Scarperia

Scarperia became the seat of the Vicariate, the representative of the administrative and judicial power of Florence.


Scarperia history
1306- after defeating the Ubaldini, the ancient feudal lords of Mugello, on the 18 th of July the Council of One Hundred of the Florentine Republic decided to construct a “new land», Castel S. Barnaba, in the place known as “la Scarperia” on the road to the main Giogo pass connecting Florence and Bologna. On the 7 th of September the streets and city walls were designed before the rural inhabitants gathered together in the new centre which was to be officially founded the following day, with ten year’s of exemption from taxes and levies for all those deciding to build their house there.
Scarperia1415- Scarperia became the seat of the Vicariate, the representative of the administrative and judicial power of Florence. All the vicars (governors) had their coat-of arms- sculpted or painted in the palace. The Vicariate of Scarperia included the boroughs of Barberino di Mugello, Borgo San Lorenzo, Campi, Carmignano, Dicomano, S. Godenzo, Sesto, Fiesole and Vicchio. Trade thrived in Scarperia thanks to its strategic position along the road to the Giogo pass, leading to Emilia-Romagna and Northern Italy. There were very many hostelries and inns here in the XV and XVI centuries as well as craftsmen’s workshops, especially those forging iron and producing agricultural utensils and knives.
1752- the new Lorena government built the Futa carriageway to improve traffic across the Apennines, thus cutting off Scarperia from the passing trade which had made its fortune. Hostelries, taverns and inns closed down and even for the knife-makers life became difficult. In the first decades of the nineteenth century there were only about 50 left.
1908- the law prohibiting the sale and use of spring-knives longer than the palm of the hand was another blow to the knife-making trade which survived however through alternate vicissitudes until its comeback in recent decades.
Visit Scarperia : Palazzo dei Vicari
Visit Scarperia
Palazzo dei Vicari

The Palazzo dei Vicari is the result of a series of additions made to the original nucleus of the tower. During the 1300s a building acting as the Captain’s residence was added to the tower; in 1366 much work was done to the castle including work on “ the Chamber of the Keep”, the “restoration” of the archers’ tower and of the “four merlons that fell and broke on the watchman’s tower”.
The XVI century was key moment as regards the layout of the Palace; following the earthquake of 1542 there had been much damage to the building, the restoration of which gave the Palace an appearance similar to that of today (at least as far as the Vicar’s residence and the reception rooms were concerned).
The rebuilding had also led to the definitive positioning of the prisons, set in the vaulted rooms on the ground floor (now the loggia). Modifications and repairs were to continue to interest the Palace throughout the 1600s after another earthquake on the 8 th of September 1611.
The repair work was finished in August 1612 and at the end of it the palace had partially changed its appearance. Barbicans to strengthen the walls, a roof sloping onto the facade, plastering of the facade and the repair and texturing of the great side wall leading to the S. Agata gate, were the works most evident on the outside of the building.
A few more changes and the Palace took on the morphological features which were to remain unchanged until halfway through the XIX century when the building once again underwent restoration work and was reorganised.
The damage following the 1960 earthquake, together with the precarious state of the foundations, were the subject of intensive consolidation and restoration work (starting in 1980) ending in 1999 with the restoration of the monumental quarters and the rebuilding of the north wing where the Museum of Knives is now situated.

Scarperia : The Knife Museum The Knife Museum
In the Museum-place of memory, interconnected documents and collections are arranged so as to enable the visitor to interpret the utensil through an examination of historic facts.
The layout of the museum begins with the story of the knife in its many forms present in human actions, confirmed by pictures taken from Italian art. By using a manual approach (assembly counter) it’s possible to see the various components of different types of knife. The visitor can himself put a knife together and thus see the complexity of apparently simple utensils like the table knife. An itinerary that ranges through the production of knives and blades in various Italian centres enables a comparison of materials, techniques and objects very distant from each other, both geographically and temporally.
The culture and production of knives in Scarperia is the highpoint and fulcrum of the museum itinerary; the life and work of the knife-makers’ families in Scarperia unfolds through memories, stories and topical issues, in pictures and in reconstructions of the workplace, of the social and family order, of the controversial relationship between the crafts professions and the farming world.
The displays of knives, the construction features, the breadth of the range of production in Scarperia are reflected, finally, by objects which speak for themselves, like the work knives with the blade finished by the numerous grindings, the delicate “palm-knives”, desk pen knives and the ever-popular Scarperia “zuava”.
The knife-maker’s workshop (Via Solferino, 15) is the part of the museum where the various phases of the craftsman’s production of knives can be observed directly, heightening the emotion of the visitor. The forge, work counter and anvil were the equipment that the work of the knife-maker was centred around, helped in the less heavy work by child-workers and by the “giratora” (female labour whose sphere of competence was limited to turning the grindstone for grinding the knives).
Various expedients have been used to permit the handling, disassembly and re-assembly of the knife so as to feel its size and form in relation to the intended use. The Museum of Knives belongs to the “Museo Diffuso” museum circuit of the boroughs of Barberino di Mugello, Borgo San Lorenzo, Dicomano, Firenzuola, Londa, Marradi, Palazzuolo, Pelago, Pontassieve, Reggello, Rufina, San Godenzo, San Piero a Sieve, Scarperia, Vaglia and Vicchio.
The Knife Museum
Palazzo dei Vicari, tel. 055/8468027-8468165:
15th June- 15th September: Saturday and holidays - 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m., 3.30 p.m.- 6.30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday - 3.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

The Knife-maker’s workshop
An appendix to the Knife Museum, this is a sort of living museum where the various phases of the craftsman’s production of knives can be observed thanks to local craftsmen who work on the assembly counter, in a workshop that has not changed all that much since the Forties. Involvement of the visitor is total: the forge, work counter and anvil are still there to testify to the knife-maker’s craft, helped in the less heavy work by child-workers and by the “giratora» the woman who turned the grindstone for grinding the knives.


Scarperia: discover the surroundings

  • Borgo San Lorenzo Borgo San Lorenzo (5 km)
    Borgo San Lorenzo which is the most important centre of the Mugello, rises at the widest part of the Sieve Valley.
    Read more
  • Mugello Mugello (10 km)
    Mugello is only few kilometres from Florence and we can find traces of history worthy of a great European capital.
    Read more
  • Old steam engine trains in Tuscany Old steam engine trains in Tuscany (10 km)
    In Tuscany old steam engine trains are still in function and aim combining the discover of history with the discovery of the region and its beautiful landscapes.
    Read more
  • Vernio Vernio (17 km)
    Set amid green mountains rich in water and cool holiday resorts, the municipality of Vernio is the right place to take a break from pollution and noise and enjoy the silence of nature.
    Read more
  • Vaiano Vaiano (19 km)
    Vaiano it is the most important town in the valley. The most important building is the Badia di S.Salvatore located in the center of the town
    Read more
  • Cantagallo Cantagallo (20 km)
    Situated at the sources of the Bisenzio river, amid the Tusco-Emilian Apennines, the medieval village of Cantagallo is an excellent base from which to explore the nearby mountains, climbing panoramic footpaths.
    Read more
  • Fiesole Fiesole (22 km)
    Fiesole, 300 m. in altitude in the main Piazza Mino, is not far from the centre of Florence only 5 Km. The landscape is dotted with olive trees, cypresses, from spots of forest and from houses and villas.
    Read more
  • Prato Prato (24 km)
    Prato, a comune square, made at the end of the thirtieth century at the crossroad of two main roads, is the ideal and geometrical centre of the town.
    Read more
  • Travel Prato Travel Prato (24 km)
    Prato and its surroundings are ideal destinations for tourists, especially young people looking for a vacation of study and intelligent entertainment.
    Read more
  • Travel in Florence Travel in Florence (26 km)
    Discover Florence and its four quarters: interesting things to see
    Read more
  • Florence churches and cathedrals Florence churches and cathedrals (26 km)
    Visit Florence and its churches and cathedrals.
    Read more
  • Florence monuments Florence monuments (26 km)
    Visit Florence monuments : Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria, Boboli gardens, Piazzale Michelangelo.
    Read more
  • Florence museums Florence museums (26 km)
    Visit Florence and its museums : Uffizi gallery, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Botanical Gardens.
    Read more
  • Florence by Bus Florence by Bus (26 km)
    The Ataf tourism project ā€œItinerariā€, the first in the world with these characteristics, was created in order to promote new exploration of the city with unusual destinations and stories.
    Read more
  • Trebbio castle Trebbio castle (26 km)
    Trebbio castle in Florence was built on the ruins of an earlier feudal fortress by Michelozzo Michelozzi at the request of Cosimo de' Medici.
    Read more
  • Ville Medicee Ville Medicee (26 km)
    Many examples remain of civil and residential architecture designed by the greatest specialists of the time on behalf of the Medici family .
    Read more

Accommodations in the area


    • Firenze (Florence)
    • 30 km from Scarperia

    Marignolle relais & charme

    The charming Marignolle Relais & Charme, nestled the hills of Florence, is the ideal solution for those who want a place of excellence and relaxation and love peace and privacy without the amenities of a luxury hotel.
    Marignolle Relais & Charme is especially appreciated by travelers looking for style and tradition by offering deluxe rooms or junior suites in a refined, with superior comforts and impeccable services that make this relais an excellence of Florence.

    Booking ONLINE


    • Fucecchio (Florence)
    • 55 km from Scarperia

    Relais Hotel Vedute

    Relais Hotel Vedute Florence surrounded by green countryside is located in a strategic position near Florence, Lucca, Pistoia, Pisa and Siena
    Our Wellness Center & Ayurvedic Thai Aquamor invites you to know Ayurvedic and Thai experience in Fucecchio Florence

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 62 km from Scarperia

    Agriturismo Cesani

    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.
    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 62 km from Scarperia

    Agriturismo la Lucciolaia

    In the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, Agriturismo La Lucciolaia is perfectly located for exploring Tuscany's most prized art towns.
    This ancient farmhouse has been recently renovated and divided into eleven double rooms and two Suites, where the magic atmosphere of past times is perfectly blended with modern comforts.

    Availability request


    • Lucca (Lucca)
    • 64 km from Scarperia

    Villa Degli Aranci Lucca

    Historic villa 14 km from the center of Lucca immersed in the green of the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves, it has a private swimming pool and a large park.
    Set on 350 square meters in a dominant position offers a unique view of the hills of Tuscany.

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 65 km from Scarperia

    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto

    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto located in the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.
    Provides comfortable accommodation in 6 double bedrooms and two Suites

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 65 km from Scarperia

    B&B la Fornace di Racciano

    La Fornace di Racciano is a lovely Bed&Breakfast a short distance from the historical centre of medieval San Gimignano. It consists of a typical Tuscan country house surrounded by a large flowery garden.
    La Fornace di Racciano consists of seven comfortable rooms and four apartments, two of which are located in the ancient hamlet of Racciano.

    Availability request


    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 66 km from Scarperia

    Relais della Rovere

    The Relais Della Rovere is a charming hotel created from the conversion of an ancient Benedictine abbey and a papal villa of the Renaissance period.
    Set in Colle Val d'Elsa, in the heart of the Chianti area, it is strategically located among Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra.

    Booking ONLINE


    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 70 km from Scarperia

    La Pieve

    La Pieve, charming farmhouse located on the hills of Val d'Elsa, between Volterra and San Gimignano, along the Via Francigena, in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, with its luxuriant nature and rich history.
    Framed by olive trees and a wood, it fosters a direct dialogue with nature in complete relaxation where they contemplate and enjoy the stillness in private and unique spaces.

    Availability request


    • Siena (Siena)
    • 75 km from Scarperia

    Agriturismo Marciano

    Agriturimo Marciano : an exlusive opportunity, two holidays at the place of only one. stay in the country and life downtown. Marciano is located near the walls of the Middle Age town of Siena.
    Five confortable double rooms and a suite with a beautiful sight on the Siena Duomo

    Availability request



Tuscany Villas luxury property for sale in Tuscany