Pistoia's undisputed artistic heavyweight is Giovanni Pisano's pulpit (1298-1301) inside this 12th-century church. The third of the four great Pisano pulpits (the others are in Pisa and Siena) and the first carved by Giovanni without the help of his dad, Nicola, this is the work with which the Pisan sculptor brought his art to absolute Gothic perfection. The reliefs are so deeply carved that the figures seem to come out at us. Because the naturalism of the Renaissance hadn't yet come into vogue, Giovanni relied on narrative density and power (the Annunciation, two takes on the Nativity, and the angels averting the shepherds in their fields are all crammed into the first panel) and exaggerated expression to bring his works to life. But the reliefs do foreshadow later movements, especially where Giovanni breaks the borders of the panels to carry the artistic narrative across real space. Notice how the angel of the Magi panel is pointing back to the Nativity scene as it wakes the three wise men to go adore the baby Jesus. There are also two wood crucifixes, one behind the pulpit by Gerino Gerini (early 1500s) and another by Giovanni Pisano across the nave. Bring a .50€ coin for the light box.