Things to do in Barberino di Mugello and around
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Barberino di Mugello and its countryside

Popular destination among fashion lovers who for many years have been taking the exit of the A1 to assault his outlet, Barberino is a pleasant village located in the western part of Mugello.

The area where Barberino di Mugello is located has been inhabited since prehistoric times and had a certain development both in Roman times and later, when it was enriched with numerous monuments such as villas, churches and castles. Coming to our times, the most important event was undoubtedly the realization of the great lake of Bilanciano that deeply modified the appearance of this countryside.

With its natural parks, its cultural heritage, the great Mugello gastronomic tradition and its outlet, today Barberino is able to offer a truly complete tourist package.

Things to do in Barberino di Mugello and around

  • Historic center of Barberino
  • Badia a Vigesimo
  • Castello di Barberino
  • Lago di Bilancino
  • Villa di Cafaggiolo
  • Pieve di San Gavino adimari
  • Castello di Villanova

The historic center of Barberino

As soon as you have finished spending all your money between a shop and the other, I suggest you take a nice walk through the streets of the historic center of Barberino. Among the main monuments there are the Palazzo Pretorio (XV century), seat of the municipal library and of the permanent exhibition of Giuliano Vangi, the Pieve di San Silvestro and the Oratory of the Compagnia dei Santi Sebastiano e Rocco.

Badia a Vigesimo

We move to the edge of the town of Barberino to reach the Badia a Vigesimo. Built along an ancient Roman road, (the name vigesimo indicates the twentieth mile of the road), the Abbey is composed of the Church of Santa Maria and the former Convent of Badia Vallombrosana. The date of foundation of this complex should be placed in the course of the eleventh century even if the structures are referable to successive eras and in particular to the eighteenth-century interventions. Abandoned in the early nineteenth century, for a couple of centuries the Badia has faced an inevitable decline until, since 2000, has not been subject to restoration work that led to the construction of numerous apartments.

Here you should visit the church of Santa Maria that houses some art works, such as the baptismal font attributed to Benedetto Buglioni, and is enriched by numerous stuccoes and side altars.

Chiesa di Santa Maria a Vigesimo
Church ofi Santa Maria a Vigesimo (Photo by MassimilianogalardiCC BY)

Castello di Barberino

The Castle of Barberino was born around the year 1000 on a low hill overlooking the city center. Originally governed by Longobard commanders, the castle became a cornerstone of the Florentine Republic during the XIII century, then engaged in the fight against the Ubaldini Counts. During the XIV century, following a betrayal of Florence, the castle’s structures were weakened and it acquired a more residential function.

Today the castle is privately owned, but from time to time it is possible to visit it thanks to guided tours.

Castle of Barberino
Castle of Barberino (Photo by SailkoCC BY)

Lago di Bilancino

Built at the end of the twentieth century mainly to prevent the risk of floods such as that of 1966 that hit Florence, the Lago di Bilancino is a large reservoir up to 5 kilometers wide, with a maximum depth of 31 meters, which it can hold almost 70 million cubic meters of water.

Over the years, the lake has developed a tourist and sporting vocation: in fact, numerous activities are practiced here, including sport fishing, windsurfing, trekking and mountain biking. Nature lovers will also appreciate the WWF oasis of Gabbianello, where you can admire many species of birds such as storks, cranes and flamingos.

Lago di Bilancino in Mugello
Lago di Bilancino (Photo by SailkoCC BY)

Villa of Cafaggiolo

Built around the mid-fifteenth century by the Medici family, the Medici villa Castello di Cafaggiolo is among the most famous and beautiful in all of Tuscany; it is therefore no accident that it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Privately owned, this villa has characteristics that refer to medieval military architecture, such as merlons and corbels, and still retains one of the two towers it was equipped with.

Villa di Cafaggiolo
Villa di Cafaggiolo (Photo by MassimilianogalardiCC BY)

Pieve di San Gavino Adimari

The Pieve di San Gavino Adimari has been documented since the eleventh century and is considered one of the most historically significant places of worship of the whole Mugello, given that once upon a time 20 minor churches depended on it. Widely remodeled during the thirteenth century, the church still retains a large part of its medieval walls, while inside it houses some eighteenth-century works of art.

Castello di Villanova

Located a short distance Villa le Maschere, the Castle of Villanova is a monument in neo-medieval style built in the nineteenth century on the remains of a pre-existing castle. Some elements such as a tower, two doors and some parts of the walls have survived from the original building. Today the castle is home to events and ceremonies and can only be visited by arrangement.

Castle of Villanova
Castle of Villanova (Photo by MassimilianogalardiCC BY)

More places to see in Mugello

If you are looking for other places to see in Mugello, I suggest you read the guides on Scarperia , Borgo San Lorenzo and Firenzuola.

How to get to Barberino di Mugello

By car: it is very easy to reach Barberino di Mugello, just take the A1 motorway and exit at the Barberino exit. Right next to the toll booth you will find the outlet.

Public transport: Barberino is not served directly by the train, with which you can only get to San Piero a Sieve, from there you must continue by bus (line 302). Alternatively from Florence you can take the 301 bus of the Mugello Valdisieve Autolinee.
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