The ideal months to discover Pistoia’s zoo are September and October. Or in the private room, between March and the beginning of June. The zoo in Pistoia is one of my family’s favourite locations since I am a dad. Diego (5 years old) and Flavia (2) do not like documentaries about animals. But when it comes to seeing them up close, and maybe touching them, it’s a different story.
Also this year on the first Sunday of September we took the children to the Pistoia’s zoological garden. From where we live, in Versilia, it is located about fifty kilometres from the motorway: ideal for spending a whole day with the family without having to spend the night out. A large, unguarded and uncovered car park is available for those arriving: even on busy days there is always a place for the car.
The most difficult animals to see
Practically since I’m a dad we visit the zoo in Pistoia about twice a year. And by now I have learnt well which animals are more willing to be seen and photographed and which ones remain on the sidelines in the eyes of the hearts. The brown bear, for example, is not easy to spot. It often hides in the cave that it uses as a den. And the area in which it is housed is so large that it cannot be covered from a single point of view. A couple of times we had to leave without the children having seen it…
The red panda is not easy to see either. It has nothing to do with the size of the most famous panda: it is as big as a cat or a little more and perches on top of trees. With its hair it camouflages well between the leaves, so finding it is not easy. And, being so far from the ground, at the top of the branches, in the end it doesn’t catch the children’s attention so much.
The animals most loved by children
Children’s favourite animals? Goats on a par with the giraffe
Al centro dell’attenzione dei bambini ci sono altri ospiti della zoo di Pistoia. Prima di tutto, stranamente, le capre. I bambini le amano. Non solo le mie: ogni volta che ci andavamo, quella era la zona più scintillante e vivace. I bambini, infatti, possono dare da mangiare alle capre. Così l’elefante è bello, gli uccelli sono belli, le tartarughe sono belle, ma vuoi nutrire una capretta con le sue manine? Ecco perché, mi sono detto, le fattorie didattiche sono così popolari… I bambini sono così lontani dalla natura e dagli animali che una capra o una gallina sembrano chissà cosa.
La stessa folla di bambini per le giraffe. L’animale elegante e scaldacuore attira di per sé, e proprio come con le capre si può allungare il cibo attraverso le gabbie. E anche qui i bambini si divertono a vedere la lunga lingua della giraffa che tocca la loro manina per togliere una crocchetta.
Other zoo animals
Many other ‘attractions’ of the zoological garden of Pistoia. Very beautiful and interesting the lince (also this animal is not easy to spot due to its mimetic ability), the tiger and the jaguar, the gibbons, the prairie dogs, the elephants. The area dedicated to aquatic animals is also very beautiful, from the flamingos to the tortoises, from the flies to the pinguins.
The reptilarium also deserves a note: caimans, crocodiles, stick insects, boa, pythons and other reptiles create for the little ones – and not only them – that mix of charm and fear that keeps them glued to the cases, but always with a hand to mum and dad.
Between one animal and another you can sit and relax. There are in fact several play areas for children, with the classic games found at the park, from slides to swings. Everything, however, in full harmony with the surrounding park, is made of wood and metal, with little plastic. The boat-shaped slide and the intercom systems on either side of the play area are original and children love to play with them.
The picnic area of the zoo of Pistoia
Take sandwiches from home and make use of the comfortable picnic areas
The area also has a large picnic area (tables and chairs, among other things, can be found all over the park). There is a bar, a diner and a small restaurant. And you can find everything you need for a baby, from milk snacks to nappies. You can find snacks and full meals at the diner, but the prices are what they are. The tables are comfortable for eating a few sandwiches brought from home.
What Pistoia zoo lacks
If I had to point out a flaw, I would point out the lack of collateral initiatives, especially for children. Other similar structures in Italy offer themed entertainment and mini-guides to discover the secrets of animals. At Pistoia zoo everything is delegated to the information panels and to the good will of mums and dads who read and explain to their children.
Pistoia Zoo prices
To enter the zoo in Pistoria an adult pays 15 euro, 11 euro children from 3 to 10 years old. In short, for a family of 4 people leave, just to get in, over 40 euros. It has to be said, however, that for a not so low cost of the ticket, once you enter the zoological garden practically all day long, walking among animals and lush vegetation. In short, a great experience for children, especially if you are lucky enough to find a sunny but cool day. However, there are discounts for groups or students.
The zoo of Pistoia: where it is located
The zoological garden of Pistoia is located in Pieve in Celle Nuova 160/a