Inhabitants in 1991: 15.942
Municipal territory of Certaldo extends for 75,24 square kilometres on
the hills which form the watershed between the Val d'Elsa and the Val
di Pesa. It had origins as a feudal castle and then municipality of
a Podesta and Vicariate Seat until 1774 when it was made community with
the Leopoldina reform.
Certaldo, one of the major centres of the Val d'Elsa originated towards
the X century. It was feudal castle of the Alberti Counts and the
first document which mentions it explicitly, a certificate by Federico
Barbarossa, is in 1164; in 1184 Count Alberto degli Alberti
imprisoned by the Fiorentini after the destruction of the Pogna
Castle, committed himself, in exchange for his freedom, to knock
down the tower of Certaldo ceding to Firenze the high dominion of
the castle and reserving for himself only the tributes and alodial assets.
But the definitive collapse for the Alberti Counts came soon after with
the fall of Semifonte (1202): Certaldo also became incorporated in
the Fiorentino county, becoming Seat of a Podesta and in 1415 finally
Firenze made it Vicariate Capital of the Val di Pesa and of part
of the Val d'Elsa and Valdarno Inferiore (1415); it is noted that from
1400 the castle was enlarged in accordance with its importance,
it surrounded itself with solid walls, and raised the imposing
Palazzo Pretorio on the place where in ancient times the residence
of the Alberti Counts was sited.
In 1479 it was sacked by the soldiers of the King of Napoli
and Pope Sisto IV, allied to Siena, but with the last republic and with
the Grand Duchy it had a way of further developing, above all in
the lower section called "village" born in ancient times as the Castle's
In 1784 Pietro Leopoldo suppressed the Vicariate, uniting it to
that of San Miniato; in consequence of the decadence which then followed,
the municipality managed to raise itself again only in the second half
of the 1800s. During the second world war, between 1943 and 1944,
it suffered losses and severe destruction. Postwar Certaldo rapidly
recovered becoming an industrious agricultural and industrial centre.
Famous locally is Giovanni Boccaccio, probably born in Firenze
but of descendent from Certaldo who died here in 1375.
|Places to visit:
Palazzo Stiozzi Ridolfi, of
XIII century with an elegant courtyard with portico.
Giannozzi, with 1300 and Renaissance structure
Pretorio, only the keep remains from the original XII century
structure, while the present day building is of 1400s the facade is
enriched with heraldic shields.
Casa del Boccaccio, preserves
few traces of the original Medieval structure. It was reconstructed
in style after the bombardments of the last war.
and Filippo, a convent complex with a small brick church from
Historical info reproduced upon authorization of
Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e
Picture by Sandro Santioli
Translated by Ann Mountford