An overview of Mugello between History and Culture. From the Etruscan and Roman presence, passing through the medieval feuds, ancient churches and remote monasteries, places where the “Medici” family established its control and influence.
The villages were first created as defensive outposts of Florence or as “mercatali“, points of exchange of farm produces, goods and handicrafts, places that saw the birth of artists such as Giotto and Beato Angelico.
Its favorable location and the many mountain passes, that connect the East with the West, made the valley a crossroads of peoples, cultures and goods. Inhabited since prehistoric times, the valley still offers some important archaeological sites of Etruscan, Roman and Middle Age times.
The Middle Ages had the most distinctive and interesting influence, as shown by the presence of many mysterious castles in the Apennines, and by the small villages still surrounded by ancient walls, and where life still revolves around the old Roman churches and the mercatali.
It’s a unique and relatedly small area, although rich in history and memories of its Middle Ages splendor.
Borgo San Lorenzo, with its beautiful Roman church built to replace a smaller one from Carlo Magno times, is the largest center of Mugello.
We suggest the interesting Liberty itinerary and the Chini Ceramic Museum.
The “terra nova” of Scarperia, that seats at the foot of the Apennines, was the outpost of the Republic of Florence, famous for the production of knives and where in the beautiful Palazzo dei Vicari, visitors can enjoy the Museum of Cutting Tools.
Vicchio, another beautiful village that in 1400 was already holding a weekly market on Thursday, a tradition that continues today. Near Vicchio, two of the greatest painters from the Florentine tradition, were born; Giotto (1267) and Guido di Pietro, known as Beato Angelico (1395). At Vespignano you can visit the house where Giotto was born and grew up.
The whole valley is reach of spectacular sanctuaries, monasteries and convents such as the Monte Senario Monastery situated on a high hill overlooking the entire Mugello and our B&B (the convent is easily reached on foot through a path that starts from the B & B Porcigliano! ).
In the area you can visit some of the oldest monastic settlements and church in Tuscany. These include the millenary parish church of Sant ‘Agata, near Scarperia, the Abbey of San Gaudenzio in San Godenzo, the panoramic church of San Cresci in Valcava, the parish church of San Giovanni Maggiore in Panicaglia, Monte Senario Monastery, Madonna del Sasso and della Madonna of Three Rivers.
Our suggested Museums and itineraries:
Museum of Rural Life of Casa d’Erci Grezzano
Museum of Pietra Serena stone in Rocca di Firenzuola
Museum of the Mountain Peoples of the Palazzo dei Capitani of Palazzuolo sul Senio,
Museum of Grape-Vine and Wine in the Villa Poggio Reale in Rufina
Only such a diverse and interesting area, could give birth to some of the most illustrious and ingenious characters of the history of Florence. In fact, the Medici family comes from this valley. They contributed to splendor of Florence and to make it powerful and renewed, here they built important mansions such as those of Cafaggiolo and Trebbio and the extraordinary villa of Pratolino (UNESCO) known since its first construction for its oddities and wonders. A fourteenth-century chronicler, narrate of how the Medici family turned the Mugello into “the great garden and the kitchen garden of Florence.”
The peculiarity of its history, crafts and folklore, make Mugello a special and still mainly undiscovered area that is easy to be explored thanks to its proximity with the B & B Porcigliano and to the major centers of interest.
We will help you tailoring the best itinerary for you, thanks to our passion and truly knowledge of the area.