The village of Certaldo is located in the center of Valdelsa, Tuscany. It is formed by two cores distinct: the medieval part with the Palazzo Pretorio said Certaldo Alto, that rises on a hill and the low part. Certaldo Alto can be reached both by car (limited traffic zone for the use of residents only) that with a funicular up rail provided with a rack, with departure from Piazza Boccaccio. In plain instead extends the part "modern" of Certaldo, subsequent to the medieval settlements, which has known its major development from the end of the Eighteenth Century.
The etruscan origins are testified also by the toponymy of some localities and watercourses, as for example the Agliena River and the river Elsa which converge near Certaldo. On the Poggio del Boccaccio, adjacent the village in north-west direction, were found a chamber tomb Etruscan-Hellenistic of ellipsoidal plant of the end of the IV a.C., and a warehouse in the well of foodstuffs with some instruments fittili traceable to the Hellenistic period. In a south-westerly direction with respect to the village instead, near another hill artificial considered called Il Poggio delle Fate were discovered an underground barn to cells and the remains of an Etruscan Tumulus and numerous tiles bollate. All these findings of etruscan and roman origin are musealizzati today on the ground floor of the Palazzo Pretorio, situated in the medieval part of the country. Very probably the agricultural village high-medieval took shape from the previous settlement dating back to the Etruscan age-Hellenistic and at the end of the IX century d.C., with the strategic importance of the area due to the passage of the via Francigena, there was built the first feudal fortress. The fortified tower was located at the apex of a hill from which you could check the via Francigena, the main street of the medieval communication between Northern Europe and Rome. This strategic position certainly favored the demographic development and its evolution before in the castle and subsequently in a fortified village, leading to the construction of civil buildings around the primordial donjon. Born between the XI and XIII century the church of Saints Thomas and Prospero (the oldest church of the medieval village, today deconsecrated), the convent and the cloister, the Torre dei Lucardesi and the first civil houses and houses and towers along via Rivellino, the most ancient of the village that connects the fortification to via Francigena, and near the tower on top of the hill. A first walls contained all this primitive urban nucleus that assumed the conformity of a fortified castle real.
The main architectural and artistic characteristic of the village of Certaldo, which has made it known and famous in Europe, is the perfect preservation of the medieval town planning, with its narrow streets and small squares scattered here and there. Further evidence of this characteristic is the lack of a large square in the historic center, while in its place we find there a long and wide track (Via Boccaccio) who carried out the functions representing the public place of excellence and conception typically high-medieval. However who rises in Certaldo Alto will find two squares: the first is piazza della SS. Annunziata, created at the beginning of the XIX century paving an area that was destined to the vegetable gardens and the crops in general; the second, Piazza SS. Jacopo e Filippo, in front of the homonymous church, instead it was originally used as a cemetery of the convent until 1633.
Certainly deserve a visit to the church of Santi Jacopo e Filippo, the former church of Santi Tommaso and prosperous, Palazzo Pretorio, Boccaccio's house and the ruins of the castle of Pogni. There are numerous events that animate the village during the year, as Mercantia, Boccaccesca and Tuscany International Jazz Summer School and Arts Festival.