S.Giovanni Valdarno, though of medieval origin, is one of the “new lands”, fortified outposts in the thirteenth century erected by the Florentine Republic to limit the power of the feudal local families of the Ubertini, the Pazzi and Guidi.
Masaccio was born here in 1401, he was the innovator of Renaissance painting. In Corso Italia you can visit the house where he was born. The heart of the old town is Masaccio Square with the Palazzo Pretorio designed, according to Vasari, by Arnolfo di Cambio. It is surrounded by the fifteenth-century Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Museum, which houses a rich collection of paintings and a beautiful Annunciation by Fra Angelico, the Church of San Lorenzo of the fourteenth century with walls adorned with frescoes of the ‘400 of the painter Giovanni di Ser Giovanni called the “Scheggia”, younger brother of Masaccio.
In Cavour Square is situated the Parish of St. John the Baptist dating from the first half of the fourteenth century.
The fresh market is held weekly every Saturday morning, and it is really worth a visit!