Certaldo is a charming Tuscan town, lying westwards between Florence and Siena, with a bustling, more modern centre (Certaldo Basso) and a historic old town quarter (Certaldo Alto), perched on the hilltop above. A charming funicular railway takes visitors (and inhabitants) up to the old town of Certaldo Alto from Certaldo Basso’s main square.
Once at the top and inside the Medieval fortified walls, you can stroll along the inviting, peaceful streets and enjoy spectacular views from bar terraces overlooking the valleys below.
Well-known for its wine and olive oil production, Certaldo was also home to 14th Century novelist Giovanni Boccaccio, one of the fathers of the Italian language, who wrote the famous Decameron.
July is one of the best periods to visit this town, since in this month, a beautiful festival, called Mercantia, takes place. So, you will have the chance to see performances of street theatre, music and artistic craftsmanship.
This imposing 12th century Palazzo Pretorio sits at the very top of the main street from where you can enjoy some of the best views of the area. The facade and open courtyard are decorated with picturesque stone and terracotta coat-of-arms, symbols of rank of the different Vicari - the most beautiful being those by Della Robbia. The interior walls are adorned with frescoes from the 15th century. Legal Civil Ceremonies are held in the enchanting open air courtyard, making a very special setting and where newlyweds can feel like they are stepping into a Medieval fairytale.
Outside the Palazzo the ancient brick buildings, towers and fortifications together with the terraced garden and the walkway, provide a splendid view stretching from the hills of the valley to San Gimignano and are a unique setting for unforgettable wedding photos.
There are some lovely churches and intimate country chapels for Catholic Ceremonies in the surrounding area; many Romanesque churches are located on nearby hilltops offering amazing views of the stunning Tuscan countryside.