THE CHURCH OF SS. JACOPO AND FILIPPO
The Church of SS. Jacopo and Filippo is located halfway down the “via del Boccaccio”, the main street of the medieval hamlet which connects Boccaccio’s House with the massive Palazzo Pretorio. This small Romanesque church dates from the end of the 12thC and the beginning of the 13thC and together with the nearby convent was home to several religious communities.
Inside the church, Giovanni Boccaccio’s tomb lies at the very centre of the single nave under the marble tombstone designed by the sculptor Mario Moschi. The tombstone is a replica of the first known poet’s portrait painted by Andrea del Castagno in the 15thC, (now displayed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence).
Near Boccaccio’s tomb, another famous local rests peacefully: the Blessed Giulia della Rena. Giulia della Rena lived and died in seclusion in a cell of the nearby convent which can be visited by accessing the Museo di Arte Sacra. Her remains are preserved within a crystal coffin housed in the altar dedicated to the blessed woman. Above the altar, the painting depicts the miracles and episodes of her life (the lower portion of the painting). The people of Certaldo are very devoted to their local saint and celebrate the Blessed Giulia each year on the first Sunday of September with parades and festivities in the town’s streets.