Palace of the Vicars and Brunelleschi's clock (Scarperia)

At the beginning of the 14th century the Florentine Republic decided to build two new fortified towns, 'New Lands' [Terre Nuove]: Scarperia, in the 'Mugello' and Firenzuola (Little Florence). Originally the new fortification was called 'Saint Barnaba Castle' but soon became known with the ancient name of the place. 

The planning of this 'New Land' was entrusted to the great architect Andrea Pisano, at the time engaged also in the works at the Florence's Cathedral. It seems he took part only in the building of the Palace-Fortress, seat of the Vicarious. 

Palace of the Vicars features lightly bastioned walls and a high slender tower coming out from the right angle of the inner front. The castle became the most important of the north-east Tuscany, and Florence allowed Scarperia to use the coat-of-arms with the lily. The Palace facade is also adorned by an incredible number of coats of arms of the Florentine Vicarious. The inside courtyard is characterized by furnishings and frescoes of the 15/16th centuries that contrast with its rude external aspect.

Along with beautiful frescos from the workshop of Ghirlandaio, dated 1501, inside the Palace, we can admire the ancient clock of the bell tower, made by genius Filippo Brunelleschi, the only testimony of his activity in the field of watchmaking according to biographers Manetti and Vasari.

At the top of the tower, there is an observation deck that offers a stunning view of the Mugello Valley.

Nowadays, Palace is also home to a valuable historic archive and the Ferri Taglienti Museum, dedicated to the craftsmanship that has set Scarperia apart since the Middle Ages. Since the 14th century Scarpelia's local craftsmen have been making knives and other edged weapons passing their production skills and secrets to future generations. 

You will be never bored in Scarperia during the year. It has a busy cultural life full of events. The most interesting and famous events take place later in spring and early in autumn.

The flower festival is a highlight at the end of May when all the pavements of Scarperia are covered with flower paintings.

During September you can travel back in time and be a part of a Renaissance fair and the Diotto on the 8th of September, the day when Scarperia was founded. 

The Diotto festival, where the entire town takes part in one way or another and dress in Renaissance dress. Some choose to dress as noblemen and women, others as musicians, others as banner men, and others still as common folk. Everyone takes part in the parade through town - first, the town accompanies the outgoing vicar to the town gates where they meet the new vicar arriving with his entourage, and symbolically "hands over reign" of the town. Then, the new entourage heads back and enters triumphantly into the main square, Piazza dei Vicari, where the new vicar takes an oath of fealty to the Florentine Republic. 

You can find out more information about programs and dates in the Events Calendar section.