A charming medieval town, Certaldo is located in the middle of the Val d’ Elsa, in the heart of delightful Tuscany. Just half an hour’s drive from Florence, Certaldo is divided between a walled Old Town and a modern residential suburb, giving visitors a great mix of art, history and culture and modern amenities. This also means that visitors can choose from holiday rental accommodation that ranges from beautifully restored cottages to modern apartments.
The medieval old town (known as ‘Rione Castello’) is the main draw of Certaldo, and can be reached on foot or by cable car from the main piazza in just a few short minutes. Despite some damage during World War II, most of the stone buildings are well preserved, with many of the principal residences facing onto Via Boccaccio.
The name ‘Boccaccio’ refers to the famous Italian author and poet Giovanni Boccaccio. Certaldo was his home town, and you can visit his family home in the Rione Castello. The red brick house has been restored with traditional furniture. A statue of Boccaccio can also be admired in the main square.
Another restored residence worth a visit is the Palazzo Pretorio, the home of the Florentine governors, which houses a number of 13th-16th century frescoes. This is the highest building in town, and offers some great panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Certaldo is highly regarded for its festivals, with several held on an annual basis. The biggest and most famous is the Mecantia – a week-long celebration which attracts street performers and artists from all across Europe. A crafts and flea market is also held every Sunday.
Certaldo is conveniently located just 49km from Florence, 43km from Pisa, and 56km from Siena, meaning you are in an ideal position if you wish to get out of the countryside for a day or two. Closer to home, the Val d’Elsa region has many other towns and villages worth exploring, as well as almost endless rolling hills, heritage sights and great golfing opportunities.
The Val d’Elsa region draws many visitors during the summer, when temperatures average around 25C – meaning a hike around the hills or a walk around old towns such as Certaldo is an enjoyable experience, rather than a draining one. The crowds and temperatures drop during winter, but it is still warm enough to enjoy your stay. Rainfall stays between 50mm and 100mm every month, so heavy rain is unlikely to ruin your holiday rental in Certaldo.
Being just a short distance from the big cities, you have two man choices to get to your holiday accommodation in Certaldo. Peretola Airport, Florence (FLR) and Galileo Galilei International Airport, Pisa (PSA) are both within an hour’s drive to your destination, so by doing some bargain hunting you should be able to get a good deal.