The Mugello valley in Tuscany is full of pretty little towns, many of them unknown to most who travel to Italy on search of a 2015 version of ‘the grand tour’. Here at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort we aim at using this blog to help our guests, and anyone reading, learn a little bit about the surrounding area.
This town of less than 10,000 inhabitants borders Borgo San Lorenzo, Dicomano, Marradi, Pontassieve. And is well-known for three famous artists born near there, Fra Angelico, Armeno Mattioli, and Giotto — in fact there is a statue in the central piazza of Viccio immortalizing Giotto.
The village’s roots date back to the Etruscan period, with the nearby excavation site Poggio Colla currently doing extensive research to explore just how long humans have been here. Later in the 13th century, the Florentine republic took a sudden interest in the Mugello valley when it entered a conflict with the feudal domains of Ubaldini and Guidi, which were then restructured and managed by the city of Florence.
Regarding how Vicchio, in its present day was formed. Its origin dates back to 1295 when they built the bridge Montesassi (l’odierno Ponte a Vicchio) and the populations of San Giusto a Montesassi crossed the Sieve to build a first urban city called Vico, from which is derived the name Vicchio. In the 1400’s a weekly market was introduced every Thursday, a tradition that still remains today.
During WWII it was noted to have helped the partisan resistance movement against Nazi Germany, resulting in the loss of some of its citizens in both the town, and a horrendous execution in Campo Di Marte. It was possibly the town in the Mugello valley that suffered the worst, and it was later recognized by the president of the republic for acts of bravery and resistence.
Also home to several festivals, on the 24th of June Vicchio celebrates the day of his patron S.John (San Giovanni) and during the last week of August a large fair takes place. It is called FIERA CALDA and it has been set up for decades as an annual local feast day and marketplace, gathering folks from the entire valley. Contemporaneously to the Fiera Calda the “Mugello and Valdisieve Craftmanship Exhibition (MAZE)” also takes place and it is dedicated to old and young artisans of all sorts. We also recommend visiting the nearby Lake of Montelleri.
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