Ponte Vecchio bridge near Bobbio, Italy
© afinocchiaro/Getty Image
On the left bank of the river Trebbia, lies.... Bobbio, Italy
Between the metropolis of Milan—the fashion and design capital of Italy—and the renowned seaport city of Genoa, you’ll find this small river town in northern Italy. People have resided here since ancient times, including the Romans, but the town really began to flourish when the abbey was constructed in the 7th century. For much of the Middle Ages, the Bobbio Abbey and its vast library made the town a centre of religion, culture, and learning.
These days, Bobbio is a regular tourist stop perhaps best known for its old bridge, or Ponte Vecchio (not to be confused with THE Ponte Vecchio in Florence). Bobbio’s old bridge spans the river Trebbio with 11 arches of unequal size and is commonly called Ponte Gobbo (Hunchback Bridge), because of its irregular shape.
Bobbio remains a jewel box of a town frozen in time. With its many small churches, modest houses, and cobblestone streets, Bobbio maintains the character of a medieval village nestled in the Trebbia valley. Ernest Hemingway described the Val Trebbia as ‘the most beautiful in the world,’ and with views like this, who could argue with him?