Bobbio is situated on the left bank of river Trebbia, in an area rich in water and settlements since the Neolithic era.
The numerous finds testify the presence of various populations: Ligurians, Celts and after 14 B.C. the Romans.
The nucleus of Bobium rose in 14 B.C. but its history is inextricably linked to the one of the Abbey of San Colombano founded by the cenobite monk Columbanus who reached it in 614 when it received this territory as a gift from the Langobard King Agilulf.
It was a donation of great political significance as Bobbio controlled the great caravan route, the salt road, that from Piacenza, along the Valtrebbia reaches Genoa - a cornerstone of the Byzantines. In Bobbio, Columbanus found only a small-dilapidated church, dedicated to Saint Peter, and decided to restore it. The convent rapidly became populated: already in 643 it counted 150 monks. The first houses inhabited by citizens rose around it.
The Abbey of Bobbio, with its schools, its library, his Scriptorium and its economic organization, quickly became a political power too. Bobbio possessed goods in Valtrebbia, Val Staffora, Val Tidone, val d'Aveto, in the Liguria region, Monferrato and the Langhe, and arrived also at the gates of Turin, around Lake Garda, from Salò to Bardolino, on the Lakes of Mantua, in Piacenza, Ravenna, Genoa, Lucca and Pavia. A rich feud in which the manorial system reached its perfection.
The area, on which the inhabited part develops, is bordered by the River Trebbia and dominated by the Sanctuary of Madonna del Penice, which is located on the namesake mountain. The heart of the village has maintained the medieval architecture perfectly intact.
The symbol of the village is Ponte Gobbo (or the Devil’s bridge), entirely built in stone in Roman times, with a particular profile consisting of 11 irregular arches. The bridge connects the village to the other side of the river and from it, with a brief and suggestive walk on its 'bumps', you can admire the profile of the village, the Monte Penice and the territory surrounding the Trebbia.
In the shops of the old town centre, you can find many typical products of the area, from local wines to jams or organic honey produced by local companies. But also a wide choice of local meats or sweets and bakery products such as tasty salty donuts or the famous almond cake, or even the fragrant porcini mushrooms picked on the surrounding mountains and the truffles. Instead, for those who are looking for a handicraft souvenir in Contrada dell’Ospedale you will find the workshops of carpenters and local artists where you can find artefacts or paintings depicting picturesque corners of the city.
In addition to being rich in art and culture, Bobbio boasts a long series of typical local dishes (that represent the culinary tradition of Piacenza) that have been handed down from many generations, and represent another typical feature of the socio-cultural melting pot that benefited from during the centuries. You should taste the maccheroni alla bobbiese, fresh pasta handmade by using a knitting needle dressed with a stew sauce. The snails alla bobbiese, traditional Christmas Eve dish that you can often find in the winter period and the delicious brittle made with almonds and sugar with which the skilled hands of local producers know how to make surprising shapes. And also pine nuts with ricotta or pìn (in dialect pé da lésa: slide foot, for the typical shape), green gnocchetti with ricotta cheese, traditionally served with a mushroom sauce; brachettone alla bobbiese (bràcton, a stuffed pig’s trotter made with pork shoulder, pickled or aged).
Village of Bobbio
Municipality of Bobbio
Province of Piacenza
Surface area: 106.53 sq. Km
Altitude center: 272 m a.s.l.
The Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia
Orange Flag - Italian Touring Club
Municipality of Bobbio
Piazza San Francesco - 29022 Bobbio PC
phone +39 0523962815
San Colombano - November 23rd
ON THE TRAIN