Welcome, dear reader, in one of the Most Beautiful Italian Boroughs!
Bienno is a quiet little village in the north of Italy, located in the Camonica Valley. This is known as „Valley of the Signs“ thanks to the rock carvings made by Camuni, dating back to a period of time that goes from the 8th millennium BC to the medieval era: our Valley was the first italian site to be added to the Unesco World Heritage List.
But let’s go back to Bienno now: there are a great deal of places to visit in this Borough, some of them are:
The Fucina Museo: Bienno is known as the “ Town of the Hammers“ for a reason: there are still five working forges in our village, but this one is the most important one. Our Màihter will welcome you into this ancient place, where they still forge buckets, shovels and other tools: they’ll show you how the hammers work and take you to the newest part of this smithy, the „Ethnographic Iron Museum“.
The House of Artists: not only this is the Town of the Hammers, Bienno has been for a few years home to artists from all over the world, who get to live here and produce their art; hence the title, „Artists Borough“.
Every village has its religious History, and so does Bienno; there are two particolar churches in this village that are worth a visit. The most ancient one is Saint Mary’s Church, built in the XVI century and completely frescoed by Giovanni Pietro da Cemmo, Fiamminghino and Romanino. The Parish Curch, devoted to Faustino and Giovita, overlooks the village: its bare outward appearance hides a richly frescoed interior, with 6 lateral altars enclosed in iron railings, surmounted by a huge organ and a wooden crucifix.
The 15th century Mill: This mill and its particular keeper attract lots of tourists every year, who never fail to go home with a bag of our flour.
Maddalena’s Hill, that overlooks Bienno and its surroundings, is home to a particular monument: covered in gold, a 12 m high Christ statue watches over the Camonica Valley.
Naturally, there’s no shortage of bars and restaurants: our typical dishes, for example Casoncelli, Pane e strinù, Stracotto e Spongada, are hearty and filling. In our village there is a camping area and various events, such as motor racing meetings and horse fairs.
Bienno’s most known event is our Mostra Mercato, a fair which takes place every year in August: artists and merchants come from every part of Europe to sell their products, typical foods and wooden games, knives and fragrances, musical instruments and artworks, books and chocolates and much more. Daily shows entertain the crowd and more than 7 gastronomic booths serve typical foods and wines, while the skilled smiths forge for the tourists.
(status acquired in 2004)