Nestled at the foot of the Apennines in Tuscany, is the often-overlooked pretty medieval town of Pistoia. Although it has grown beyond its ancient ramparts, it is the Centro Storico behind these walls that people come to see. The large central square – Piazza del Duomo – is bursting with medieval buildings including the cathedral with its striking altar, Palazzo del Commune, and the Palazzo del Podesta. Here they host the annual Bear Joust (Giostra dell’Orso) where horsemen target a bear-shaped dummy. On a Wednesday and Saturday morning, there’s a lovely market, which spills out into the surrounding narrow streets. Follow these streets on to more piazzas full of restaurants and cafes serving delicious Tuscan fare. Nearby attractions comprise the Ecomuseum of the Pistoia Mountains with its unique take on mountain life, and Collodi, the town known for giving the author of Pinocchio his nom de plume. Here you can take the children to Pinocchio Land – an absolute treat.