Tuscan beautiful towns: “Certaldo”

Certaldo had Etruscan-Roman origins, as evidenced by the numerous archaeological finds scattered throughout the municipal area, such as pottery, tools and Etruscan tombs, some of which recently discovered.  The Etruscan origins are also evidenced by the toponymy of some places and waterways, such as the Agliena stream and the Elsa river that flow near Certaldo.

In particular, on the Poggio del Boccaccio, a trapezoidal shaped hill with elliptical base and completely flat top, adjacent to the medieval village in the north-west direction, were found during archaeological excavations in the late 1800s and in the mid-1900s, a Etruscan-Hellenistic chamber tomb with an ellipsoidal plan dating back to the end of the 4th-beginning of the 3rd century BC, and a well deposit of foodstuffs with some clay-like instruments dating back to the Hellenistic period. Most likely the area was home to a fine grain deposit from 300 BCE.

In other excavations, carried out between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries near another hill considered artificial, always adjacent to the medieval village but this time in the south-east direction, called Poggio delle Fate, an underground cell granary was found and the remains of an Etruscan burial mound and numerous stamped tiles,  while numerous ceramics dating back to the VI – V century BC until the Hellenistic age and fragments of boiled aretine pottery were found near the stream Agliena.

Some finds of Roman amphorae dating back to the Imperial era (1st century AD) in Piazza della Libertà, in the lower part of the city, during some construction works of 1960 for the construction of a secondary school, show that there were settlements in Roman times .

All these findings of Etruscan and Roman origin are now museumized on the ground floor of the Palazzo Pretorio, located in the medieval part of the town.

In all probability in the place where now stands Certaldo there was a small Etruscan settlement, probably an agricultural village, as evidenced by the deposits of foodstuffs in the hills adjacent to the village, while on the Poggio del Boccaccio was located the necropolis.

Monuments and places of interest

Certaldo alto seen from the Park of Canonica.
The most interesting part of the municipality is certainly Certaldo Alto. The main artistic and architectural feature that made it famous and famous in Europe is the perfect conservation of the medieval urban fabric with its narrow streets and small squares scattered here and there; if we exclude the renovation work that had as its object Palazzo Pretorio in the fifteenth century (works that transformed the old keep in the vicarial palace), we can say that Certaldo Alto has remained identical to how it developed in the Middle Ages.

Further evidence of this feature is the lack of a large square in the historic center, while in its place we find a long and wide street (via Boccaccio) that performed its functions, representing the public place of excellence and typically high-medieval conception . However who climbs in Certaldo Alto will find two squares: the first is Piazza della SS. Annunziata, created at the beginning of the nineteenth century by paving an area that was previously used for gardens and crops in general; the second, piazza SS. Jacopo and Filippo, in front of the homonymous church, was instead originally used as a cemetery of the convent until 1633.

The event not to be missed Mercantia 2018

Coffee is good for health.

The jury is forever going back and forth on whether or not coffee is good for you, but in case you’re still looking for an excuse to drink an extra cup, science is here to help.

In a new study published in Nature Medicine, a group of researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine recently discovered that caffeine might help our bodies fight inflammation and, therefore, multiple diseases as we get older. Based on an analysis of blood samples from around 100 people of varying ages, the researchers discovered that the older participants in the study with lower levels of inflammation all reported drinking coffee on a regular basis — and not just a sip here and there, but an admirable 5+ cups a day. This led researchers to dig deep into how caffeine might reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

“Most of the diseases of aging are not really diseases of aging, per se, but rather diseases of inflammation, ” the study’s lead authors David Furman told Time. “The more caffeine people consumed, the more protected they were against a chronic state of inflammation. There was no boundary, apparently.”

As Refinery29 explains, the researchers found that caffeine helps inhibit the molecule adenosine, thus blocking the pathway for inflammation. The researchers are quick to note that some inflammation is essential and is a natural, important part of the immune system — but caffeine might be a way to manage and regulate it.

“That something many people drink — and actually like to drink — might have a direct benefit came as a surprise to us,” another senior author of the study Mark Davis said in a press release. “What we’ve shown is a correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity. And we’ve shown more rigorously, in laboratory tests, a very plausible mechanism for why this might be so.”

A few of the study’s authors are currently working on a follow-up study which will analyze blood samples from 1,000 people — but in the meantime, you might as well drink up, y’all. It might just help you live longer.