Modena (70 km)
Altitude: 800-1000 mt. a.m.s.l
Montecreto is the flagship park of chestnut trees, no doubt a unique forest. Here chestnut trees, planted at the time of Matilda of Canossa, create an atmosphere of great serenity and peace, so as to be ranked as one of the most beautiful outdoor areas of the Apennines. Montecreto is a summer resort thanks to its sweet and flourishing nature and in winter thanks to snow sports in the ski resort of Mount Cimone. With 50 km of trails all connected to each other, the ski area is accessible with a single electronic ski pass and is served by modern and fast facilities.
Where to visit and what to see
The town is located 900 meters above sea level, and built around the church of S. John. Once an ancient fortress, today there are only some parts of the walls and one of three towers, converted into the bell tower of the parish church. The old town, and in particular the Via Castello, with its courtyards, balconies and carved portals, is an excellent example of a fortified road.
The village is surrounded by woods of chestnuts, beeches and firs, while in the higher areas the forest gives way to plants such as blueberries and raspberries. The fauna is very diverse, you can see deer, marmots, buzzards, and there are some traces of wolves. At the edge of the Chestnut Park, there is the Shrine of Our Lady of Trogolino dedicated to Our Lady of Life; the Sanctuary contains within it a painting of the Madonna and Child and owes its strange name to a legend that tells how the painting was found under a trough for animals, called "trogolino" or "trough ".
Montecreto also has a chair lift that transports tourists up to the top of the Monte Cervarola mountain, just a 30 minute walk from the Lago della Ninfa (Sestola).
On the table
The special dishes of Montecreto are based on the chestnut and all its derivatives. With chestnut flour a traditional product called "ciacci" is produced, as is "the chestnut cake" and many other specialties of the peasant tradition. Some years ago the "Road of Food and Flavours of Aquarius" was created which represents an important feature in this small town's Apennine culinary tradition.
To keep fit
Montecreto offers numerous sports facilities of all kinds. There are in fact football and soccer fields, tennis courts and a bowling alley, a roller skating rink, bike paths, hiking trails, riding stables and an approved centre for the launch of “ruzzola” (a wooden disc, with rules similar to shot putting).
This town has a strong tradition of folk festivals. Among the most important events of the summer is the traditional Feast of Our Lady of Trogolino with a Donkey Race (the first week end of July), a religious festival with religious ceremonies, processions and races riding donkeys along the streets adorned with flags of the town. Do not miss the Chestnut Festival the last weekend of October.
Information and useful advice
Using the chair lift, directly from the town center the ski resort of Mount Cervarola Montecreto can be reached (*) or alternatively, if you have your own car, you can reach Passo del Lupo Sestola (19 km Montecreto ). The lifts of Cimone are open usually from early December until the end of March. During this period, snow tires or chains are required to come up to the slopes.
COMUNE DI MONTECRETO
Via Roma, 24 - 41025
Tel. ++39 0536 63722
Fax ++39 0536 63470
Open troughout the year
How to reach
The Modena Apennines and its municipalities can be reached from the Autostrada del Sole, exit Modena Nord (Road New Estense), following the signs for Montecreto, or take the Modena Sud exit following the signs to Vignola. For those coming from Tuscany, take the A11 Pistoia, Firenze-Mare motorway, continue north following the signs for Porretta Terme, Fanano, Sestola and then finally Montecreto.
Last update: 11/05/2011