Borgo di Bibola

The Town of Bibola

Located in the municipality of Aulla

Bibola stands on a hilltop, just a few kilometers south of Aulla. It has a formidable position, dominating the Magra River and surrounding areas including the ruins of the nearby castle. Its origins likely date back to the ancient Roman era. In the Byzantine period, at the beginning of the 7th century, an anonymous Ravennate pointed out in a writing called “Cosmographia”, an itinerary with a series of fortifications along the road that went from Luni to Lucca. Another itinerary went in the opposite direction and through the towns of Pulica, Bibola, Rubra (Terrarossa) and Corneda, which brought travelers to Liguria.

Bibola was probably one of the Byzantine “kastrons” that defended the Luni harbour. In the Middle Ages, it was very close to the important castle of Burcione, which controlled the road that connected Via Francigena to Sarzana and Luni. The ancient Byzantine nucleus was probably erected on top of older ruins. Through smoke signals and mirror reflections, the towers of Filattiera and Grondola were able to communicate with the castles of Bastia, Monti, Lusuolo, Castiglione of the Terziere.

The Bibola castle was perhaps remodelled in the 11th and 12th centuries, when the Bishops of Luni disputed over the parish of Soliera. In 1306 in Castelnuovo, Dante Alighieri helped finalize the pact between the Malaspinas and the Bishop, and the Bibola castle was also included in the deal. In 1355, it was among the feuds of the Malaspina marquis of Aulla, confirmed by Charles IV. It was sold by his heirs in 1451 to the marquis of Fosdinovo.In the village, there is the church of St. Bartholomew, which is located in an elegant church square with a mosaic of Ligurian inspiration. The houses in the periphery have numerous passages covered with vaults.