A Renaissance village in the heart of Tuscany's rolling hills, Cerreto Guidi is a little gem. Located near Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, Cerreto Guidi is set amidst the classic landscapes so sought after in Tuscany - gentle hills, olive groves and grape vines. The village is small, but is neat cluster of stone buildings centered around the noble palace built by the Medici family.
The Villa Medicea was built in the 1550s with a grand park and then encircled by the streets and buildings of the hamlet, still charming and time-worn to wander and enjoy. The villa has a museum with period furnishings and artwork. It is said to have a regular visitor, too - the ghost of Isabella de Medici, who died of mysterious circumstances here, is said to roam the home and some visitors come just to see her bedroom and in the hope of glimpsing the ghost.
Cerreto Guidi has some fine festivals to enjoy, too - the Palio del Cerro is an annual event with period costumes and Renaissance spirit, pitting the neighborhoods against each other in races and games of skill. There are sagras, food festivals, dedicated to duck and wild boar, as well as wine. There are even some eateries in the little town.
Being only five kilometers from Vinci, walking enthusiasts might want to visit Cerreto Guidi on foot, and amble along the country lane that looks out over ethereal-lit hits and olive groves. The road is outlined with stately cypress trees in spots. There is a nature preserve nearby with rare species of flora and fauna, as well.
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Explore nearby towns
Vinci might have remained a sleepy, hidden Tuscan town if it hadn't been for the birth of a famous son.
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Empoli is a lovely mid-sized town equidistant from the main Tuscan cities.