Barberino Val d'Elsa

On a hilltop nearby Petrognano, there's a little chapel where originally was the ancient Longobard tower of Semifonte Castle, totally destroyed by Florentines.

From that period Barberino quickly developed also thanks to the nearby Via Cassia, the ancient Roman artery.

The town walls with elliptical shape are intact, two main roads run parallel through the town in its length.

Most important buildings are the ancient hospital for pilgrims ("Spedale dei Pellegrini") and the Barberini family palace, ancestors of Pope Urbano VIII, who patronized the sculptor Bernini.

Very interesting is the Bernini family blazon, with three insects, originally horseflies, later changed into three more noble bees.