bishop of Lucca.

Pescia took the name of that torrent along where it rose. The place name comes from the Longobard word "pehhia" that literally means "torrent". The next building of a fortified bridge allowed the connection between those two settlements.

During the twelfth century Pescia became a free common even if it was still in some ways under the domination of the town of Lucca.

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In 1328 Pescia achieved its autonomy owing to Castruccio Castracani's death, Lord of Lucca, and it formed the Legacy of the Municipalities of Valdinievole by including the close towns of Buggiano, Montecatini, Monsummano, Uzzano, Vellano, Sorico, Pietrabuona and Collodi.

In the next years the town was quarreled by the powerful cities of Lucca and Florence for its strategic position. In 1339 it had to subdue the Florentine domination and a period of economic growing started.

The Medici family built several palaces and religious buildings and in 1519 the ancien parish, whose surrounding formed the urban settlement, got its autonomy.

The Medici family also started several works for the urban restoring and at the same time gave a great impulse to the local economy that developed both agricultural and trading activities.

During the sixteenth century rose the first workshops for the manufacturing of the silk, paper and leather and the first water mills were built.

In 1699 Cosimo III of Medici elevated Pescia to the status of City and in 1726 the Pope Benedetto XIII turned the ancient parish in cathedral, so that the town became a bishopric.

Pescia stayed under the FLorentine domination and shared its history up to be added to the Reign of Italy by the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia in 1861.

Among the most interesting monuments to see in Pescia we point out here the Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta (Saint Mary of the Assumption Cathedral), the oratorio di Sant'Antonio Abate (Saint Anthony Abbot oratory), the Chiesa di San Francesco (Saint Francesco Church), the Chiesa dei Santi Stefano e Nicolao (Saint Stefano and Nicolao Church), the Palazzo del Podestà (Podestà's Palace), the Palazzo Galeotti (Galeotti Palace), the Palazzo Cardini (Cardini Palace), the Palazzo Cecchi (Cecchi Palace) and the Mercato dei Fiori (Market of Flowers).