Bienno - The territory
The Municipality of Bienno is located in the province of Brescia, in the Central Camonica Valley, about 70km away from the town of Brescia and the Tonale Pass. It is at an altitude of 450metres above sea level and it is surrounded by the summits of Concarena and Presolana Mounts.
The old village stands on one of the hills dominated by Dosso del Cerreto and preserves in a nearly integral way the medieval urban structure of the old town centre. In fact, the village has an urban conformation particularly rich and meaningful. It is articulated on the geometric structure of Roman foundations (castrum) and it has all the typical features of a medieval village, both in the evolution of Roman routes and in the extension of the same in relation to the geomorphologic configuration of the soil.
The Grigna stream runs through it and, through the waters that flowed into the Vaso Ré (the Rč Duct) it provides the energy that is necessary for the hydraulic wheels to move both the heavy hammers and the millstones, processing the iron into forged tools and grinding the cereals into flour.
The wealth produced by this activity has enabled an impressive development of the architecture, from the Middle Ages until the eighteenth century, embellished by the work of famous artists and craftsmen.
The village has suggestive landscapes, offers large openings with portals made up of granite or simona stone, decorated with chiselled emblems or moulded cornices. In the monuments, in a large number of noble residences with classic lines and during the construction or readjustment of the towers of the antique medieval nucleus, that is the one of the most beautiful and best preserved of the Camonica Valley, are still preserved numerous evidences of the importance that some families of Bienno had reached.