The municipal territory Castiglion Fibocchi, at the extreme southern slopes of Pratomagno, was already inhabited in the II/I century b.C. Around the year 1000 the Counts Guidi erected a castle to control both the road that connected Valdarno to Casentino, and the ancient Roman consular road, which largely follows today’s Setteponti Route, which linked Arezzo to Fiesole and the new colony of Florence through Valdarno Superiore. Remains of the pavement have come to light in recent years near the town, during the excavations for the sewer network.
In the 12th century the fortress was given to Ottaviano dei Pazzi, known as Bocco and it was later inherited by his sons. Hence the name of the place, “Castrum de Filiis Bocchi”, or “Castle of the sons of Bocco”.
In 1384, with the final submission of Arezzo to Florence, Castiglion Fibocchi also came under the control of the Florentines.
In 1644 the Grand Duke Ferdinand II de’ Medici included Castiglion Fibocchi in the marquisate granted to the Arezzo warlord Alessandro dal Borro for military enterprises. The heirs of the latter maintained the fief until 1749, after which, with the Lorraine reform of the 70s of the 18th century, it became an autonomous municipality.
The small size of the municipal territory does not prevent Castiglion Fibocchi from offering to the visitors interesting routes in nature and art. In the historic center you can see, for example, the remains of the medieval castle walls, a surviving tower called Torre Fredda and one of the entrances of the 12th century, called Porta Fredda.
The Town Hall is divided into two levels and is crowned by a Guelph-style battlement. Crenelated is also its sturdy tower equipped with a clock. To the left of the building a door on the open walls of the 19th century takes the place of the ancient Porta del Sole.
The itinerary dedicated to the religious building heritage allows to discover the Church of the Saints Peter and Hilary, originally the oratory of the castle, raised in parish church in the mid-17th century and completely rebuilt in 1857, when it became archpriest. Inside there is a “Madonna and Child” from the early 16th century attributed to Angelo di Lorentino, son of Lorentino d’Andrea, the main Aretine collaborator of Piero della Francesca.
The Church of San Pietro in Pezzano along Setteponti Route nowadays is the chapel of the municipal cemetery. It was consecrated in 1232 and houses a precious “Annunciation” by Andrea di Nerio, one of the 14th century masters of Aretine painting. The building is in Romanesque style, the result of a stylistic restoration that took place in the 30s of the last century.
On the road leading to the hamlet of Gello Biscardo are the Ruins of the “Pieve” of Saint Quirico in Alfiano, documented from the 11th century but of much older origin. During the 15th century it lost importance and was gradually abandoned. In 2013 the area where it stands was the subject of archaeological excavations that brought to light various finds, such as the parts of a rose window.
The territory of Castiglion Fibocchi also includes the splendid medieval village of Gello Biscardo, on the slopes of Pratomagno, one of the best preserved in the entire province, with its Church of San Giovanni Battista. On the panoramic road that leads to the hamlet not to be missed is the “Big Bench” by Chris Bangle, a gigantic contemporary installation in the form of a yellow bench from which to observe unique views of the Valdarno, Casentino and Val di Chiana.
The Castilian territory also hosts valuable examples of Tuscan rural construction. The best known is the Leopoldina house of Poggiale, one of the most iconic sets of the Oscar film “Life is beautiful” by Roberto Benigni.
In Castiglion Fibocchi the Carnival of the Sons of Bocco takes place every year, a carnival event that attracts tourists from all over Italy to admire the parades of costumes made by the country’s seamstresses who have nothing to envy to those much more celebrated in Venice.
Church of the Saints Peter and Hilary