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Bobbio, Province of Piacenza, Emilia‑Romagna

Bobbio is is located in the Trebbia River valley southwest of Piacenza city, and is world famous as the seat of an early Benedictine monastery, partly used as the setting in Umberto Eco's novel «The Name of the Rose». The town has a very ancient folk music tradition, based on the flute and accordion, which are still handicrafted by local artisans, and a typical dance called "giga di Bobbio bala Ghidon". Its folk groups are requested in celebrations and festivals also on the international scene.

Info

  • Altitude: 271 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 3,700 inhabitants (in 2013)
  • Zip/postal code: 29022
  • Phone Area Code: 0523
  • Patron Saint: St. Colombano the Abbot and three more: Sant'Antonio Maria Gianelli, Madonna dell'Aiuto, Santa Maria Assunta
  • Demonym: bobbiesi
  • Frazioni & Localities: Altarelli, Arelli, Areglia o Area, Aregli, Avegni, Barberino, Barostro, Bertuzzi, Brodo, Brugnoni, Ca' di Sopra, Ca' del Monte, Cadonica, Caldarola, Callegari, Caminata, Casarone, Cassolo, Casteghino, Cavarelli, Ceci, Cento Merli, Cernaglia, Cognolo, Costa Tamborlani, Degara, Dezza, Embresi, Fornacioni, Fosseri, Freddezza, Gobbi, Gorazze, Gorra, Lagobisione, Levratti, Mezzano Scotti, Moglia, Mogliazze, Nosia, Passo Penice, Piancasale, Pianelli, Poggio d'Areglia, San Cristoforo, San Martino, San Salvatore, Santa Maria, Schiavi, Tamborlani, Telecchio, Vaccarezza, Valle, Zanacchi.

History

Known to the ancients as Bobium or Ebovium, the Irish Saint Columbanus established a monastery sometime between 612 and 614. The monastery became a center of learning during the Middle Ages, and was renowned for its library, but its decline in the 15th century led to the dispersal of the library.

The town became part of Savoy kingdom in 1748. St. Columban's abbey was suppressed by the French in 1803; what remains of the abbey is now used as a municipal school, and the church, where the relics of Saints Columbanus, Attala, Bertulf, Cummian, and others repose, is now a parish church.

What to see

  • The Ponte Vecchio, 280-metre long over the Trebbia river, built on eleven unequal arches, possibly of Roman origin, nicknamed the "Devil’s Bridge" from a legend connected to Saint Columbanus.
  • The Malaspina Castle, whose construction was begun by Corradino Malaspina in 1304.
  • The Abbey of St. Colombanus, founded by the Irish saint in 614 AD, famous in the early Middle Ages as one of the main centers of culture in Europe, and for its huge collection of manuscripts, over 700 in 980 AD, among them 25 of the oldest manuscripts of Latin literature preserved in the world. The altars and sarcophagi in the crypt are decorated in the style of Irish art.