Piazza Giotto in VicchioThe municipal territory of Vicchio extends for 138,89 square kilometres between hills and mountains in Val di Sieve in central Mugello. Medieval Podesta Office it reached its present day territorial aspect in 1983 when the districts of Celle and Villa were detached from it and aggregated to the municipality of Dicomano.
The building of the castle walls at Vicchio according to the official origin goes back to 1324. It was constructed on the will of the Fiorentina republic, who on those hills and mountains had for almost half a century battled against the antique Lords of the territory the Guidi Counts, by walling a small group of houses raised up in the preceding years by the hands of those who had abandoned the run down castles and the feudal courts of Ampinana, Gattaia, Filiccione and Montesassi.
The population of the new land augmented in the course of the XIV century with the definitive submission of Count Guido da Battifolle, and acquired importance after they had received from Firenze in 1477 the concession of being able to hold a weekly market. In 1529 the castle posed an epic resistance to the troops of Filibeto d'Orange and of Pope Clement VII, who in spite of the major quantity of means had to wait more than four months and suffer in the meantime numerous defeats before the captain who defended it Filippo Parenti thought it necessary to retreat to Marradi.
Among Vicchio famous characters we remember:
Giotto di Bondone: he was born in Colle di Vespignano, in 1267.Few documents and many legends on his life. The most famous legend says (as reported by Giorgio Vasari in his biographies) that at the age of 11, while attending the sheep, he used to draw on the rocks with chalk. Cimabue saw him drawing a sheep, so natural and so perfect that he immediately asked his father if he could bring Giotto with him to let him study art, and Giotto's career would have started in Cimabue's bottega. It happened on a little bridge, close to Vespignano, nowadays known as " Cimabue's bridge". His art was extremely innovative, and is commonly considered as a precursor of that evolution which was to lead, shortly after, to the explosion of the Italian Renaissance. He stands as the key link between the Byzantine art of the late middle ages, and the more realistic and humanistic art which flowered in the Renaissance. The flat, symbolic figures grouped in decorative space gave way to the modelled, individualized figures interacting in perspectival space. He worked in Florence, but also in many other Italian cities, as Napoli, Assisi, Padova , jointing Avignone in France, following more and more requests of commitments. In Mugello, in Borgo San Lorenzo, in the Church of San Lorenzo it has been conserved a Madonna of Giotto.
Benvenuto Cellini: Italian sculptor, goldsmith and writer born in Florence in 1500, he occasionally lived a house in the historical centre of Vicchio. Located at the end of the Corso del Popolo, close to the Oratory, he owned this little house from 1550 until 1571, year of his death.
Beato Angelico : the most reliable opinion confirms that Beato Angelico was born "amongst the people of San Michele in Rupecanina", a small and charming village a short distance from Vicchio, immersed in landscape. His real name was Guido di Piero Tosini, he subsequently became a monk with the name of Brother Giovanni and was commonly known as Beato Angelico because his art was considered divine and angelic.
Don Lorenzo Milani lived and worked in the small hamlet of Barbiana. A refined intellectual, sensitive to the problems of education, he devoted himself to elevating socially and culturally the lower class. His daily conduct and his literary production had a disconcerting and stimulating influence on the pedagogical debate of 1960's. He was buried in the small cemetery of Barbiana, close to the church.