BARBERINO DI MUGELLO: Situated in the torrent Stura valley, Barberino is one of the nine municipal districts in the Mugello valley.
This town was born in the Middle Ages, a period of fights for the conquest of the economical power. For long years it has been a very active center for the commercial life of the whole valley. The name "Barberino" comes from the coat of arms of the Cattani family from Combiate, which at that time were the Lords of these places, carved on an architrave in their castle, representing a man with three beards.
As for the first inhabitants of the area, all that we know is that the first tribe living here was the so-called “Magelli” (from here, the origin of the name “Mugello”), which was followed by the Etruscans who probably were the first to build the streets linking Fiesole to Felsine (the current city of Bologna). In 3rd and 4th centuries, Mugello was colonized by the Romans, as we can see from the several archaeological finds in the area.
When Barberino became a part of the florentine district in 1313, its importance grew; the town lived the period of its greatest splendour in the 15th century under the Medici, whose residences are located on the whole area and are still visitable. Many other governant followed each other at the guide of this town, until it assumed its actual aspect of district of the province of Florence.
So, today the land of this district is spangled of castles, churches, pievi and historical buildings, which it is possible to visit: the Villa Cafaggiolo, one of the many medicean residences; the Villa of the Masks, originally built at the end of the 16th century by Bettini family and rebuilt in the 18th century by the Gerini, unfortunatelly today it is not visitable because of its structure conditions; the Abbey of S. Maria a Vigesimo, founded in the 11th century and renovated many times, and many other places of historical and artistical interest.
The artistic patrimony is not the only richness of Barberino because, as all the other towns in Mugello, it has a great number of wonderful natural resources: what about organizing a nice trip along the torrent Stura or a relaxing afternoon on the banks of the Lake Bilancino, center of the major events in Barberino? The choice is up to you!