Barberino di Mugello
In the land of the Medici and cycling champions
Barberino is located in the heart of Mugello, halfway between Florence and Bologna. Its oldest centre developed in the Middle Ages at the foot of the hill on which the historic castle of the Cattani di Combiate stands. The centre was destroyed in the 14th century by the Republic of Florence, which at that time took control of this area. It was subsequently raided several times, and was eventually rebuilt as a centre for agricultural and trading activities. Gradually, Barberino experienced notable development, becoming the largest town in Mugello and assuming a central economic role.
What to see in Barberino di Mugello and surroundings

In the historic centre, you can visit Palazzo Pretorio, a building that likely dates to the 15th century and that's now home to the permanent collection of the maestro Giuliano Vangi, one of the greatest international contemporary artists who was born in Barberino in 1931. In the oldest part of the town, you'll find the centuries-old San Silvestro Parish Church as well as several palazzi that formerly belonged to noble families. In the piazza, you can see a 14th-century loggia attributed to Michelozzo. His work being in Barberino is no coincidence: the Medici employed him for the transformation of Villa di Cafaggiolo, the most cherished monument in this area of ​​Mugello. Here, the Medici came to stay in the countryside and hosted illustrious personalities and artists. Lorenzo the Magnificent spent part of his childhood in Cafaggiolo and visited there as an adult.

Don't miss a visit to Lake Bilancino where you can enjoy sports such as canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, swimming or fishing. On the northeastern shore of the lake, you'll find the Gabbianello Natural Oasis, an important stopping point for migrating birdlife, including white storks, cranes, wild geese and pink flamingoes.
Lovers of fashion and shopping can visit the Barberino Designer Outlet, featuring more than 100 stores of major national and international brands.

Barberino di Mugello, also due to its role as a marketplace, has always had considerable strategic importance. Here, roads passed from the Arno plain to the Po valley, in Etruscan, Roman, medieval and modern times. Even today, if you want to spend a day outdoors immersed in nature, it's a pleasure to travel along the numerous itineraries designed for trekking and mountain biking. Among these is the Via degli Dei, a centuries-old path that connects Florence to Bologna passing through Monte di Fo and climbing among the peaks.

In 2007, the Giro d’Italia made a stop in Mugello arriving in Scarperia and starting from the main square of Barberino di Mugello the next day. Today, it's possible to retrace the footsteps of the great cycling champions such as Gastone Nencini, winner of the Giro '57 and Tour '60, who was born in Barberino. Fans of cycling can venture along the roads of Mugello to discover its passes, or follow the route of the Gran Fondo del Mugello, a permanent 120 km cycling itinerary that takes in villages and Apennine passes.

Typical dishes and products

There are numerous cattle, sheep and pig farms in the area. In Mugello, high quality milk is produced, as well as excellent pecorino cheese and certified BIO meats with the European IGP mark. The valley is the breeding area for White Central Apennine Steer IGP, including Chianina cattle.