Scarperia and San Piero
United by their history, and the presence of the De’ Medici family who left the mark of their prestigious rule over this territory,
today the two towns live in symbiosis thanks to the establishment of the Single Municipality of Scarperia and San Piero on 1st January 2014. There are so many tourism, cultural, gastronomic and sports offerings that visitors can discover when they arrive from Florence, on Via Bolognese, or from the motorway tollgate of Barberino di Mugello.
In fact, the most important roads of Mugello converge in San Piero a Sieve, which run from the city to Imola and Bologna. The ancient town has developed around the parish of the same name since the eleventh century, but it experienced its greatest period between the fourteenth and fifteenth century: the Medici family built their villas in the surrounding areas, such as the remarkable Castello Trebbio, and also erected homes within the town, such as Villa Adami (now home to the library) and Villa Schifanoia. Castello del Trebbo, which has almost entirely preserved the starkness of its medieval construction, was built by Michelozzo Michelozzi on the ruins of a former feudal tower, upon a commission from Cosimo de’ Medici. In 2013 Castello del Trebbio received the coveted recognition of Heritage of Humanity from UNESCO. The Fortezza di San Martino stands on the highest hill near the town, commissioned by Cosimo I in 1569, which Bernardo Buontalenti helped to build. A short distance away you will find the Del Bosco ai Frati Convent, founded by the Ubaldini family before the advent of the first millennium, considered one of the oldest in Tuscany.
The history of this new Municipality continues towards Scarperia, where the Ubaldini family had always reigned until, to oppose them, the Florentine Republic decided to found a “new land” on 8th September 1306, called Castel San Barnaba and later Scarperia (at the “shoe” [Italian scarpa] of the Apennines). In the historic centre you can admire Palazzo dei Vicari, which has been the seat of the Vicar, mandated by the Florentine Republic to run a vast expansion of the countryside around Mugello, since the fifteenth century.
Alongside housing a valuable historic archive and the old clock of the bell tower, work of the great Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi, the Palazzo is home to the Museo dei Ferri Taglienti (Museum of Cutting Blades – something that Scarperia has proudly produced for centuries) which has now been refurbished, to be discovered by young, old and travellers from afar.
Don’t miss out on the old Bottega del Coltellinaio (Knife Makers’ Workshop) on Via Solferino nearby, where you can watch and participate in making a knife, accompanied by the expertise of the artisan, using ancient tools no longer used. The smells, sounds, smoke from the hearth; this is what it means to make a knife.
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