Hidden treasures

The mysteries of Certaldo

Mysteries & Legends
Misteri_Certaldo

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

Latest posts

Pistoia: Where does the name of the Ospedale del Ceppo in the city of Pistoia come from?

Ospedale_ceppo
Mysteries & Legends

Ospedale del Ceppo undoubtedly counts among the many masterpieces that the delightful city of Pistoia has to offer. What fascinates tou...

View

Florence: The 'Rificolona': a funny name tracing back to the mischievous spirit of Florence’s people!

Rificolona
Local Traditions

Lanterns are now very fashionable and are used at parties and weddings. Florence, however, has always been ahead of time, so much so th...

View

Florence: In Florence people are known to be a 'short arm'!

Braccio Fiorentino_2
Historical Curiosities

How many times have you heard the expression 'avere il braccino corto' (lit. to be a short arm)? Many I guess. You will also then know ...

View

Siena: When the 'drappellone' in Siena was stolen…

Drappellone
Historical Curiosities

Usually, the Palio in Siena takes place twice a year: on July 2nd in honor of the Madonna of Provenzano and August 16th in honor of the...

View

Top posts

Arezzo: Guido d'Arezzo and the invention of the music

Guido-d-Arezzo
Big Names

In Talla and surroundings people have no doubt: the inventor of the musical stave, the inventor of the music notes and also of the mode...

View

Pistoia: The Kiss of the Christs in Gavinana

Il-bacio-dei-cristi
Local Traditions

It is a very ancient but still popular rite. Two large processions that meet up with a Christ on the cross in front of each one: the he...

View

Siena: Piero Carbonetti and his tin drum

Piero-Carbonetti
Local Traditions

Subversive, persecuted, anarchist, homeless, dreamer: it is really difficult to define Piero Carbonetti, Tuscan bred and born and Garib...

View

Pisa: Kinzika, the young woman who saved Pisa from the Saracens

Kinzika
Local Traditions

It was really her, a young woman with an Arabian name, Kinzica, of the noble Sismondi family, to save Pisa from being sacked by Saracen...

View