Location and Campus
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Certaldo | Classrooms | Lodging | Meals | Program Travel
Certaldo Alto, is a beautiful medieval hilltown, located in the softly rolling hills of Chianti, between Florence and Siena. Located in the Chianti wine region, the village is beautifully constructed of red bricks and includes towers, arched gates, prisons, the Vicar’s palace and the great writer Boccaccio’s home. Perfectly ocated in the heart of Tuscany, we are only a 15 minute drive from San Gimignano, which we can see in the distance across the hills and valleys of the beautiful Val d'Elsa.
Certaldo Alto looks below to the larger urban area of Certaldo Basso, a community of 12,000 citizens, where our students shop for groceries, go to the pharmacy and post office, or local medical facilities. Just a 10- minute walk from our hilltop village takes us to the markets and train station in Certaldo Basso. From there it is less than an hour to Florence or Siena. We are only 45 minutes from a major airport in Pisa where our students can fly to locations all over Europe using the inexpensive carrier Ryan Air (prices can be as low as 45.00-80.00 euros, round trip, to places like Paris, Sicily, Berlin or Athens.
Certaldo is known throughout Italy because it is the native home of Giovanni Boccaccio, one of the greatest poets of Italian Medieval literature. Boccaccio, wrote the Decameron between 1349 and 1351, and he lived the last years of his life in a house very near our school that is now a museum.
Several times a year Certaldo holds festivals celebrating their medieval heritage. Our students participate in the Medieval Feast, Boccaccesca and Carnivale during different seasons of the year.