Scarperia was founded in 1306 by the Florentine Republic as a terra nova, intended to embody the power of feudal lords, the Ubaldini. Initially named Castel San Barnaba, its importance lay in its strategic location, and in 1414 it was declared the seat of the local vicariate. The vicariate wielded great administrative and judicial power throughout the Mugello area. The historical center of Scarperia (which, to this day, retains intact its medieval plan) and, indeed, the entire surrounding landscape - carefully modeled by the farmers over the centuries - are just some of the attractions of this beautiful part of Tuscany.

The Palazzo dei Vicari, seat and residence of the vicariate, has been subject to numerous transformations over the centuries. Indeed, following the earthquake of 1929, restoration work rendered this Palazzo similar to the famed Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The facade is embellished by innumerable coats-of-arms of the vicariate, while the interior features several important frescoes, including the Madonna with Child and Saints, attributed to Ghirlandaio. Around the piazza in front of the Palazzo there are some other buildings of considerable architectural merit, including the Chiesa dei SS. Jacopo e Filippo and the Oratorio della Madonna di Piazza, which is where the vicar would undergo the installation ceremony.

Also worthy of note are two other oratorios, the Oratorio della Madonna dei Terremoti and that of the Madonna del Vivaio, which are located on the road that leads to Sant'Agata. Close by, there is the Torrino, a medieval tower surrounded by an enchanting Italian garden. Still within the vicinity of Scarperia, there is Sant'Agata, a village dominated by a Romanesque parish church dating from the 12th century that houses several interesting artifacts.

Moreover, just a short distance away, a visit to the museum of rural life and craft at Leprino is recommended, since it plays host to a series of reproductions of scenes of daily life. The other village to visit is Fagna, where the parish church - cited in documents dating from 1018 - offers a range of highly respected paintings. 

Scarperia's history has been intertwined with the production of cutting irons since the early 16th century - the period in which the first Statutes of the local cutlers were drafted. The legacy lives on through several companies that are currently active in the area, reproducing classic knives from Scarperia's illustrious past. Wrought-iron production also continues to this day, using traditional tools and methods.
The area around Scarperia is ideal for those who love outdoor activities.

The range of potential trips you can take using Scarperia as your base encompasses everything from peaceful walks around the hillsides to arduous Apennine climbs. Lovers of fishing and other water sports are well-served by the local trout-rich rivers and the filling of the Bilancino dam, which is a much visited tourist attraction. Tourists are also drawn to the 'Poggio dei Medici' Golf Course and the Mugello International Autodrome.

Another reason Scarperia is not to be missed when traveling through Tuscany is the fact that it plays host to so many cultural events. The celebrations for the Diotto on September 8 commemorate the founding of the town in September 1306, and culminate in two major historical reconstructions: the renaissance day, where scenes of daily life are played out, and the parade, which features flag-bearers, ladies-in-waiting, knights and tests of strength in the piazza. The last Sunday of May is the date to catch the floral displays, made by the local people, which adorn the streets and squares of the centre of town.

The villagers in the surrounding area live and work very much in harmony with the natural environment, and there is an almost infinite number of places in which to find great restaurants offering the finest local produce.

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