* Il paese
Vicchio is in the centre of the Mugello, between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.
The Mugello's name probably is from the Liguri Mugelli, first settlers of the region.
Near Poggio Colla, recent archaeological
excavations had found an Etruscan city.
The first settlements date back to very remote times, but the history of this town begins in the 14th Century, at the end of the hostilies between the expanding township of Florence and the feudal families Guidi and Ubaldini who occupied the "contado", the countryside where Vicchio now lies.
In 1308 the Florentine "Podesta" (Mayor) Ugolino de Bittonio
ordered that in a place named Vico, from which the name Vicchio is derived,
a new fortified centre be constructed.
Seat of a Podesta from 1384, the League of Vicchio had its own statute from 1413, and demonstrated its loyalty to the Florentine Republic with its long resistance to the imperial troops in the siege of 1529.
Destroyed by earthquake in 1919 and again seriously damaged during the
passage of the front in the Second World War, the town has conserved only
a few vestiges of its past history such as the church of San Giovanni.
Giotto was born at the castle of Vespignano in 1267, in a humble house now restored, where there is a permanent exhibition with reproductions of a large part of Giotto's artistic development.
The poet Giosuè Carducci, often a guest of families of the Mugello
valley, founded a committee which erected a monument
to Giotto in Vicchio's main square.
The countryside of Vicchio is rich with suggestive villas, villages and landscapes.
At Barbiana, a few kilometres
from Vicchio, Don Lorenzo Milani,
educator and priest, realised, from 1954 until 1967, a singular educational
initiative founding his full time popular school.
The history of Vicchio's economy has always been dominated by agriculture.
In the last few years a promising tourist activity, based on Vicchio's environmental and cultural assets, has developed.
In Vicchio we can rediscover all the fascination of a small town of great artistic and cultural value, and at the same time enjoy being immersed in a natural environment of rare beauty.
The sporting facilities available make a holiday even more stimulating.
The lake of Montelleri, very close to the centre of Vicchio, is a unique
asset and offers relaxation in the form of fishing and canoeing.
Vicchio, as we see, offers many opportunities for many different types of tourism.
Translated by Tony Chinnery (extract from the Guide to Vicchio, edited by the Comune di Vicchio)
The Vicchio coats of arms is a natural colour pine with three golden
pine cones within the foliage and two gold stars with eight rays at the
right and the left.
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