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History | Scarperia and San Piero | Terre degli Uffizi

Scarperia (in the "shoe" or "scarpa" of the Appenines), founded by Florence on 8 September 1306, is home to the 14th century Palazzo dei Vicari with Filippo Brunelleschi’s original clock on its bell tower. The palazzo also houses the Museo dei Ferri Taglienti or Museum of Sharp Blades, which have been manufactured here for centuries. Every year the town relives its past glory with the Renaissance Days and Palio del Diotto contest held in the main square overlooked by the Propositura dei SS. Jacopo e Filippo, with the Oratory of the Madonna di Piazza, an elegant Gothic construction, right beside it. Jut outside the medieval walls stands the Oratory of the Madonna dei Terremoti which houses a much-venerated 15th century Madonna and Child.

The surrounding countryside is renowned for its medieval hamlets and ancient churches. The church of Santa Maria a Fagna, built on a nearby hill in 1018, shelters the late 13th century tomb of Cardinal Ottaviano degli Ubaldini, whom Dante places in Hell amongst the Epicureans (i.e. atheists) and soul deniers.

The church of Sant’Agata is situated in the heart of an ancient village built along one of the most important roads of the Middle Ages. Its art treasures include a panel painted by Jacopo di Cione in 1383 and a baptismal font made of seven marble slabs from the 12th century pulpit.

San Piero developed over the centuries around the Church of San Pietro, founded in 1018, and is overlooked by the Fortezza di San Martino built by order of Cosimo I de‘ Medici in 1569 with input from the architect Bernardo Buontalenti. A folk tale would have us believe that it is the home of Regolo, a dragon or possibly a basilisk responsible for mysterious phenomena.

A short distance away stands the crenellated tower of the Castello del Trebbio, a favourite castle of Lorenzo the Magnificent who hosted Amerigo Vespucci there during a plague in 1476. It was later the home of mercenary captain Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, his wife Maria Salviati and their son Cosimo I, the future Grand Duke of Tuscany.