Bibbiena is a high interesting historic town situated in the Casentino’s region, in the nearness of the confluence of Arno and Archiano rivers. It rises at 425 m. above the sea level and is the Chief Town of Arezzo’s province.
Bibbiena was originally an important Etruscan settlement, becoming over the centuries a medieval manor. In the 10th century the town came into the power of the Arezzo’s Bishopric being under their control until 1289, when the famous Battle of Campaldino was waged.
The town felt into Florentine’s power and remained under their dominion until the 14th century when Guido Tarlati, Bishop of Arezzo, recaptured it from Florence’s jurisdiction.
Until the second half of the 14th century Bibbiena kept on being a crucial point of continuous hostilities between Florence and Arezzo’s authorities.
In 1360 the Florentine’s army overwhelmed it and subsequently conferred to the town the status of a Podestà’s seat.
In the second half of the 15th century the town was subjugated by the troops of Milan’s Duke, Filippo Maria Visconti, conducted by the mercenary Niccoló Piccinino.
At the ending of that century Bibbiena was devastated and conquered again by the Florentine’s army remaining into their power until the return of Medici’s dynasty, passing under their jurisdiction until the extinction of that dynasty.
Because of the excellent relationship between the Medici and the Pope Leone X (also a Medici’s family member) cleverly guided by his Secretary, Cardinal Bernardo Dovizi, born in Bibbiena - who was a diplomatic and enlightened literate man from whom Raffaello painted a portrait - the Pope granted to the town important privileges which reverted into a chiefly urban and economic Bibbiena’s increase.
But the most blooming period known by the town was during the Lorena’s dominion subsequently to the Medici’s one.
Lorena’s Dukes gave to Bibbiena and to its territory a weighty cultural and economic stimulus, promoting the agricultural development, as well as the town beautification by a pretty well conducted town-planning.
Nowadays, Bibbiena is a well-off municipality and its economy sources are coming from its ample industrial network and the agricultural activity.
What to visit in Bibbiena:
- Palazzo Dovizi: a splendid building from the 16th century which was the Cardinal Bernardo Dovizi’s residence.
- The Church of San Lorenzo: built up in the 15th century, this wonderful church has three naves hosting well-known art works. Its main works are: two glazed terracotta relieves by Della Robbia’s family; a 13th century splendid sculpture of “The Madonna and Child”; a beautiful canvas by Jacopo Ligozzi; a magnificent triptych by Bicci di Lorenzo and a unique panel by Cola di Lorenzo.
- The Pieve di S. Ipolito: coming back from the 12th century, is a beautiful Chapel former belonging to the Tarlati’s Castle. From the Castle are still standing up one of its towers, “Torre dei Tarlati”, and one if its access doors, “Porta dei Fabbri”.
- The Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Sasso: situated in the nearness of the town, is considered as one of the main Renaissance religious buildings in the Casentino region. It was projected by the architect Giuliano da Majano. In it indoors there are precious art works, like “The Madonna and Child” by Fra Paolino del Signoraccio and “The Nativity” by Ligozzi.
Where to sleep :
For more information about Bibbiena, please visit the official web site : http://www.comune.bibbiena.ar.it/
Main Towns in Casentino
Anghiari, Bibbiena, Camaldoli,
Chiusi della Verna, Monterchi, Poppi, Pratovecchio, San Sepolcro.
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