Welcome to Empoli

Geographically located in the heart of the Tuscany, in a strategic position between Florence, Pisa and Siena, Empoli has preserved its dynamic characteristics over time, by cultivating a vocation for trade, thanks also to a long tradition of manufacturing activities that combine entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and social cohesion.

Famous for being the birthplace of Pontormo and also for the splendid façade of the Collegiata di Sant’Andrea (Collegiate Church of Sant'Andrea), it offers the possibility of a visit to see remarkable works of art and monuments on a journey through the streets of the old town centre and the surrounding area. The town's museums are not to be missed – especially the Museum of the Collegiate Church (Museo della Collegiata), in which there are numerous works of art, including works by Masolino da Panicale, Lorenzo Monaco and Filippo Lippi. The Muve, Empoli Glass Museum, on the other hand, provides evidence of the manufacturing activity that characterized the town. The town centre features Piazza Farinata degli Uberti, familiarly called “Piazza dei Leoni” (Square of the Lions) by the inhabitants of Empoli, because of the fountain designed by Luigi Pampaloni. Some of the most symbolic buildings, from a historical and artistic viewpoint, overlook the square: the Collegiate Church, with the adjacent Collegiate Church Museum, a true treasure trove of works of art from the period between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, Palazzo Pretorio and Palazzo Ghibellino, which hosts the Civic Museum of Palaeontology and temporary exhibitions organized by some of the many cultural associations that contribute to the enrichment of the urban fabric.

Not far from here, in via Ridolfi, stands the recently renovated former Salt Warehouse, a milestone along the Via Salaria. The Empoli Glass Museum, which documents the history of glass production in Empoli, is located inside it. From the Collegiate Church Museum, the itinerary continues on to the nearby Church of Santo Stefano degli Agostiniani, which is part of the Augustinian Convent, where the Municipal Library is currently located. Also worthy of a visit, are the Civic Museum of Palaeontology, Pontormo's house and the House where Ferruccio Busoni was born, situated in Piazza della Vittoria.

Within a range of a few square metres, following the so-called “tour of Empoli”, you will find numerous places of cultural interest that are easy to reach on foot, in among the many shops in the town centre. The House where Pontormo was born is an exception, as it is situated in the nearby locality of Pontorme, a short distance from the Church of San Michele, in which two works of the brilliant artist are kept and undoubtedly deserve to be admired.

Toscana nel cuore