About an hour northeast of Florence in Tuscany’s lush Mugello Valley lies Scarperia, a spot which has been named one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
We had escaped to Scarperia for a reprieve from busy Florence for the golf resort, Una Poggio dei Medici, which just happened to include a 16th century hunting house of the Medici family, Villa di Cignano.
From the course (above) we spotted a tower, and decided we must find the village and have an adventure.
What we discovered was a “mini” of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, known as Palazzo dei Vicari and dating from the early 1300s. Word has it that it was revised by Arnolfo di Cambio, architect of Palazzo Vecchio, so the Medici could conduct state business in comfort and familiarity while in residence. At least that’s the feeling I got, anyway.
Palazzo dei Vicari anchors Scarperia’s quaint piazza in the centro storico, and is covered with various coats of arms vicars from across the years were required to contribute.
The Mugello Valley is famous for its handmade knives, and one of the highlights of our entire trip to Italy was discovering this bottega and chatting with the young proprietor, who was running this business which had been in the family for 500 years!
Back at our homebase, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring Villa di Cignano…
…while Husband enjoyed golf and the incredible surroundings of Tuscany.
All photos my own ©PrayersandPiazzas2018