A small town of Roman origin, Bobbio is located in the middle Val Trebbia. It is famous for its history of art and culture, for lovers of nature and sport and its monuments. It is a tourist resort that is also popular in winter thanks to its ski resorts.
Ponte Gobbo (Hunchbacked Bridge) or Devil’s Bridge legend
During the Middle Age the construction of a bridge was considered a work of big talent, almost prodigious. For this reason the construction of bridges has given the origin of many legends, with the main character the devil, since the conjunctions of two locations that the nature (and God) wanted separated, it was considered as a devils’s action. One of these legends concerns “Il Ponte Gobbo” (the Hunchbacked Bridge), called also Old Bridge or Devils’s Bridge. The legend tells Saint Colombano wanted to build a bridge, in order to join two banks. The Devil proposed to build it in only one night, provided that he could possess the soul of the first person who would cross it. Saint Colombano accepted, and the Devil built the bridge thanks to the help of a Devils’ group of different height and physique, from which the characteristic protrusion and irregularity of the bridge. In the morning the Irish monk kept the promise, but since the bridge was not “normal” diddled the devil letting cross a dog for first (an ancient tradition sees as the sacrificial animal the friend bear).
Bobbio Film Festival
The town of Bobbio has its cinematographic Festival supervised by Marco Bellocchio. It started from the Farecinema (Do-cinema) Laboratory in 1966, and then it became the cinematographic competition Bobbio Film Festival (10). “Farecinema – meeting with the authors” was borne by an idea of Marco Bellocchio, who wanted to create in his town of Bobbio a laboratory for teaching the cinematographic art of directing. Since the first edition of 1966, together with the laboratory, an evening show of film open to the public with a cinema discussion at the end of the show was held, where representative characters of the film shown took part. In 2005 the show becomes Festival taking the name of “Bobbio Film Festival”, and Marco Bellocchio establishes the prize “Il Gobbo d’Oro” (the Golden Hunchbacked) with reference to the symbol of Bobbio, the medieval Ponte Gobbo (Hunchbacked Bridge), which will reward the best film among those proposed.
The local cinema cooperates to the show, and it moves to the cloister of the abbey of Saint Colombano where the event is traditionally held. In parallel the laboratory Farecinema carries on, and it will become a school of direction and acting. The town of Bobbio and surroundings become a cinematographic set with the opportunity of taking part to background actors, taken even from the street. From 2010, inside the festival, a seminar of residential critique is held with the duelling show.
Palio delle Contrade (Town quarter race)
The Palio is an event of medieval origins, with the people from different quarter of the town racing in different games for the conquest of the banner of the winning quarter. There are five historical quarters of Bobbio (11), which take their names from the access to the medieval town already existing in the XII century: Alcarina, Fringuella, Agazza, Legleira and Nova. The event is held on the 2 organized by Pro Loco (an organization of local people), it is open in the afternoon by the Historical Parade from the Castle along the roads of the center up to S. Fara Square. The representatives of each quarter challenge each other in the historical center with different games, in order to declare the winner. The people from the different quarters dressed in the colours of their quarters will engage in five challenges: Run with the Towers, Egg throw, Ratto della Castellana (Rape of the Castle Lady) and finally Palo della Cuccagna (greasy pole) in Dome Square. For the youngsters there is the Palio (race) of the children. The final reward of the “Palio” ends with the duel, and in the evening in each square it takes the dinner of the quarters.