Hidden treasures

The mysteries of Certaldo

Mysteries & Legends

The mysteries of Certaldo

Certaldo Alto is a charming medieval village in Val d'Elsa known both for its ancient beauty and as the place where the Italian writer Boccaccio lived the last years of his life. This is certainly neither a secret nor a mystery to anyone. But what few people know is that the ground beneath the village seems to be covered by a dense network of tunnels. The elder inhabitants of the village tell us that you can access this parallel world through a series of entrances consisting of secret trapdoors, water wells inside private homes and even a secret passage inside Palazzo Pretorio!

What do these secret underground labyrinths guard? Treasures of great value such as ancient furnishings, sacred vestments, armor of some knights, objects of daily life of times gone by and also personal objects belonging to Boccaccio himself. Perhaps you are now wondering whether anyone has ever defeated the fear of narrow and dark places and tried to go and see. To tell the truth it seems that there have not been any great attempts yet, perhaps because the access points are not that well known. What is known is that, several decades ago, some young people of the village tried to venture along a tunnel but the lack of oxygen in the place, remained closed for hundreds of years, made them back out. In 1965 it seems that firefighters even went through the trouble of draining the water from a tunnel beneath a well. Unfortunately, once the water was removed it returned straight away, so once again nothing could be done... and the mystery remained!

The hidden tunnels are not the only secret to be discovered in Certaldo Alto, there is another equally fascinating secret: Poggio di Certaldo. This hill can be admired from the top of the village and is the place the mysterious tunnels seem to lead to. The fact is that it has a rather strange shape: it has the shape of a trapezoid with a perfectly flat base. It seems like an Etruscan pyramid covered by vegetation and only some excavations could give us an answer. Since even here despite some attempts no research has ever been completed, even the mystery of Poggio Boccaccio remains to be unveiled!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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