Bisignano has a long and ancient history that left a mark on the small streets, archways and staircases of the old town where the majestic noble buildings and the churches are evidences of the cultural past. The town includes eight districts with several little shops where local industrious artisans work and produce artistic handicrafts. Bisignano is the birthplace of one of the greatest families of luthiers in the world, the De Bonis family. The workshops of the family descendants and other well-known makers of stringed instruments are still located in the town. Another remarkable local tradition is typical pottery handicrafts.
Bisignano stands on the hilly area of the Sila greca, 350 m high on the sea level. The town faces the Crati river valley and the terraced land offers a wonderful sight on the surroundings. This is the reason why the town is called the balcony on the Crati river valley. Several noble buildings of historic and artistic interest adorn the old town districts. If you walk along the town streets, you can plunge into the unaltered past and merge with the culture and traditions of a place that still surprises the visitors.
The history of Bisignano covers 3000 years. No evidence exists about the first settlements in the town area, but several archaeological findings (troglodyte dwellings, grave goods and arms) date them to the 15th and 14th centuries B.C. The ancient road Via Popilia (built in 132 B.C.) ran from Rome to Reggio Calabria and crossed the land of Bisignano during Jubilee pilgrimages, particularly from 1300 on, thus favoring trades with the outside world. The earliest records of Brutia Besidiae show that, in 205 B.C., Bisignano people took part (together with other populations of the Crati river valley) in the battle between the allied Hannibal and the Roman army. In time, Bisignano always defended its autonomous position against Rome, fiercely struggling to maintain its independence. Moreover, Bisignano fought against those populations that dominated during the time and left traces of their passage, thus enriching the cultural heritage of the town.
Piazza Collina Castello, Bisignano