A clock with the hands turning backwards, measuring time that has already passed. In this small centre of the Apennine protected by two mountains (Nerone and the Montiego) and by the confluence of two rivers that unite in the town centre (the rivers Biscubio and the Candigliano), the castle tower of Count Brancaleoni encloses a mystery that undermines the rules of nature.
A secret that for centuries has intrigued tourists, from the top of a glorious hill of history, legend and magic. The imposing castle of the ancient lords overhangs the village, denying stereotypes and social conventions.
Here the flow of time is marked by the anticlockwise direction of the hands: one can retrace distant epochs, stories of battles, loves and tragedies, dreams and suggestions.
The story tells of a sixty-year reign, during which Brancaleoni dominated the population of the medieval "borghetto" stretched along the hillside. The old town is accessed through two gates: one at the edge of the bridge over the river Candigliano, the other under the church of St. Peter (14th century).
With its centuries-old rooms full of frescoes, stucco and coat of arms, the castle is one of the greatest treasures of this charming corner of the Apennine.
Between the courtyard of honour and the church of San Carlo Borromeo with a secret passage, ceramics exhibition, numismatics collection and ornithological section, in the oldest part of the complex the museum of fossils of Monte Nero is located, in the basements, there is a speleological section with the reconstruction of a specimen of Ursus spelaeus, a bear that lived three hundred thousand years ago.
The significant monuments in Piobbico are the church of St. Stephen, reconstructed in the eighteenth century, with the fabulous canvas by Federico Barocci " Riposo durante la fuga in Egitto" and the statues by Federico Brandani, and the sanctuary of Santa Maria in Val d'Abisso with the “Annunciazione” by Raffaellino del Colle.
Its peculiar position, nestled in the green of hills and woods, makes Piobbico one of the most enjoyable climatic places of the Apennines. Even during the warmer months the temperatures are mild and the air is pure and sparkling.
There are many wonderful natural itineraries, between the massif of Mount Nerone, featured here by the "Santa Maria" mineral waters. One can go hiking, trekking, canoeing, fishing, play tennis or other sports in contact with nature.
A relaxing and rejuvenating holiday, but at the same time varied and interesting.
Monte Nero was mentioned in the words of the antiquarian, naturalist and historian Costanzo Felici, who wrote in 1500: "Other things of equal wonder, in and around Nerone, are too many to document one by one, for the reader would be tired of reading them, and my pen too tired to write them all down. "