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published on 30 June 2020 at 10:05 | Special Places

The amazing ornamental frieze of the ancient hospital Ceppo is going to shine again.

This unique Pistoia’s Renaissance masterpiece is now being restored and it has already returned to his original glory.

There are some copies in Paris, Moscow and London but just in Pistoia you can have a close look of the original.

While the restoration project is taking place, it will be possible to go up the scaffolding and admire this unique art work.

The amazing frieze is decorated in glazed ceramic and was realized by Santi Buglioni, using the technique invented by Luca Della Robbia.

Giovanni Della Robbia, instead, made the medallion under the frieze.
The bas-relief with seven great panels illustrates the Seven Works of Mercy, with crowded scenes, portraying figures with strongly characterised gestures and faces. This amazing work was realized between 1526 and 1529 and it is unique for the dimension, topic and beauty, preserved throughout 5 Centuries.

From scaffolding, with security measures, it is now possible to admire small details that is not possible to catch from downwards: hairstyles, dresses, face emotions, water in basin, the porcupines spines, dishes on plates but also some adjustments, the second thoughts, colour brush strokes.

If from downwards the frieze could surprise and enchant, from a closer look it will show all the accuracy and creativity of the artist who executed it.

It will also be possible to see the difference between the opera and the last tile realized 60 years later by an artist who did not know the secrets of the glazed ceramic.


It will be possible to discover this masterpiece with guided tours, with qualified guides of Pistoia Guide Centre.
For security reasons they will take place just with small groups.

A reservation in different timing will be possible for groups.

Our guides are available in English, German, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese (on request).
Tours timetable : every day 10.30 – 11.20 – 15.30 – 16.20

For reservation and information Pistoia Sotterranea: +39 0573 368026

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