Empoli is an interesting mid-sized Tuscan town about 35 kilometers southwest of Florence sitting in a plain just a little south of the Arno River. In pre-Roman and Roman times a tributary of the Arno used to flow through the city, but it has long since dried-up. The river system was used for trade of agricultural products, ceramics (mostly amphorae) and the colored glassware and fine crystal for which Empoli was - and remains - famous.
Important roads also passed through Empoli, including the via Quinctia connecting Florence, Fiesole and Pisa, and the via Salaiola which connected to Volterra and the salt mills located there.
The city was walled during post Roman times, but the walls were destroyed in 1333 when the Arno overflowed. These were quickly rebuilt, but in the latter part of the 15th century, a wider circle of walls were built to accommo