Past, present and future among mountains and streams
What it is and where it is
We are accustomed to medieval villages perched on some high ground, gathered around their castle. Piobbico belies this image. Its major peculiarity is that it is located between two mountains, Mount Nerone and Mount Montiego, at the confluence of the Biscubio and Candigliano streams. You know the cats who, when they are in the mood for a cuddle, jump into our arms and stick their heads between our arm and torso? Here, this is Piobbico. The town has actually grown a lot compared to the village; it has developed elegantly, taking advantage of the beauty of the waters that flow through it. I'm not going to lie to you, the oldest part is definitely the most charming, with its stone houses, narrow streets and that flavor of yesteryear that makes us forget our daily problems if only for a few hours.
Why it is special
Piobbico is not a village where time has stood still. I know, usually the charm of these places is precisely their ability to take us back to distant eras, and mind you, this medieval village does too. But Piobbico is also the most modern village , its churches speak of the Middle Ages, yes, but also of the Renaissance, Baroque, neoclassicism... houses and streets have become modern, but with a nice focus on parks and tree-lined avenues that bring a relaxed cool climate. Does it end there? No. Piobbico is also future, as the cradle and home of a Club that was based on its contemporaneity, but pointed to the future and today is more relevant than ever... But this is a curiosity that I will not reveal for now; we will talk about it later.
Not to be missed
Every self-respecting village has its own castle, Piobbico is no different. The Brancaleoni Castle is a structure somewhat elevated above the built-up area. Where there was a Roman castrum, the Brancaleoni family gradually built a monumental dwelling. Between one expansion and another, it only came to its present appearance between the 16th and 17th centuries. You can visit this splendid castle during the day, but I strongly recommend that you do not deprive yourself of the excitement it can give you during its openings at night.
A bit of history
The particular conformation of this area favored human settlement as early as pre-Roman times. However, it was around the year 1000 that Piobbico encountered the Brancaleoni family, who would guide its history through the centuries. In fact, the village was subjected to their rule first as a fief, then as a lordship. The Brancaleoni built not only the castle that led to the construction of the village we still see today, but also numerous buildings in the surrounding hills. These outer buildings were later abandoned and time was inclement to them. Today they are ruins lost in the woods, to be discovered on pleasant walks. In the mid-15th century, the Brancaleoni sided against a Cardinal and against Pope Martin V, and this marked the end of their rule over the territory, which passed to another family, only to become an autonomous municipality in 1827.
Have you read this far? You deserve to discover the real treat! This town in the Marche region, with its ancient history, is home to a revolutionary institution, so capable of evolving with the times that it has spread worldwide: in Piobbico was founded, and has its headquarters, the Club of the Ugly. Born to help unattractive women find husbands, it has evolved into an institution for acceptance and love of self and others, beyond aesthetic standards. Some famous members are: Giulio Andreotti, Maurizio Costanzo, Mike Bongiorno, Paolo Bonolis, Pippo Franco, Alessandro Cecchi Paone, Gerry Scotti, and many others! They may be the Ugly Club, but to me they are stunningly beautiful!
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