House of Boccaccio

A faithful reconstruction of the original house, which was bombed and almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, the Giovanni Boccaccio House now hosts a specialized library dedicated to the great poet’s life and works.

Certaldo, House of Boccaccio

The museum

The Giovanni Boccaccio House, located halfway along Via Boccaccio, is a museum and the site of the office of the Ente Nazionale Giovanni Boccaccio. It is a very faithful reconstruction of the original house, which was bombed during the Second World War and almost completely destroyed. In fact, from the outside a difference in the color of the bricks of the façade can be noted – the older ones are darker, and indicate how much of the original structure remains.

The House hosts a specialized library dedicated to the great poet’s life and works. Inside visitors can admire 17th-century objects and furnishings, a frescoed image of Boccaccio painted by Pietro Benvenuti in 1826 for a commission from the Marquise Carlotta Lenzoni de’ Medici who had bought the house, and pairs of antique shoes (14th century) found during the reconstruction after the bombing.
Visitors can still climb to the top of the panoramic tower to enjoy the spectacular view!

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Works by great masters, multimedia reconstructions with voices and stories from the territory and the communities it hosts, archaeological finds and historical arts and crafts: every museum in the area offers great little stories to discover.


The fresco of Boccaccio

Pietro Benvenuti

The fresco by Pietro Benvenuti depicts Boccaccio at his desk and was commissioned by Marquise Carlotta Lenzoni de’ Medici in 1826, the year she had the house renovated and furnished. During the 1944 bombing, the wall with the fresco was the only one in the house left undamaged.


14th-century shoes

Found during the Second World War after a bombing that struck the House, nine mismatched pairs of women’ shoes were kept by the Superintendence for Artistic and Historical Assets of the Province of Florence and Pistoia until 1977. In the handover protocol dated November 16, 1977, the Superintendence recognized them as «artistic objects from the late 14th and early 15th centuries»; seven shoes were “brought home,” while another two remained in Florence and are on display at the Museo Davanzati.


The library

In 1957, for the reopening of the Boccaccio House, the new library was also opened to the public. From that year on, the Ente Nazionale Giovanni Boccaccio has enhanced the library with editions of Boccaccio’s works and critical studies on the author. The library currently has over 4,000 volumes, the most interesting of which include translations of the Decameron in nearly every language, and rare and valuable works, like prints from the 16th-18th centuries and editions illustrated by artists like Guttuso, Dalì, Chagall, Vespignani and Manzù. The library also has an interactive touchscreen visitors can use to learn about Boccaccio’s life and works and to page through some of his manuscripts.

The land

In Medieval towns, all of the powers – religious, political, civil and commercial – front on the main square, the piazza. In Certaldo this “piazza” is what is now Via Boccaccio.

This historic village, also known as the “Castello”, huddles within walls, accessed by ancient gates: Porta Alberti, Porta al Sole and Porta al Rivellino.
The main feature of medieval villages was the piazza, which all of the powers of the day overlooked: religious, political, civil, and commercial. Certaldo grew atop an elongated hill in an elliptical shape that left no space for a ‘piazza,’ so that function was taken over by the street that is now Via Boccaccio, on which we find the Church, the halls of power (Palazzo Pretorio) and the Market Loggia (Palazzo Stiozzi Ridolfi), today closed by still visible in the walls. The spaces we can currently identify as piazzas were simply vegetable gardens that would provide food for the population in the case of a siege.
Palazzo Pretorio stands on the highest and oldest part of the hill of Certaldo Alto, higher than the old village and set at the intersection of two medieval streets, Via Boccaccio (the town’s main street) and Via del Rivellino (the oldest). Its imposing size made it a focal point for all of the surrounding area.

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Useful information


The Boccaccio House
(Casa di Boccaccio)

Via Giovanni Boccaccio, 18
50052 – Certaldo (FI)
tel. +39 00571661219 / 0571656721

Opening hours

summer season
(from April 1 to October 31)

10 am – 1 pm and 2.30 pm – 7 pm


winter season
(from November 1 to March 31)

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
10 am – 1 pm and 2.30 pm – 4.30 pm

Saturday, Sunday and holidays
10 am – 1 pm and 2.30 pm – 5.30 pm 

Closed on Tuesday


Combined ticket
(including Palazzo Pretorio)

Regular: 5.00
Reduced: 4.00 €


Free entrance for:

  • children up to age 6
  • schools of the Comune di Certaldo
  • school excursion and guided group leaders
  • people with disabilities and those accompanying them
  • C.O.M. members
  • conference participants and guests of Ente Nazionale Giovanni Boccaccio or the Comune di Certaldo

Reduced tickets for:

  • children aged 7 to 14
  • adults over 65
  • students
  • groups of more than 25 people
  • schools
  • exhibition inaugurations, conferences, seminars or other events that do not allow a full visit of one of the Museums in the System
  • visitors showing a funicular ticket or entrance tickets to other affiliated museum systems or to the Mercantia festival

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