Guide to visit Bibbiena in Casentino

Bibbiena, a town famous for the “panno casentino”

Bibbiena is one of the most important town in Casentino, the most important from an economical and productive point of view. This hamlet is located on a hill a short distance from the river Arno in the province of Arezzo, about 30 kilometres far from it.

Even if this area was inhabited since the Etruscan times, Bibbiena was born during the Middle Ages. The village grew around a castle that was property of the Bishops of Arezzo between the 11th and the 12th centuries. Then, the castle became a possession of the family Tarlati from Arezzo, who built new defensive structures. Later, in 1360, Bibbiena was conquered by Florence and became part of the Repubblica di Firenze.

Today Bibbiena is famous for the production of the “panno casentino“, a traditional woolen fabric, green or orange, much appreciated even by international stylists.

Things to do in Bibbiena: guide to the hamlet

Into the historical centre of Bibbiena you can visit many monuments and an interesting archaeological museum.

  • Palazzo Dovizi
  • Chiesa di San Lorenzo
  • Palazzo Comunale
  • Museo Archeologico del Casentino
  • Propositura dei Santi Ippolito e Donato
  • Torre dell’Orologio

We start our tour from via Dovizi, where we can find the seventeenth-century palazzo Dovizi and the Chiesa di San Lorenzo (1474). Inside the church there are two terracotta altarpieces attributed to Andrea della Robbia; this two arte works represent the Adorazione and the Deposizione dalla Croce.

At the end of Dovizi we get to the Palazzo Comunale (XVI secolo) and just beyond, turn arousing in via Berni, the Archaeological Museum of Casentino.

Museo Archeologico del Casentino

Set up in 2010 inside Palazzo Niccolini in via Berni, the Museo Archeologico del Casentino exposes findings ranging over a long period from Prehistory to the late Roman period. The museum has six halls about the Prehistory, the Etruscan settlements, Etruscans sanctuaries, the “Lago degli Idoli” (Lake of the Idols an important archaeological site on the Monte Falterona) and the Romana age; the last hall is used for temporary exhibitions.

Address: via Berni 21

Opening hours:
October – April: wednesday-friday 9.30-12.30; saturday-sunday 10.00-12.30 and 15.30-18.00
May, June and September: tuesday-thursday 9.30-13.00; friday 9.30-13.00 and 16.00-19.00; saturday-sunday 10.00-13.00 and 16.00-19.00
July – August: tuesday-wednesday 9.30-13.00; thursday-sunday 9.30-13.00 and 15.00-19.00

Tickets: regular 3 euro; reduced 1 euro (kids 8-14 years old, groups); free for under 8, disables, tourist guides
Guided tour: (for a hour): 25 euro + 1 euro for each person
Educational workshop: 4 euro for each kid

Web site

Propositura dei Santi Ippolito e Donato

Leaving the Museum, get on back in via Berni on the right within almost till the end, where some stairs lead us to the church Propositura dei Santi Ippolito e Donato. Founded in the beginning of the 12th century, this church was remodeled many times. Inside there are many art works as the Cross attributed to the Master of San Polo in Rosso; the Madonna con Bambino in trono e angeli by Arcangelo di Cola da Camerino; the Bicci di Lorenzo’s tryptich representing Madonna in trono con i Santi Ippolito, Giovanni Battista, Iacopo e Cristoforo; Madonna con Bambino e i Santi Michele e Antonio Abate by Jacopo Ligozzi and an Annunciazione by Giovanni Balducci.

Visit the Propositura dei Santi Ippolito e Donato in Bibbiena
Propositura dei Santi Ippolito e Donato (Photo by vignaccia76 / CC BY)

We are now at the end of our tour: on the le left of the Propositura in piazza Tarlati, ther are the rests of the ancient castle, consisting in the Clock Tower and in a smaller tower just behind the first one.

What to do around Bibbiena

In the surroundings of Bibbiena the Santuario di Santa Maria del Sasso (1 Km), a beautiful example of Renaissance ecclesiastical architecture, is worth a visit. In Casentino there are also other important places of spirituality such as the Santuario della Verna and the Eremo di Camaldoli.. Among the villages, however, we recommend you visit Stia, Raggiolo and above all Poppi with its magnificent castle.

Sanctuary of the Santa Maria del Sasso near Bibbiena
Santuario di Santa Maria del Sasso (Photo by vignaccia76 / CC BY)

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