Paths, mule tracks and ancient mountain ways bear witness to the history of this little town, connecting the Po valley to the Tyrrhenian coast via the Apennines. This is an area that people have passed through for millennia, since Roman times and even before (with the Celts).
The earliest settlements date back to the time of the Ligurian Friniati tribe, who sought refuge here in 175 bc after being defeated by the consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus. The settlement was first mentioned in 1038, when Marquis Bonifacio, father of the famous Matilda of Tuscany, presented the Bishop of Modena with “the Citadel called Fiumalbo”.
As far as we know, and judging from the ruins that remain, the town must have comprised a fortress with three towers, old St Bartholomew’s church, a fortified hamlet and a monumental entrance gate.
Under the Estense family’s protection, Fiumalbo kept its typically isolated mountain character for centuries. The first significant developments occurred in the 17th century, followed by major rebuilding work after the 1920 earthquake, when part of the village was destroyed.