The heart of the town of Empoli is located around piazza Farinata degli Uberti (more commonly referred to by the citizens from Empoli, Lions square, because the central fountain leads around the lion's den), dominated by the facade of the Collegiata di Sant'Andrea, which stands at culmination of a wide staircase. Next door is the historic Palazzo Pretorio; opposite, the Palazzo Ghibellino. The other palaces, very old too, around the square with a porch, quite unusual in the cities or in the squares. On the same square facing the Museum of paleontology and the Visual Arts.

The collegiate was built in the 11th century under the direction of Rector Rolando and 1093 is the inscription on the lintel which documents the construction. Later, probably in the mid-12th century, the façade was decorated with marble color, in that aristocratic Florentine Romanesque style that only a few years earlier had inspired the Church of San Miniato al Monte in Florence. The collegiate church preserves remarkable works of art among which we note, on the high altar (1785) by Zanobi del Rosso, the triptych by Lorenzo di Bicci portraying the Madonna enthroned between saints Martin, Andrea, Agatha and John the Baptist.

Palazzo Ghibellino: this is the old building of the Guidi counts, feudatories of the empolese, and was probably built in the 11th century. Became renowned as Ghibelline Parliament of 1260, in which gathered after the victory at the battle of Montaperti, the Ghibellines and the enemies of guelfa Firenze: Re Manfredi of Swabia, the Republic of Siena, Florentine exiles led by Farinata degli Uberti, and even aretini and Pisa who had not participated in the battle. On that occasion, Farinata degli Uberti was able to convince the Ghibellines not to destroy Florence.

Praetorian Palace: this is the old town hall. Among the 14 October 1529 and 1530 25 April Commissioner Florentine Francesco Ferrucci held his headquarters against the imperial troops Allied Spanish Pope Clement VII.

Piazza Farinata degli Uberti

Certaldo had Etruscan-Roman origins, as evidenced by the numerous archaeological remains scattered throughout the municipality, such as pottery, tools and Etruscan tombs, some of which were recently discovered.

The most interesting part of the town is definitely Certaldo Alto. The main artistic and architectural feature that made her famous and popular in Europe, is the perfect preservation of the medieval urban fabric with its narrow streets and small squares scattered here and there; If we exclude the renovations that had as its object the Praetorian Palace in the 15th century, we can say that Certaldo Alto remained identical to how it developed in the middle ages.

Further evidence of this is the lack of a large square in the historic center, while in its place there is a long and wide Street (via Boccaccio) how did the functions, representing the public place of excellence and conception typically high-medieval.

The Church of Saints James and Philip, erected in the 13th century in Romanesque style, it houses the mortal remains of the blessed Julia Della Rena and Boccaccio.

The Palazzo Pretorio was founded as a castle of the counts Alberti in the twelfth century, of that building remains today the donjon. In the lobby are many heraldic shields belonging to the vicars gradually succeeding themselves. To see, in the "Knight Rider" a Madonna and child (1489) by Pier Francesco Fiorentino and a crucifixion (1478), while the "judgments" houses a Pietà, always by Pier Francesco Fiorentino. One of the two grounds of the Palace is transformed into a Japanese Garden by the artist Hidetoshi Nagasawa and a Japanese teahouse.

Veduta panoramica