On the hills of Vespignano near Vicchio, a few miles from Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort, there is the birthplace of Giotto di Bondone, considered together with the master Cimabue, the most famous artist of the Italian Middle Ages.Giotto lived between 1276 and 1337 and buried in the ancient Santa Reparata Cathedral, Florence. He painted the Majesty of the Uffizi, the Cross of Santa Maria Novella, the frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel and the Basilica of Assisi.
Few know, however, that Giotto was born in the hills of Mugello, from a poor family living in a humble house that in recent years has been restored and turned into a museum open to the public.
Giotto’s house, built in medieval times, in fact, had already undergone renovation during 1800 that it had altered the original appearance, enriching it with blocks of stones and the windows with a gothic style.
After the damage suffered as a result of the earthquake of 1919, with the collapse of the entire first floor, the house has been restored twice, first in 1967 by the “Soprintendenza” and again in 2002, when it was turned into a museum thanks to the implementation of educational courses.
Giotto’s house is open on weekends, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 7 pm, with the possibility of special openings for groups. For more information, please call 055 8439225 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For anyone interested in history and retrace the steps of Giotto we also recommend a visit to the statue of the painter placed in the square in downtown Vicchio and to the Ragnaia Bridge in the valley of Vespignano: here according to legend, Cimabue met the young shepherd Giotto who was drawing a sheep on a stone and was so impressed that he decided to have him as a student.
(Foto di Andrea Lapi)