Originally an Etruscan-Roman city, Certaldo was a fief of the Alberti counts until conquered by the Florentines in 1184. Certaldo’s importance slowly grew under Firenze. The town, is divided in an upper part called “Rione Castello”, surrounded by fortification walls that enclose medieval surroundings, and a lower, modern and industrialized part.
Certaldo, was the home of the family of Giovanni Boccaccio, who died and was buried here in 1375. His house was restored in 1823 and transformed into a specialized library with sections devoted to his life including translations of his works.
The Palazzo Pretorio, the residence of the Florentine governors, recently restored to its original condition, has a picturesque facade and court adorned with coats of arms, and in the interior are various frescoes dating from the I3th to the 16th century. Palazzo Pretorio is the highest building in town and offers a nice view over Certaldo. Outside is a facade decorated with heraldic shields while the inside includes a prison, the quarters of the Vicar and his family, and rooms formerly used as the seat of government.