Piazza Pier Saccone Tarlati - Bibbiena

Bibbiena

A splendid medieval rock-fort immersed in nature

The old part of Bibbiena, a medieval fortress, is set at the top of a hill surmounted by the Torre Tarlati. A noteworthy monument is the 16th-century Palazzo Dovizi, named after the renowned family to which Cardinal Bernardo, called il Bibbiena (1470-1520) belonged. He was secretary to Pope Leo X, diplomat, and author of the play "La Calandria," which explored Renaissance society. Other illustrious figures whose names are linked to Bibbiena were the Galli’s, a family of theatrical designers known the world over by the name of “the Bibienas.” An essential element of the Gallis’ scenery was its architecture, extraordinarily imaginative yet rigorously respecting the rules and principles of perspective.

It is also worth visiting the 15th-century Church of San Lorenzo, which contains two lovely terracotta works, a "Deposition" and an "Adoration" by Andrea della Robbia; the Oratory of San Francesco, a jewel of Tuscan Rococo; and finally, the Church of Santi Ippolito and Donato. Built in the early 12th century, along with other valuable works, this church preserves a superb 13th-century wooden sculpture depicting a "Madonna and Child" by Ligozzi, a masterly triptych by Bicci di Lorenzo, an "Annunciation" by Balducci, and a very rare panel painting by Cola di Camerino.

SURROUNDING AREA
Bibbiena
One kilometer from Bibbiena is the Basilica Santuario di Santa Maria del Sasso, built on a design by Giuliano da Majano, boasting clear-cut Renaissance features. Inside the basilica are works of art of priceless artistic value, including a "Madonna and Child" by Fra Paolino del Signoraccio, a "Nativity" by Maria del Ligozzi, a centrally placed shrine where the "Madonna and Child" of Bicci di Lorenzo is displayed, a chancel with a magnificent Assumption by Fra Bartolomeo and Fra Paolino, and a terracotta altarpiece by Santi Buglioni. The lower church contains a wooden sculpture venerated as the Madonna del Buio and a precious painting on canvas by Lappoli. Inside the monastery, there is a grandiose 16th-century cloister.

Soci
Another important village is Soci, where, in addition to the "panno casentino" (woollen cloth) with its characteristic green and orange colours, high-quality carded and combed wools have been produced for over a century. On the outskirts of the village, there is a17th-century villa called the Mausolea that was formerly the guest-rooms and hospice of the Camaldolensian monks.

Partina
Farther along, Partina, dominated by its castle and rebuilt in the late 19th century in neo-Gothic style, is now the site of an interesting museum containing archaeological finds from the Casentino area.

Serravalle
Serravalle, a popular tourist spot bathed in the green of Casentino Forest National Park, houses an important centre for the study of environmental bio-indicators. At Terrossola, the Church of San Marco contains a canvas by Botticini.

Source: Consorzio Casentino Sviluppo e Turismo

Cover image credit: Valeri Rossano

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Area
Foliage in Casentino

Casentino

A forested valley surrounded by the Apennine Mountains, lined with spiritually significant places
A land of forests and monuments to the Christian faith, of profound silences and soulful revolutions, Casentino inspires a spirit of meditation and reflection. ...
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