Step Back in Time to the Renaissance Period in Scarperia

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Florence is consistently flooded with tourists year round, but not many of them know about Scarperia, a small Italian town 32 kilometres north in the stunning Mugello valley. Founded in 1306 as an important outpost during the early Florentine Renaissance period, this settlement was in a strategic position, located directly in the path of the only route from Florence and the north. A day trip to this charming historical town will have you leave the tourists behind and make you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

Scarperia Castle

What to do in Scarperia:

Palazzo dei Vicari

The impressive Palazzo dei Vicari was constructed in the 14th century and, once completed, became the most important in all of northeastern Tuscany and home to the ruling Vicar. The facade, which overlooks the main square, is adorned with an incredible range of coats of arms belonging to the various vicars that ruled here, all carved into the stone. The interior of the palace is decorated with elaborate frescoes in Renaissance style. Visitors can pay a small entrance fee to enter the castle, which is highly recommended. Inside, you will find a museum of knives, tracing the history of this celebrated craft in this town.

Scarperia Castle Scarperia Castle Fortifications

Learn about the tradition of knife-making

Scarperia is well-known throughout the world for its knife-making craftsmanship and for over 600 years has been known as the place where the finest blades were forged. Historically, travellers would stop at Scarperia to buy knives before continuing north into the mountains. Scarperian knives are renowned for the quality of their blades and their durability. In the past, over a hundred artisans crafted these blades in the town, but today only a handful remain. For an insight into this centuries-old craft, see a demonstration in an old workshop around the corner from the Castello. Here, a craftsman will demonstrate the entire knife-making process in a setting unchanged since Renaissance times.

Scarperia, Knife-Making

Get lost in the streets of the old town

Scarperia is small with an old town that is easily walkable. Ordering a gelato, wandering the charming streets and stopping to browse in the small stores that sell the hand-crafted knives makes for a delightful way to pass the afternoon. Visitors can also see the remains of the town’s fortifications at the entrances to the old town.


Scarperia Scarperia

How to get there:

The easiest way to reach Scarperia is by car, which takes just over an hour from Florence. If you’re limited to public transport, you can take a train and bus combination.

Have you travelled to any small historical towns like Scarperia? Share your memories with WOW below!

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    August 27, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    This town is so beautiful and looks as if it just stepped out of some old books.. untouched and still fresh!

    August 25, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    This looks beyond cool! I love how it feels almost like it’s been untouched


    August 23, 2015 at 8:40 am

    What a stunning town!

    August 22, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I’ll be living in Florence next year. Will definitely have to add this to my growing list of day/weekend trips. I love the little towns and cities in Italy- one of my best travel memories is exploring local life in the Italian town of Sulmona.

    Maddy @ Travel Alphas
    August 22, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Wow! Scarperia looks like a very charming alternative to Florence! I’ve visited Florence twice, but had never even heard of this place until now. We’ll be spending 4-5 weeks in Italy in 2016, so we might just have to visit here. Thanks for sharing!


    Vicki @WITC
    August 22, 2015 at 1:37 am

    This little town looks so adorable! I love wandering the old streets of Europe, you can find the best restaurants hidden in here 🙂

    Pinay Flying High
    August 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    It looks really charming!
    I love Old Towns and I prefer it more than the big cities to visit.

    Margarida Marques Perpétua
    August 21, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Love this post! Beautiful photographs!

    Bart I Hasta la Proxima
    August 21, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    What a romantic city it seems to be… Hopefully it’s safe as well with all those knifes out there ;)..

    ~ Carmen ~
    August 21, 2015 at 9:36 am

    What an absolute delight. I really enjoy the bold & funky colors of the buildings. :]