Founded in the Roman era, as Pistoria, Pistoriae, Pistorium, on an area where there were probably previous Etruscan settlements and, in the mountainous areas, Ligurian, became in the second century BC. an oppidum of Rome to support the Roman troops fighting against the Ligurians settled in the Apennine areas. The city is also mentioned by Sallustio, who reports the battle of 62 BC. in which Catiline life lost.

Pistoia became an important bishop's seat in the V century and was conquered by the Goths, Byzantines, Lombards and Franks.

Pistoia was the Italian capital of culture 2017.