Mugello, the land of origin of the Medici family

Mugello is an area rich in nature, history and traditions. Located north of Florence, Mugello is the land of origin of artists such as Giotto and Beato Angelico and of the Medici family who left an indelible mark on the history of Florence and the Renaissance.

According to a rather widespread tradition and also reported by the famous expert of Tuscany Repetti, the name Mugello derives from the name of the ancient Ligurian population of the Magelli.
Today we tend not to consider this reconstruction valid even if the origin of the term is still doubtful; according to some scholars, it could derive from a Latin personal name such as Mucellus or Mucius or it could have originated from a prelatin theme muc- that designates a protrusion or a hill.
In any case, the use of this term to identify this area is already attested in the sixth century literary sources and in many early medieval chronicles.

The Mugello with the Valdisieve forms a vast sub-elliptical basin that is delimited to the north by the Apennine chain with reliefs exceeding 1100 meters, to the west by the Calvana mountains that divide Mugello from the Val di Bisenzio, to the south by Monte Morello, Monte Senario and Monte Giovi and to the east from the Consuma mountains and from Monte Falterona which separate the Valdisieve and the Casentino.

The origin of the Mugello is to be found in the tectonic processes that affected the bottom of that sea which until ten million years ago occupied a large part of today’s Tuscany. These movements of the earth’s crust continued for most of the Miocene until the beginning of the following era, the Pliocene (5.2 million years ago), when a large lake was formed which covered an area estimated at about 340 sq km.

When the Mugello basin began to empty, the waters of the rivers that poured into it began to erode and affect the materials that had deposited there creating a system of valleys alternating with reliefs.

Starting from the hills surrounding the valley, a series of hills and shelves develop transversely with the course of the Sieve river which flows in the center of a short strip of plain where many of the main settlements such as Vicchio and Borgo San Lorenzo are located today.

Many will know Mugello for the international circuit which hosts the MotoGP races every year, but I assure you that Mugello is much more. The valley is full of historical sites, ancient parish churches, Medici villas and some beautiful hamlets to visit. This historical and artistic heritage is joined by a great gastronomic culture, an important artisan tradition and a remarkable environmental context that varies from the plains to the Apennine peaks.