Last Updated on March 16, 2021 by Helga Dosa
Bobbio is a comune and a small town located in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy in the province of Piacenza. The town is located in the valley of the Trebbia River close to the town of Piacenza. The main backbone of the territory is the Trebbia River. The water of the river is clean and through its course creates several beautiful waterfalls.
The valley is also an interesting geological area and is home to many sports activities like fishing, swimming, canoeing, and hiking. Quite a lot of tourists visit the town to enjoy the natural beauty of the valley and to sunbathe along the beaches of the river. Bobbio is surrounded by the Apennines which creates a beautiful landscape in the region and because of the altitude, the climate remains mild even in summer. The areas around the town are characterized by lush woods, fields, and pastures which are home to a lot of wildlife species.
Attractions in Bobbio
Saint Columbanus Abbey
The Saint Columbanus abbey is a large complex but only a few areas are open to the public. The ground floor corridor, the yard, and the main cloister can be explored by visitors. The abbey is also home to the Abbey museum which has an impressive collection of artworks and objects that date back to the Renaissance, Medieval and Roman age. The Town Museum is also located in the complex.
Basilica of Saint Columbanus, Bobbio
The Basilica of Saint Columbanus was originally built in the 15th century over the remains of an old 10th-century church. The interior of the basilica is extremely beautiful with nave frescoes dating back to the 16th century. There is a 15th-century gothic wooden choir, a 12th-century mosaic, a marble sarcophagus dating back to the 15th century, two marble tombstones, and a beautiful 12th-century gate.
Malaspina Dal-Verme Castle
The castle was built in the 14th century on a hill that overlooks the town. Over the centuries, the castle has been damaged many times and the remains of the castle, two small towers and the defense walls that still exist are open to visitors. The castle provides good views of the town and the surrounding landscape.
The Cathedral of Bobbio
The cathedral of Bobbio was originally built in the 11th century and has two large towers. Much of the façade that visitors can see today dates back to the 15th century and the three portals of the cathedral are done in the gothic style of architecture. The interior of the cathedral has three naves and beautiful 18th-century decorations. Saint John Chapel can be visited through the right transept where beautiful 15th-century frescoes of the Annunciation are done.
The Old Bridge
The old bridge is 280 meters long and has eleven unequal arches. It is believed that the bridge dates back to the Roman age, however, it is first documented in 1196. The bridge is known by several different names, the Devil’s Bridge and the Hunchback Bridge due to its irregular shape. Several legends are attached to the origin of the bridge.
Getting to Bobbio
Bobbio is located 45 km from Piacenza. The best way to reach the town is by driving down; visitors who have their own car can easily drive down to Bobbio. From Piacenza visitors can take the state highway 45 Piacenza-Genova to reach Bobbio. The landscape here is quite beautiful, the highway runs through the valley of the River and has some very beautiful views so driving down to the town is quite enjoyable. Along the road, visitors would also come across several small villages.
Moving Around the Town
Bobbio is spread over an area of 106 sq km, but most areas can be explored on foot. The churches, monuments and the important attractions are all concentrated close to the center of the town so it is easy to visit most attractions on foot. Those who have their own car can also visit the other parts of the town by car. The locals mainly use the state buses for commuting so visitors can use them as well if they do not have a car.
Stay and Accommodation
Bobbio is quite a small town and although many visitors come to the nearby Trebbia River, there aren’t many good hotels in the town. Most visitors come to Bobbia as a day excursion for Piacenza and the nearby towns and do not generally spend a night in the town. There are only a handful of farm houses and old country homes on the outskirts of the town that are available on rent to visitors. Most good hotels are located in the nearby centers of Piacenza and Pavia so visitors can stay there and visit Bobbio during the day. There are a few B&B in the town like B&B San Nicola and B&B Dar Dom where visitors can stay.
Eating in Bobbio
Although there aren’t many hotels in the town, there are plenty of options in terms of restaurants and pizzerias. Bobbio has quite a lot of good places to dine out where visitors can find simple Italian dishes made from local ingredients, good quality olive oil and local cheese varieties. Good wines are available almost everywhere and there are also a few places where visitors can try traditional desserts and pastries. Some of the best restaurants in Bobbio are Ristorante II Vecchio Mulino, Entoca San Nicola, Ristorante Ra Ca Longa, Ristorante La Scarpone, Ristorante Replica and Ristorante Locanda Nobili.
Shopping in Bobbio
There are only a few places in Bobbio where visitors can shop. The local old market where visitors shop for their daily requirements is the best place to shop. There are a few good shops that sell terracotta pottery and artifacts in the older section of the town. Apart from this visitors can also purchase locally made fabrics, textiles and food items. The best things to purchase in Bobbio are cheese, olive oil and local wine.