At the South of the Arno river, Empoli was already settled in the early Roman Empire times, and continued to exist until 4th century AD.. In the Tabula Peutingeriana of the 4th century Empoli is called In Portu ("in the port") as a river port on the Via Quinctia, which led from Fiesole and Florence to Pisa. Empoli was also on the Via Salaiola, connecting to Volterra's salt mills.
Farinata degli Uberti Square represents the historical centre of the town and is decidedly "characteristic" from an architectural point of view. It is surrounded by a series of old and fascinating historical buildings, partly converted into museums or headquarters of artistic and/ or cultural associations, such as the Museum of Paleontology, or the Society of Figurative Arts.
In this square we can admire Palazzo Ghibellino, ancient Palazzo of the counts Guidi, and the Collegiata of St. Andrew, of great importance not only because of its external architecture, embellished by a variety of marble motifs, but also for its interior, containing a number of important paintings and sculptures.
The Parish Church of the Archangel St. Michael in Pontorme was built at the end of the 15th century. The painter Jacopo Carrucci, who thus passed into history with the name of "il Pontormo", is considered to be one of the most illuminated artists of Tuscan Mannerism, and was defined by Michelangelo as "He who neared the heavens with his painting".Inside the Parish Church are still to be found a pair of paintings on wooden panel by Pontormo.