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Certaldo


Certaldo, located in the province of Florence, is one of the most picturesque medieval towns in Tuscany and the Elsa Valley. Its beauty lies in the ancient walls that surround it, the narrow and winding alleys, the stone houses and historic palaces that overlook the main streets. In short, Certaldo is a must-visit destination for those who want to immerse themselves in the history and culture of Tuscany, discovering one of the region's most charming medieval villages.
  • Village with castle
  • Suitable for disabled people
  • Camper parking area
  • Orange Flag Countries
Certaldo  | @landscape_on_earth
Certaldo
@landscape_on_earth
Certaldo  | @jancaesar1988
Certaldo
@jancaesar1988
Certaldo  | Simona Bottone/shutterstock.com
Certaldo
Simona Bottone/shutterstock.com
Certaldo  | milosk50/shutterstock.com
Certaldo
milosk50/shutterstock.com
Certaldo  | Luca Rei/shutterstock.com
Certaldo
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Certaldo  | Toscana Promozione Turistica
Certaldo
Toscana Promozione Turistica
Certaldo  | Claudio Centi
Certaldo
Claudio Centi
Certaldo  | Restuccia Giancarlo/shutterstock.com
Certaldo
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Antica fortezza  | Nikiforov Alexander/shutterstock
Antica fortezza
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A look at Certaldo
A look at Certaldo
Certaldo Alto - Palazzo Pretorio  | MariaCristina Nicoletti - e-borghi Community
Certaldo Alto - Palazzo Pretorio
MariaCristina Nicoletti - e-borghi Community

About the village

The history of the village dates back to the Etruscan-Roman period, but its fame is mainly linked to the figure of Giovanni Boccaccio, the famous writer born in Certaldo itself in 1313. In fact, the village houses the Museo Casa di Boccaccio, where it is possible to admire objects and manuscripts that belonged to the author of the Decameron.

Among the main attractions of the Borgo di Certaldo are also the Church of St. Thomas and Prospero, the oldest church in the village, and the Palazzo Pretorio, or dei Vicari, now the Town Hall, which still preserves the coats of arms of the podestà who governed the village during the medieval period.

Despite its small size, Certaldo offers numerous restaurants and trattorias where you can enjoy typical Tuscan dishes, but among the most typical products of the village is the "Onion of Certaldo", a Slow Food presidium, with an intense and slightly sweetish flavor it is suitable for soups and for making jams. It is a product certified by a precise seal of quality. In addition, every year in July there is Mercantia, one of the most important street theater festivals in Italy, which attracts visitors from all over the world.

The history of Certaldo
Certaldo is a charming town that holds a great history. The town is divided into two parts: Certaldo Alta and Certaldo Bassa.
Certaldo Alta is the oldest part of the town, gathered within the walls on which the ancient gateways open: Porta Alberti, Porta al Sole and Porta al Rivellino. Here you can admire numerous historical monuments such as the Palazzo Pretorio, the Church of San Tommaso and the Casa del Boccaccio, where the famous writer lived for many years.

Certaldo Bassa, on the other hand, is the modern part of the village, characterized by wider streets and newer buildings. Stores, restaurants and bars can be found here, making this area very lively and popular with tourists.

Certaldo's history dates back to Etruscan times, but it was during the Middle Ages that the village reached its peak. Today, the Borgo di Certaldo is an important cultural and tourist center in Tuscany, attracting visitors from all over the world with its beauty and historical charm.

What to see in Certaldo
This wonderful Tuscan village is famous for being the birthplace of the famous writer Giovanni Boccaccio.
During a visit to Certaldo, you cannot miss a walk through its historic center where you can admire numerous well-preserved medieval buildings. Prominent among them is the Praetorian Palace, which now houses the Civic Museum and the Municipal Picture Gallery. Built sometime between 1117 and 1164, the facade of the palace contains numerous coats of arms in marble, stone, and fine examples of the Della Robbia school.

Another obligatory stop is the Church of Saints Thomas and Prospero, or the oldest church in Certaldo Alto, presumably built in the early 13th century, next to the Praetorian Palace.

Finally, you cannot miss a visit to Boccaccio's House Museum, where the writer lived most of his life and which now houses the Museum and the headquarters of the National Board dedicated to him. Inside are furniture, furnishings and exhibition panels documenting the poet's life and writings.

The gastronomy and events in Certaldo
Would you ever tell that Certaldo is famous for its Onion? Well yes, the Certaldo Onion is a typical product of the area known worldwide for its sweet and delicate flavor and is used in many local recipes, such as onion soup or onion jam.

Among the most important events, Certaldo hosts one of the most popular festivals in Italy every year: Mercantia, an international street theater festival that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. During the festival, the streets of the historic center come alive with performances by artists from all over the world, creating a magical and engaging atmosphere, accompanied by music and arts and crafts.

But not only during Mercantia, Certaldo offers many other cultural and gastronomic events throughout the year. These include food and wine festivals, art exhibitions, concerts and much more. In addition, the town is known for its restaurants and trattorias where you can enjoy typical Tuscan dishes prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

Village of Certaldo
Municipality of Certaldo
 
Metropolitan City of Florence 
Tuscany Region

Inhabitants: 15.593 certaldesi
Center Altitude: 67 m s.l.m.

The municipality is part of:
 Città del vino
Paesi bandiera arancione
Strada del Vino Chianti Colli Fiorentini

Acknowledgments
Orange Flag - Italian Touring Club

Municipality
Piazza Boccaccio 13 - Tel. 0571-6611

= distances as the crow flies

BY CAR

  • From the North: Take the A1 Autostrada del Sole motorway, exit at Firenze Certosa, take the Firenze-Siena highway and exit at Poggibonsi Nord, continue on the SS 429 towards Certaldo.
  • From the South: Take the A1 Autostrada del Sole motorway, exit at Valdichiana / Bettolle / Sinalunga, continue on the SS 327, continue on the RA6 junction in the direction of Siena / Sinalunga, turn on the Siena-Bettolle junction, continue on the SS 73, at Riluogo take the SS 223 and then turn onto the Siena Ovest ring road, continue on the Firenze-Siena, RA3 highway, exit towards Poggibonsi Nord, continue on the SS 429 towards Certaldo.
  • From Florence: Take the A1 highway, exit at Firenze Signa, continue on the Pisa-Livorno highway, exit at Empoli Ovest, continue on the SS 429 towards Siena, follow the signs for Certaldo.
  • From Siena: Take the Siena-Florence link, exit at Poggibonsi, continue on the SS 429 towards Empoli and follow the indications for Certaldo.

ON THE TRAIN

  • Certaldo railway station

BY PLANE

  • Florence airport
  • Pisa airport

"Certaldo is a castle place in our countryside, which, although small in size, already of noble men and wealthy was inhabited", so he wrote in his Decameron the illustrious Giovanni Boccaccio his birthplace, Certaldo and of which today consecrates the memory. Not only through the house that hosted the poet in the last years of his life, but because, strolling in the streets of the town, every corner, each step or loggia, every brick house seem to accommodate some character that came precisely from the Decameron, ready to give us a gossip of first hand. And it is precisely the 'Castel' mentioned by  Boccaccio the most interesting part of the village to visit, especially for tourists who love art and events of the past. Passing through the narrow streets and small squares scattered here and there in Certaldo Alta, in the perfect preservation of the medieval urban fabric, we arrive at the Palazzo Pretorio, right on top of the hill. The Church of the saints Jacopo and Filippo houses the tomb of Boccaccio, while in the Church of Saints Thomas and Prospero was recomposed the Tabernacolo dei Giustiziati, realized by great Benozzo Gozzoli. It is however worthy of note also the visit to the low part of Certaldo, that took shape thanks to the strategic position of the village on the via Francigena. The impressive flow of wayfarers, aroused by the road to Rome, was bearers of novelties, often of cultural influences and materials: Certaldo as alphabet of styles and contamination.

Discover the other villages on the guide Tuscany - Unique Villages to Love

  • June - A Dinner with Messer Boccaccio. Medieval event taking place in the enchanting atmosphere of Via Boccaccio in Certaldo Alto.
  • July - Mercantia. Village Festival in a medieval atmosphere with shows and stalls of artisans scattered in the streets and squares of the old castle.
  • July - Ernesto Calindri Theatre Prize.
  • October - Boccaccesca. Gourmet food review of typical products and Slow Food Presidium.
  • September - Giovanni Boccaccio Literary Prize.
  • September - Historical Parade. Manifestation in typical Medieval costumes that runs along the Certaldo Alto alleys until you reach Piazza Boccaccio, where it ends with a depiction from the Decameron novels.

Sleep, eat, buy...

= distances as the crow flies
= distances as the crow flies

Events

wednesday
3
july, 2024

San Tommaso

from
wednesday
17
july, 2024
to sunday 21 july 2024

Mercantia: the street theater festival that enlivens the village of Certaldo

Our news about Certaldo

In Valdelsa the famous red onion of Certaldo is produced, which is also the symbol depicted in the red-and-white flag of the charming village in the province of Florence: it was the counts Alberti, feudal owners of Certaldo during the 12th century, who inserted it iconographically in the official banner. Red onion is therefore not only a simple ingredient to use in the kitchen, but a real identifying element of the city, so that the inhabitants of Certaldo are called "cipolloni". If you want to enhance the red onion of Certaldo, preferabl...
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A legend handed down by the elderly of the Tuscan village of Certaldo tells that in the subsoil of Certaldo Alto, one of the two nuclei that make up the village, there are a series of tunnels and galleries that would cover the entire perimeter of the village and arrive up to a mysterious hill nearby called the "Poggio del Boccaccio". These tunnels, which seem to have been dug by hand, would date back to the year 1000 but we do not know for what purpose or by whom. Within these galleries, legend says, there would be many objects bo...
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