The historic village, also called Castello, is contained inside walls accessible by centuries-old gates: Porta Alberti, Porta al Sole and Porta al Rivellino. It can be accessed by going up the ancient streets called Costa Alberti and Costa Vecchia, from the more modern Via del Castello, or via the funicular that starts from Piazza Boccaccio. A unique feature of the place is that unlike most medieval villages, Certaldo has no main square, usually the site for religious, political, civil and commercial powers.
In fact, Certaldo developed on an elongated hill, where it is believed that in ancient times there was no space for an agora. Its function was therefore assumed by the current Via Boccaccio, overlooked by the Church, Palazzo Pretorio and the Logge del Market - now walled up, but whose blind arches are still recognizable on the walls of Palazzo Stiozzi Ridolfi.
The most important monument of Certaldo is the Palazzo Pretorio, the historic residence of the Alberti counts which was built at the end of the twelfth century on the ruins of the original family home. The prisons, court, archive, chapel, and private accommodation of the Vicars can be visited. On the facade and inside the building, numerous coats of arms are to be admired, each of which represents the family of each Vicar who ruled the city. Also inside, we can admire frescoes and sinopites from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Next to the Palazzo Pretorio, there is the Church of San Tommaso and Prospero from the early 13th century, the oldest church in the Castle.
Also worth visiting is the Museum of Sacred Art, housed in what was originally an Augustinian convent of the 15th century. The exhibition rooms are dedicated to painting, sculpture and sacred vestments. In the art gallery - once the refectory of the convent - paintings from the 12th to the 16th centuries are exhibited, with works by Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni, Ugolino di Nerio and Meliore.