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Bibbiena

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Bibbiena (ZIP code 52011) is 32,2 kilometers far from Arezzo, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

Bibbiena has a population of 11.465 inhabitants (Bibbienesi) and a surface of 86,4 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 132,70 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 425 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Via Berni 25, phone ++39 0575 - 5305, fax ++39 0575 - 530667: the E-Mail address is sindaco.bibbiena@casentino.toscana.it.

Population: The municipality of Bibbiena had a popolation of 10.969 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 11.465 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 4,52% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 4.367 families with an average of 2,63 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 317 and 1.397 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 1.080 metres.

Work and workers:There are 384 industrial firms employing 2.596 people that are the 49,59% of the total of the workers. There are 301 service firms employing 744 people that are the 14,21% of the total of the workers. There are also 398 firms employing 1.086 people that are the 20,74% of the total of the workers. There are also 108 administrative offices emplying 809 workers that are the 15,45% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 5.235 workers, that are the 45,66% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

Bibbiena rises nearby the confluence of the Archiano and Arno rivers.

The local economy is mainly based on the agricultural production and on the activity of numerous wool mills.

The place name comes from the Etruscan word "Viblena": the foundation of the first settlements in the area of Bibbiena has to be attributed to the Etruscans.

During the Middle Ages Bibbiena belonged to the Bishops of Arezzo, who mantained the control until 1289, when the Florentines conquered and devastated the village.

From then Bibbiena was subdued to the Florentine domination until the XIV-th century, when the village passed again to the Bishops of Arezzo, under the jurisdiction of Guido Tarlati who continued exercising his influence on the village of Bibbiena up to the middle of the same century.

By dieing the Bishop Guido Tarlati Bibbiena was conquered by the city of Florence that elevated the town to the rank of a Podestà's seat.

Under the guide of the Medici's family the village of Bibbiena was restored and fortified but at the same time a period of decline started and lasted the next two centuries, ending by coming the Lorena's Dukes to the power.

The period of the Lorena's domination was for Bibbiena the most flourishing for both economy and culture. The Dukes operated a remarkable work for the reclamation of the territory, that during the last centuries had been neglected, thus promoting the development of the agriculture.

During the same period the Lorena's Dukes made numerous villas and palaces built and they also embellished the town by restoring the urban plane.

At the beginning of the XIX-th century Bibbiena took in account a thriving economy based on the artisan manufacture of wool and wood.

After the French domination occurred from 1800 to 1814, Bibbiena was annexed to the Tuscan Grand Dukedom where stayed up to the Unity of Italy occurred on 1861 by the action of the King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoia.

Among the most important monuments to see in Bibbiena we point out here the Chiesa di San Lorenzo (Saint Lorenz Church), the Oratorio di San Francesco (Saint Francis Oratory), the Santuario della Madonna del Sasso (Our Lady of the Rock Sanctuary), the Pieve dei Santi Ippolito e Donato (Saints Ippolito and Donato Parish), the Palazzo Dovizi (Dovizi Palace) and the Palazzo Poltri (Poltri Palace).

Among famous people who were born in Bibbiena we remind the literary man and diplomatist Bernardo Dovizi, called the "Bibbiena" (1470-1520).

Among the numerous celebrations taking place in Bibbiena we point out the traditional "Historical Commemoration of the Mea" held yearly on the last day of the Carnival period. The celebration evokes a popular legend telling about a beautiful girl of popular origin, named Mea, who was quarreled between a count of the Tarlati family and a weaver, to who was previously promised.
Between the two factions in which the town of Bibbiena once was divided was born a rivalry that ended with the trust of the Mea to the population and the celebration in honour of the refound peace. From then every year the historical event is celebrated by burning the so called "Bello Pomo" (Beautiful Pome) as a plent augury for the next harvest.