Walking around through the streets and the buildings of the ancient medieval town of Certaldo Alto, you can still breathe the air of a small and quiet village, where simple people still live, taking care to the environment surrounding them. You can guess this by looking at the window-sills, the small courtyards, the hidden gardens…
Among the palaces – of historical and cultural interest, like “Palazzo Pretorio”, or Boccaccio’s House, or the ex Augustinian convent, or also the “Saints Tommaso and Prospero” church, that are nowadays seats of museums, exhibitions and cultural events – you will discover a curious and interesting corner of the most recent history of Certaldo: “il Museo del Chiodo”, the Nail Museum.
During all his life, the wood artisan Giancarlo Masini has lived and done his job in the small village, where he always had his workshop and where for many years he made a very particular collection: spikes and nails, of every type, size and usage, from the oldest to the most modern ones.
His nickname is “Beppe Chiodo” and comes from this particular passion, that made him very popular and not only…. He has also been glad to follow the ancient art of the storyteller, and he was very much loved by the artists that every year perform during the great event of Mercantia, that is the international street artists’ festival, that takes place in the month of July in the streets, buildings and courtyards of Certaldo Alto; one that transforms this small village sitting in the province of Florence in a real open-air theatre.
This person became so popular, that the prize given each year to the most representative artist of Mercantia is named “Chiodo d’oro” (golden nail), in his honour.
After his recent death, in order to save his ideal heritance, a museum was created in his memory, that can be visited in any period of the year, just like the other museums and historical buildings of old town upon the hill Certaldo Alto.
In the “Beppe Chiodo” museum are collected not only thousands of nails, impossible to exactly quantify, but also old and new wood tools and ancient and modern documents of every type, where the unquestioned protagonist is still the same: the Nail.