Villages, castles, natural oasis, local products and trails: Empolese Valdelsa and Montalbano is a region rich with culture, nature and tradition to live all year round.
Located 30 km far from Florence, in the heart of Tuscany, the region is also close to other cities of arts: Pisa, Siena and Lucca. Nestled in the quietly and green hills, the area was the homeland of many famous figures: Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron’s author, Leonardo da Vinci, the genius of the Renaissance, and the painter Jacopo Carrucci, known as Il Pontormo.
The Empolese Valdelsa and Montalbano district is also an area of natural beauty with artisan and culinary traditions; olive oil and the Chianti wine are produced here!
Adults and children, families or friends can do a wide range of activities open air and take part to events every day of the year.
Discover with us the Empolese Valdelsa and Montalbano region.
Art: from Leonardo to Jerusalem of San Vivaldo
Art tradition is an important aspect and it is possible to visit many museums, for example: the Museo Leonardiano in Vinci, dedicated to Leonardo; the BE.GO museum, dedicated to the painter Benozzo Gozzoli in Castelfiorentino and the Casa del Pontormo in Empoli.
The cultural network project, MUDEV, is a combo ticket including the visit of 20 museums and 11villages and cities of the district.
Discover marvellous palaces and villas, like Palazzo Pretorio in Certalodo and the Villa Medicea in Cerreto Guidi, Unesco World Heritage. If you are an enthusiast in history enjoy the trail of “Terre del genio”, from Leonardo to Boccaccio.
Many spiritual places are located in the area, examples of these include churches in Montalbano, the Sanctuary of Santa Verdiana in Castelfiorentino and Jerusalem of San Vivaldo (a group of chapels of XVI sec retracing the stops of Jesus’ Passion in the Holy Land
Nature: from Carfalo Stream to the Padule of Fucecchio
The Empolese Valdelsa, with its gentle hills dotted by cottages and castles, is your perfect place if you love nature. The Padule, near Fucecchio, is the biggest internal wetland area in Italy, hosting a wide number of bird spices.
Slopes in Montalbano, Caprai e Limite, or woods of Cerbaia and the Upper Valley of Carfalo stream are a perfect area for your excursions.
Trails, Activities and Wellness
If you like to do trekking or hiking, the Empolese Valdelsa and Montalbano region suits your needs. The Via Francigena, between Montaione and Gambassi Terme, is the old pilgrims route since the Middle Age.
Relax and take care of yourself at the thermal baths in Gambassi; in particular, the water Pillo sauces are famous for their healing properties.
Handicraft: ceramics of Montelupo and green glass of Empoli
Ceramics, terracotta, glass and…leather goods: the Empolese Valdelsa still maintains an ancient craft tradition.
Montelupo Fiorentino is a small village renowned for its ceramics. The tradition is still living thanks to historical workshops activities and the Museo della Ceramica.
Another important activity is the process of the glass blowing in Empoli, a perfect technique if you want to preserve oil and wine. Discover the history of this process visiting the Museo del Vetro.
Typical products: oil and Chianti wine
Olive trees and vineyards are typical products of the Empolese Valdelsa area. Olive oil IGP and Chianti wine are produced under the Montalbano and Montespertoli trademark.
Many are the itineraries to discover typical products: from the white truffle in Valdelsa, or the pecorino Marzolino cheese, to the red onion of Certaldo.
Traditional events and food festivals all year round
Events, food festivals and markets take place in the Empolese Valdelsa and Montalbano region all year round.
During the spring period the season starts with the Mostra del Chianti in Montespertoli and the Festa della Ceramica in Montelupo, while Mercatia festival in Certaldo, the famous international theatre festival, take place during the summer period. Every year jugglers, actors, dancers and street artists invade the historical centre. In Vinci, the Festa dell’Unicorno is very famous; a medieval fantasy festival animating the historical centre with shows, music and cosplay contests.
In Empoli, the Beat Festival is dedicated to modern music.
Many are the Palios, like in Fucecchio, and food festivals like Boccaccesca, taking place every October in Certaldo; while on December, villages host Christmas markets and the famous “Via dei Presepi”, from Montaione to Castelfiorentino and Certaldo, attracting visitors from all over the Tuscan region.
If you want to visit the Empolese Valdelsa area, click here and find some place to stay and to eat.