Palazzuolo sul Senio is a little town in the Mugello that was once the heart of the so-called Romagna Toscana. Nestled in the middle of a magnificent green mountain gorge, Palazzuolo is an ideal base for those who want to explore this part of the Mugello and all its Tuscan idiosyncrasies, not least from a scenic or culinary point of view. The cuisine's standouts include ricotta and potato tortelli, tagliatelle alla boscaiola, roasts, meat skewers and stewed game, cheeses like the typical raveggiolo, mushrooms, truffles and the celebrated Mugello chestnut, which was awarded the IGP (Protected Geographical Identification distinction). The village and its surroundings offer the chance to visit monuments worth remembering, such as the Parish Church of Santo Stefano, the beautiful Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Neve di Quadalto, which is found in a panorama dominated by an unspoiled beech wood; the Church of Sant'Egidio e Martino in Solecchio, the Badia Susinana and the elegant Palazzo dei Capitani.
Today Palazzuolo sul Senio is an enchanting village that merits entering on your tiptoes so as not to damage the beauty, tranquillity and silence. The cobbled streets, the smell of bread, the cat stretched out with the dog in the middle of the street: all these greet the walker with an unmistakably medieval atmosphere, which harks back to the 12th century. Palazzuolo is, moreover, a perfect place for nature lovers, and there are routes of every difficulty level available to trekking enthusiasts, mountain bikers, riders and motorcyclists.
The deep valley of the Senio has been densely inhabited since the early Middle Ages, and the most important testimony to this is the crypt discovered under the Parish Church of San Giovanni Decollato in Misileo. The 10th and 11th centuries saw the Pagani family, who owned many castles, consolidate their power, but one of their most illustrious members, Maghinardo, left the Ubaldini family the majority of his assets upon his death. In 1362, Gioacchino Ubaldini, in turn, left all his possessions to the Florentine Republic. In 1400, Palazzuolo was given a charter, and with Firenzuola made up the first nucleus of the Romagna Toscana area, which extended to the gates of Forlì (only to shrink again to the valleys of the Upper Mugello in 1929). In 1373 construction of the Palazzo del Vicario began in Palazzuolo, now a 'power base' and a commercial centre. Also in 1373, Maghinardo Novello degli Ubaldini rebelled against the republic, taking refuge in the Frassino Castle, but he was captured by the Florentines, taken to Florence and beheaded. On 19th October 1506, Pope Julius II stayed in the Palazzo dei Capitani, accompanied by Machiavelli. With the rise of the Medici, the vicegerent, a representative of the Republic, was replaced by a Capitano. This was abolished in 1772 and reduced to a podesteriauntil 1837, when Grand Duke Leopold II unified the jurisdiction of Palazzuolo with the Vicegerent of Marrani.