Today we’re going to Empoli with a person who lives there: his name is Fausto and he's a friend of Visit Tuscany. He gave us some tips to enjoy a full day in Empoli:
Start the day with an energy boost: have a bombolone&cappuccino in an historic pastry shop in the city centre (from the station you can reach it on foot in 10 minutes). Then visit the birthplace of Jacopo Carrucci (the famous painter Pontormo) in Pontorme. You just have to walk 15 or 20 minutes from the city centre. More info here.
Visit also the museum of the Collegiate Church of St. Andrew (Collegiata di Sant’Andrea) which is the cathedral of Empoli. After visiting the museum in Piazza dei Leoni have a look at the colonnade and the first floor of the Ghibelline Palace. There, in September 1260, there was a congress and Farinata degli Uberti saved Florence from destruction by the Ghibellines of Siena, Arezzo and Empoli (that period is called Dieta di Empoli). If you get inside the Palace you'll see that is today very different compared to 1260. Anyway, besides the legendary ghosts of the Ghibellines, the building now houses the museum of palaeontology.
Stay in the city centre and have an healthy lunch. Then, a coffee at the counter of the bar that is the meeting point of many people of Empoli.
Now it’s time to discover the history of Empoli with a visit to the new MUVE, the Museum of Glass, dedicated to the industry that has made Empoli famous all around the world. The centre of Empoli is full of culture and history, starting from Piazza della Vittoria, where you can admire the statue of Victory and the house-museum of Ferruccio Busoni. More info here.
Stay in Piazza della Vittoria and have a snack with an ice cream in the gelateria.
Now you can explore the history of partisans in Empoli with a visit to the Modern Art and the Resistance Gallery (Galleria d’arte moderna e della resistenza). More info here.
If the weather is good, take a walk of about 15 minutes and reach the big park of Serravalle, where you can relax and read a book. If you love football you will notice that along the way you will pass the Stadio Carlo Castellani, where Empoli Football team plays.
In Empoli, the aperitivo is a must, so go back to Piazza della Vittoria! Just be careful not to fill up too much beforedinnertime!
For tasting tips have a look here.
ps: if you're travelling with kids don't forget to visit the Ludicomix.