From Dicomano to Vicchio
The territory of Dicomano has been inhabited since the Etruscan Age, as demonstrated by the ceramic fragments and remains of a construction in Frascole. It was probably during the Roman Age that a commercial trade center was established, thanks to the fact that there passed the road that then crossed the Appennines on its way to Forlý. At the meeting of the Comano Stream with the River Sieve, in the Middle Ages, Dicomano was founded, which continued until the 18th century to be an important market place.
The Oratorio di S. Onofrio was built near the town, constructed in 1795 in pure Neoclassical style. The Parrish of S. Maria is on a small hill that dominates Dicomano. This church has been restored to her former Romanic glory with works dating to the 16th and 17th centuries.
Crossing the Sieve we pass by Bovino, and the Medieval Abbey of S. Maria. Turn away from the river and we can take the road that leads to the Parrish of S. Martino a Scopeto, a thirteenth century church whose fašade was reconstructed in the beginning of the 20th century after a terrible earthquake in 1919 that wreaked serious damage throughout the Mugello area.
We arrive next in Vicchio, where the Florentines, in 1308, constructed a castle to contrast the power of the Guidi Counts in the area. A few years later the city walls were also constructed and are today still partly intact. Vicchio is the birthplace of Beato Angelico (1395 ca. - 1455), to whom the Museo Civico is dedicated to and which houses various works of sacred art and archeological findings coming from the Etruscan settlement at Poggio Colla, which is not far from the town. From 1559 until 1571 the city was home to famous sculptor and writer Benvenuto Cellini: his house, one of the oldest in Vicchio, is among the few delivered from the earthquakes in 1798, 1835, and 1919 and the devastation at the end of the World War II. The most important buildings are located in the town's central piazza, Piazza Giotto: Palazzo Pretorio and the Church of S. Giovanni Battista, reconstructed in 1830, conserving however its Renaissance portico.
You can take very interesting excursions from Vicchio into the hilltop towns on either side of the Sieve Valley. Make sure not to miss Vespignano, an ancient castle of which remains only a small construction with a cylindrical tower. Giotto was born here around 1267 and that which is presumed to be his house has become a small museum. Nearby is the Ragnaia Bridge, where legend has it that Cimabue encountered Giotto as a youth and discovered his precocious talent.
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HOW TO REATCH IT:
- By car: From Florence: strada statale ( State Road) S65 until Novoli, then take S551 to Vicchio, 38.5 km.
- By train: From Florence: there are frequent connecting trains to Vicchio
- By Airplane: Peretola Airport is distant 42 km.