Chapter #1

Churches and museums: precious artistic treasure chests

Cristo in Pietà,1424 ca. - Masolino da Panicale (1383-1440)Photo by: Comune di Empoli
Fonte Battesimale, 1447 - Bernardo Rossellino (1409-1464)Photo by: Comune di Empoli
Tabernacolo di San Sebastiano, 1476 ca. - Antonio Rossellino (1427-1479) Photo by: Comune di Empoli
Tabernacolo di San Sebastiano, 1476 ca. - Francesco Botticini (1446-1498)Photo by: Comune di Empoli
San Michele Arcangelo e San Giovanni Evangelista, 1519 - Jacopo Carrucci detto il Pontormo (1494-1556) Chiesa di San Michele a PontormePhoto by: Comune di Empoli

On that morning of 1424 Masolino began his new job in the baptistery of the Collegiata di Sant’Andrea: the Cristo in Pietà, which can now be seen in the adjacent Museum. He paused on the threshold of the Church of Santo Stefano degli Agostiniani, where he had recently completed the cycle in the Compagnia della Croce. He thought he felt, held in the devote treasure chests of that city, the pulsating languor of the marble flesh surrounding San Sebastiano by a certain Rossellino, the elegant composure of Jacopo da Empoli, which would go on to adorn the Church of S. Maria a Ripa, as well as the very museum of religious art of the Collegiata, the tormented passion of Pontormo, who in his birthplace painted the priceless altar pieces in the Church of S. Michele Arcangelo, a short distance from his childhood home.

Chapter #2

History flies from the top of the belltower

Il Volo del CiucoPhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Il Volo del CiucoPhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Il Volo del CiucoPhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Il Volo del CiucoPhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Il Volo del Becco a PontormePhoto by: Comune di Empoli

“Belltower-ism” is a serious thing in Tuscany! Want an example of this civic pride? Take, for instance, the Volo del Ciuco, which takes place every year in Empoli on the occasion of Corpus Domini, remembering the conquest of San Miniato by the Empolesi in 1397: a donkey-shaped puppet is thrown off the belltower of the famous Collegiata down to the piazza below.

Chapter #3


Pia Corale Santa CeciliaPhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Beat FestivalPhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Opera in PiazzaPhoto by: Comune di Empoli
NottissimaPhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Bollani e BusoniPhoto by: Centro Busoni

In Empoli music is front and centre everywhere and anytime! The Pia Corale Santa Cecilia and Centro Studi Musicali Ferruccio Busoni begin the autumn concert season, followed by a series of concerts as late as the summer. It’s worth naming them one by one, beginning with Parole e Musica nei Musei, in which art and music come together in the city’s museums. Empoli Musica: the big spring showcase featuring music schools from all over Tuscany. Empoli Jazz Summer Festival: starring top names in the world of jazz playing in the Torrione Santa Brigida gardens and the original Opera in Piazza at the end of July. The Parco di Serravalle hosts the Beat Festival in August: contemporary sound, street food and plenty of greenery for everyone! Then there’s Nottissima, a late night of culture, and things come to a close with INBANDA!, the autumn street band event.

Chapter #4

Generation to generation... Fall in love surrounded by greenery

Parco di SerravallePhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Parco di SerravallePhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Oasi di ArnovecchioPhoto by: Comune di Empoli
Museo del VetroPhoto by: Comune di Empoli

If you’re at the Glass Museum and someone behind you exclaims “Mother in law and daughter in law! It was used to serve oil and vinegar!" while you’re looking at a vial, don’t worry. If these shapes surprise you it just means that you’re not originally from Empoli, where someone in every family has worked in the glass factories. So many people have worked surrounded by greenery here, the colour of labour and hard work.
Today these spacious places are open to take that greenery symbolically by the hand and to connect city and country as was the case once upon a time in glassworks. The Arnovecchio Nature Park, the major Parco urbano di Serravalle Urban, a short distance from the bustling town, and the Torre dei Sogni above Villanova are all places that promise love that transcends generations.

Photo by: Comune di Empoli