Last updated on October 14th, 2023
Sure, it’s not talked about like San Gimignano, Montepulciano, or other Tuscan villages, but the charming village of Cerreto Guidi has plenty to see for a couple of hours and is the home of one of my favorite restaurants in Tuscany.
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Where is Cerreto Guidi?
Cerreto Guidi is a tiny village in Tuscany. It sits about 30km (as the crow flies) west of Florence in the hills, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. It’s not far from the Arno River and the traditional leather production area of Santa Croce sull’Arno.
It’s worth a stop to see the Medici Villa of Cerreto Guidi, attend one of its traditional festivals, or eat a steak at the restaurant Adriano 731943.
How to Pronounce Cerreto Guidi
Cerreto Guidi is pronounced chair-REH-toh GWEE-dee.
Listen to it here:
What to Do in Cerreto Guidi
Visit the Medici Villa of Cerreto Guidi
Cosimo I had the villa built as a base for his hunting expeditions in the area. It was constructed using stone and materials from a nearby castle that lay in ruins.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site villa has a dark history – Cosimo’s daughter Isabella died here. Legend has it that her jealous husband, the Duke of Bracciano, had her murdered at the villa.
Don’t Miss: the Medici portraits, the Hunting Museum (with weapons from the Middle Ages), Buontalenti’s innovative access ramps (aka Medici bridges).
Entry is free but the hours and days it’s open are limited. Call ahead to make sure it will be open when you’re there.
See the Medici Villa of Cerreto Guidi official website (in Italian) for up-to-date info on open days and hours.
If you enjoy the Medici Villa of Cerreto Guidi, you’ll want to check out our post on
Where to See the Medici Influence in Florence!
Learn About Falconry
Learn about falconry with this association in a day course. Kids can participate too!
See the Antica Falconiera Toscana official website (in Italian) to learn about the activities available and contact the group.
See the Churches in Town
Though tiny, Cerreto Guidi has three churches for those interested:
- Pieve di San Leonardo – attached to the Medici Villa; see della Robbia’s baptismal font
- Oratorio della Santissima Trinità – see il Passignano’s altarpiece
- Sanctuary of Santa Libertà
Attend a Town Festival
It’s a small town, but Cerreto Guidi knows how to party!
Palio di Cerro (1st weekend in September)
Each Saturday before the 1st Sunday in September, the four neighborhoods (contrade) of Cerreto Guidi dress in Renaissance-period costumes and compete in races and games (tug-of-war, archery contests).
Infiorata del Corpus Domini (usually June)
You can visit other villages that have their own versions of Infiorata, where locals make beautiful scenes with flower petals on the ground. But, Cerreto Guidi’s goes all the way around the 450-meter ring road that encircles the Medici Villa, and you can get a prime view from the villa’s famous steps.
Each year has a different theme. For example, in 2019 it was ‘Leonardo da Vinci,’ in honor of the 500th anniversary of his death.
It takes place on the weekend after Corpus Domini, which isn’t a set date – it’s 60 days after Easter (on a Thursday).
On Saturday evening, visitors (even kids!) can learn about the infiorata and even help with one of the creations.
Medicea Wine Festival (July)
In the past, Cerreto Guide has hosted the Medicea Wine Festival, which includes a gala dinner one evening and wine tastings and food the next evening. It seems to be on pause following the pandemic.
La Notte di Isabella (July)
Cerreto Guidi’s Medici Villa was the site of Isabella’s death in 1576, and each year, locals dress up in elaborate costumes and the town transforms itself back to the 16th century – complete with artists, falconers, musicians, and entertainers.
Visit a Vineyard and Taste Wines
Poggiotondo produces organic wines and offers tours of the vineyards and cellar with a tasting. It’s just a few kilometers from Cerreto Guidi.
Where to Eat in Cerreto Guidi
This steakhouse just outside the town center is worth the drive alone. This is one of my favorite places to grilled meat in Tuscany. Order a Bistecca alla Fiorentina or a filetto (my recommendation) and soak up the local atmosphere. For views of the countryside, ask to sit in the back room. Try one of the area’s red wines from the organic producer Poggiotondo.
Villa Petriolo is a gorgeous estate surrounded by vineyards. There are three restaurants onsite – PS Ristorante, Osteria di Golpaja, and Bottega di Petriolo (perfect for watching a summer sunset).
Where to Sleep in Cerreto Guidi
Located just outside of Cerreto Guidi, Villa Petriolo focuses on sustainability. Sleep well in its comfortable, beautifully decorated rooms, relax at the infinity pool, and dine on the organic fare in its restaurants.
Nearby Towns and Attractions
|Town / Attraction||Distance||Time to Reach (by car)||What to See / Do|
|Vinci||6 km||7 min||Leonardo da Vinci Museum and his nearby hometown|
|San Miniato||11 km||15 min||hip, delicious, and authentic aperitivo and restaurant scene|
|Pistoia||30 km||35 min||Pistoia underground tour, city center, Pistoia zoo|
|Collodi||32 km||35 min||Pinocchio Park, Garzoni Gardens & Butterfly House|
|Carmignano Archaelogical Park||19 km||30 min||30 min walk in Montalbano forest to Etruscan ruins|
|Padule of Fucecchio||14 km||20 min||large marshland with excellent birdwatching|
|Montelupo Fiorentino||15 km||20 min||traditional Tuscan ceramics|
|Florence||45 km||45 min||see Renaissance art masterpieces at the Accademia and Uffizi Galleries; climb. the Duomo or Giotto’s bell tower|
How to Get to Cerreto Guidi
The best way to reach Cerreto Guidi is by car.
From Florence, take the A1 Autostrada (or surface streets) to the FI-PI-LI (Firenze-Pisa-Livorno) Highway and EXIT Empoli and follow signs for Cerreto Guidi.
It’s possible to reach Cerreto Guidi by public transport.
From Florence, train to Empoli and then take a bus into the hills to Cerreto Guidi.
You’ll see a lot of cyclists riding in the area, especially on the weekend. It’s more of a local riding area and most are riding in the hills of Montalbano, to the northeast of Cerreto Guidi.
It’s easy to reach Cerreto Guidi on a cycling route and you can stop for a snack or lunch in the center before continuing on your ride. If you’re not staying in the area, you can cycle or train to Empoli and start/finish your ride there.
I hope you enjoy your visit to Cerreto Guidi!