Bibbiena is the largest and most populated town in Casentino, and historically the administrative centre of the valley. The origins of the district are very old, as demonstrated by the presence of numerous Etruscan settlements and Roman villas that have been rediscovered not far from the town centre. It’s foundations date back to 979 AD.

This district, and in particular the town of Bibbiena, has an important medieval history, which one feels in its villages and in its narrow, silent streets, even though the traces of that period of history are now few and far between due to the numerous ransackings that took place up until the end of the 15th century. Indeed, the last armed invasion of Casentino happened in 1498 when the Venetians, under the command of Bartolomeo d’Alviano, in alliance with the exiled Medici, carried out an unexpected invasion of the valley, capturing the De La Verna Monastery and taking possession of Bibbiena, in retaliation for the betrayal of Cardinal Dovizi and other inhabitants that were favoured by the Medici. Helped by the countrymen who carried out raids on the invaders, Florentine General Vitello, closed off the roads to cut off supplies to the enemy, enclosing them in Bibbiena, which he had placed under siege. With the arrival of winter Alviano only resisted in Bibbiena for another year. The Florentines demolished the town of Bibbiena as punishment for its infidelity.

Bibbiena has exceptional Renaissance architecture with many noble buildings, which can still be admired today. Amongst the most important are: Palazzo Martelli, Teatro Dovizi and Palazzo Niccolini.









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