Bibbiena is a small but very picturesque town north of Arezzo and east of Florence. It is characterized by narrow alleys and a multitude of palaces and churches dating back to the medieval and Renaissance periods.
Bibbiena travel guide
Region: Tuscany. Province: Arezzo. Postal code: 52011. Area code: 0575. The address of the tourist office of Bibbiena is Via Berni, 21 – 52011 (Tel. +39 0575595486). Opening times May-September: from Wednesday to Sunday from 09.30 to 12.30 h and from Thursday to Saturday also from 16.00 to 19.00 h (Sunday 15.30 to 18.00 h). Opening hours October-April: From Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 13.00 on Saturday and Sunday also from 15.30 to 18.00.
Public transportation: The nearest airport is the Amerigo Vespucci airport of Florence. From the center of Florence, there are direct buses to both the train station and the center of the city. There is a direct train connection from Arezzo.
A brief history of Bibbiena
Throughout its history, Bibbiena, like most of the smaller towns in the region, has been a pawn of the larger powers. Especially during the late Middle Ages, it was subordinate to Florence and Arezzo.
Bibbiena was originally an Etruscan settlement, although few traces remain from that period.
The present town is said to have been officially founded in 979. In a short time the city developed from a simple settlement around a church into an important possession of the Bishops of Arezzo.
From the beginning of the 11th to the 16th century, Bibbiena was a pawn in the power struggle between Florence and Arezzo. The town was seen as an important outpost in the Casentino region.
In 1289, after losing the Battle of Campaldino, it was conquered and destroyed by the Florentines.
At the beginning of the 14th century it again came into the hands of the Bishop of Arezzo, then Guido Tarlati, who then left it to his brother Pier Saccone. The latter gave up Arezzo to the Florentines, but retained Bibbiena.
In 1360 Bibbiena was again conquered by the Florentines.
In 1440 the city then came into the hands of the mercenaries of Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan.
When Piero and Giuliano dei Medici were exiled from Florence (1498) they took refuge in Bibbiena. After this, the city was again besieged and destroyed by the Florentines. In 1509 the city walls and towers were destroyed.
When the Medici regained power, Pope Leo X ensured that the city enjoyed many privileges.
Over time, two centers developed within the city. The nobility settled around Piazza Tarlati and had several mansions built here. The second part is characterized by a maze of winding alleys. It is here that the craftsmen used to live.
In 1776 Bibbiena became the capital of a collection of 12 small settlements in the area, some of which were later annexed to the municipality of Poppi.
During the Second World War, many inhabitants of the Partina borough were killed by the Nazis.
What to see
The church of San Lorenzo dates back to the 15th century and has a very beautiful medieval interior.
The Chiesa dei SS. Ippolito e Donato was built in the 12th century (and later often restored). The painting “Madonna and the Angels” was done by Arcangelo di Cola.
The Palazzo Dovizi was built in the 16th century.
Oratory of San Francis (1580).
Santa Maria del Sasso Monastery
Pàrtina is a small village outside Bibbiena. It houses the Archaeological Museum of Casentino, which tries to explain the history of this region.
From Arezzo, Bibbiena can be reached by car via a street called Strade Regionale Umbro Casentinese Romagnola, which, thanks to its natural beauty, is as picturesque as the town itself.