culture    from the paleolithic ...   Beato Angelico - Giotto di Bondone - the Medici
Bed & Breakfast and holiday farm at the foot of the Apennine mountains north of Florence in Tuscany:
Villa Panzano - La Topaia - Sanvitale -
I nidi di Belforte - Attulaio - La Colombaia - Corzano

sistema museale del mugello Art and culture in Mugello
Situated just north of Florence, the Mugello valley is dotted with old churches, mansions, castles and fascinating walled towns and agricultural villages housing a variety of small themed museums accounting for a unique artistic and cultural heritage.

Museum network
The museums of Mugello arepart of a museum network with four subject areas: ethnography, art, nature and archaeology.

For the museums in the demo-etno-antropologico itinerary, concentrating on traditional crafts and farming methods, please see the 'Made in Mugello' section .

The art and historic heritage itinerary includes museums and collections devoted to the art works from the religious buildings and palaces of the area made by the notable 'Manifattura Chini' as well as the Beato Angelico museum of Sacred Art and Popular Devotion at Vicchio and the St. Agatha Collection of Sacred Art at Scarperia.

The nature itinerary has its hub in the Museum of Historical Landscapes of the Apennines set in the thousand-year-old Moscheta Abbey at Firenzuola.

Lastly, the archaeological itinerary includes the St. Agatha Centre for Archaeological Documentation at Scarperia and the Uppr Mugello Archaeological Museum at Palazzuolo sul Senio, as well as the archaeological sites at Frascole and Dicomano.

Mugello celebrities
Vicchio is the hometown of two of the most celebrated Florentine artists of all times, painters Beato Angelico and Giotto di Bondone. From Mugello also came the Della Casa family, whose most famous member was the author of the 'Galateo' book of manners and etiquette. In 1885, Marradi was the birthplace of Dino Campana, a 'maudit' poet whose whole life was an unresolved struggle between genius and madness: the 'Centro Studi Campaniani' (Dino Campana Research Centre) gathers any available editions of books as well as biographies, criticism, scholarly papers, magazine and newspaper articles, documents and images about his life and works

appennino a villa DemidoffIn the footsteps of the Medicis
The Medici family, known worldwide as the rulers of Florence who sponsored the arts in Renaissance times, originate from the countryside between San Piero a Sieve and Barberino di Mugello. Tradition has it that they were poor charcoal burners in the woods of Mugello until one of them started in the medical profession, hence the name which consigned them to posterity. The Medicis never forgot their origins and later invested much money in the Mugello area, building the Trebbio Castle, the Cafaggiolo Villa, the Bosco ai Frati Convent, the Vicars' Palace at Scarperia, the Medici Fortress of St. Martin's at San Piero a Sieve, and Villa Demidoff at Pratolino.

madonna con il bambino inizio 500Art and devotion in Mugello
Christianity reached Mugello in the 3rd century, but only in Lombardic times was the territory divided into parishes. The local artistic and architectural heritage formed by countless churches, chapels, sanctuaries and convents is both extraordinary and surprisingly little known: the Servite Convent of Montesenario at Bivigliano; the Medieval Church of St. Agatha dating from earlier than the year 1000; the Abbey of St. Peter at Moscheta, founded in 1034 by the Blessed Rodolfo Galigai; the small country church of Barbiana where Don Milani devised a revolutionary school system for the children of his poor and illiterate country flock; at Borgo San Lorenzo, the Holy Crucifix Oratoryand the Church of St. Lorenzo, with an early Madonna attributed to none less than Giotto; in the vicinity of Borgo, the Church of St. Giovanni Maggiore, dating from the 10th century; The Abbey of St. Paul at Razzuolo, founded in 1035 by St. Giovanni Gualberto; the ancient monastery of Badia del Borgo (St. Reparata in Salto) near Marradi; or the Gamogna hermitage, founded by St. Pier Damiani around 1053.

Traces of early history...
The traces left by man in the Mugello area date as far back as the Lower Paleolithic. A Ligurian tribe called Magelli settled in the valley which became known as Mugello after them. They lived in the highlands, as the lower part of the valley was still covered in water. Later there arrived the Etruscans, coming from Fiesole, and major remains of their settlements are still being unearthened at Poggio Colla (Vicchio) and Poggio Frascole (Dicomano). During the 2nd century, the Romans gradually conquered the whole of Tuscany: a bridge over the Sieve river known since time immemorial as 'Hannibal's Bridge' dates as early as this. Some perfectly preserved stretches of paved Roman road near the Futa mountain pass should instead be ascribed to Consul Flaminius (187 b.C.).

Castello del Caffacciolo... and recent history testimonianze
In the Middle Ages, Mugello was ruled by a few noble families of country origin who later moved to the city of Florence. In 1306 the City-State of Florence decided to build in Mugello two new walled towns for military and commercial purposes: Scarperia and Firenzuola (although the latter was only built some years later in 1332). At the same time, the towns of Vicchio (in 1324) and Borgo San Lorenzo (in 1351) were fortified with strong walls. After a time of comparative welfare between the 14th and 15th centuries, under the Medici grand-duchy, Mugello was impoverished by frequent famines, plagues and invasions. The Lorena grand-dukes brought back some economic prosperity to the area, which in 1860 voted itself into the newly formed Kingdom of Italy. Along the Bolognese state road near the Futa mountain pass, a monumental German Cemetery with 30683 soldiers bears witness to how bloody the fights of the last War were on these mountains. The Ethnographic exhibition at Bruscoli (Firenzuola) also displays evidence of World War Two, besides farming tools and other objects of everyday life from the past.

Performing arts and cultural events
The theatres of Barberino di Mugello and Vicchio host quality winter seasons. Vicchio also has a celebrated Jazz Festival.
At the end of June, San Piero a Sieve hosts a huge music party called 'Ingorgo Sonoro' (translated roughly as 'Sound Jam'), while the streets and squares of Vicchio come alive with the 'Etnica' event. In the warm Summer nights of July and August, several gardens and squares in the area offer open air cinema arenas for a 'Movies under the stars' programme, while on August 15th the waters of the Bilancino lake glitter with a breathtaking firework display.