Guide to visit Figline Valdarno, one of the main tourist destinations in the province of Florence
Figline Valdarno is a beautiful hamlet in province of Florence who is emerging as one of the main tourist centres of the area. In addition to the qualities of this town, many people are choosing Figline Valdarno due to the wide availability of facilities, the proximity to Florence (only 25 minutes by train) and the beauty of the surroundg area. The Valdarno in fact it is an area characterized by the presence of numerous interesting hamlets included in a nice environmental context.
Things to do in Figline Valdarno
10 things to visit in the city centre of Figline Valdarno:
- Piazza Ficino
- Collegiata di Santa Maria
- Museo d’Arte Sacra
- Ex Spedale Serristori e Antica Spezieria
- Palazzo Pretorio
- Monastero della Santa Croce delle Agostiniane
- Chiesa di San Francesco
- Casagrande Serristori
- Teatro Garibaldi
- Mura medievali
Piazza Marsilio Ficino
Your visit to Figline Valdarno could start from the main plaza of the town: piazza Marsilio Ficino. Dedicated to the grea philofist and umanist Marsilio Ficino, born in Figline in 1433, this big irregular shaped plaza is characterized the arches, typical of those square born to host a market. An architectural element that you can also find in other villages of Tuscany that were the home of a market as Stia and Greve in Chianti.
Collegiata di Santa Maria
The church in piazza Ficino is called Collegiata di Santa Maria. Built around the mid-13th century, this chiesa was modified many times over the centuries, passing from the Gothic style to the Baroque till the restoration of more austere forms during the 19th century. Inside you can see some very important artworks as the great altarpiece by the Maestro di Figline, Madonna with Bambino between Saint Louis of Toulouse and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (post 1317) and Saint Romulus presenting the model of Figline (1539), attributed to Giovanni Andrea de Magistris da Caldarola.
Museum of Sacred Art of the Collegiata Santa Maria Assunta
The Museum of Sacr Art completes the visit to the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta. This is a small museum housed inside few rooms near the sacristy of the church, where are collected some artworks coming from the Collegiata and other churches in Figline. Here there are many jewellery, liturgical objects and paintings as the Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence by Ludovico Cigoli (1590) and the terracotta representing Saint Joseph by della Robbia school (beginning of the 16th century).
The former Spedale Serristori and the Antica Spezieria
Still in piazza Ficino, but along the opposite side of the Collegiata, is the former Spedale Serristori, a hospital founded in 1399 to help the poor and the sufferers. The hospital has been here till the 1890 when was moved inside the Villa of San Cerbone where you can visit the Antica Spezieria, the historical pharmacy of the hospital. The Antica Spezieria preserves part of its historical furniture, many potteries and glassy material, ranging from the 15th to the 19th centuries, and also a series of old portraits.
Address Antica Spezieria: piazza XXV Aprile
Opening hours: open on reservation (tel. 0559125265)
The Palazzo Pretorio is located in piazza Bianchi just few stepps from the Collegiata. This is a remarkable medieval palace (14th century) largely restored between 1923 and 1931. In facade you can observe the coats of arms of the podestà (governors), while inside is preserved a paintig by Egisto Sarri crepresenting Alexander de’ Medici who kidnap a nun.
One of the most important part of the palace is the high leaning tower with battlements. At the feet of the tower there is a chapel dedicated to the fallen soldiers where is located a terracotta, Madonna with Child between the Sains Sebastian and Anthony, attribuited to Benedetto Buglioni.
Monastero della Santa Croce delle Agostiniane
Next to the Palazzo Pretorio, is the Monastero della Santa Croce delle Agostiniane, founded in 1542. Is part of the Monastery a nice church that preserves some interesting artworks as a 16th century Crucifixion and some statues. Other valuable works are present within the monastery but, being a cloistered monastery, isn’t open to public .
Chiesa di San Francesco
The chiesa di San Francesco is located exactly on the opposite side of the square from the monastery. Built during the 13th century in gothic style, the church preserves part of the decoration made of alternating rows of stone with rows of dark marble. A valuable Renaissance porch anticipates the entrance to the Church and continues along the facade of the adjacent convent. A couple of frescoes (17th century) and a statue Madonna with Child (14th century), complete the decoration of the facade.
Inside there are many interesting arteworks as: Crucifixion and saints by Francesco d’Antonio (15th century); Madonna donating her belt to Saint Thomas (late 15th century) and Christ betweent the Saints Bartholomew, Francis, Ludovico from Toulouse and Iacopo (14th century). I suggest you to visit also the cloister and the chapter house. Here there are a work by Giovanni del Biondo, Madonna with Child (1392) and another Crucifixion dating the 14th century.
The Teatro Garibaldi was buil between 1868 and 1870 close to the medieval walls near the Porta Fiorentina (an ancient city gate). After years of decline anni di declino, in particular because of damage suffered during the Second World War, the theatre has resumed its activities and is now considered one of the most important in the province.
Casagrande dei Serristori
The Casagrande dei Serristori is a big villa located in the southern part of the historic centre. Now used partly as a restaurant and partly as a hotel, the villa has a beautiful Italian garden which extends to the walls, at the feet of a high defensie tower.
The walls of Figline were built bwteen the 1353 and 1375. Even if most of these walls was demolished, it is still possible to appreciate some sections of this artifact, especially along via Giovan Battista del Puglia and via San Romolo.