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Home Apennines and Nature Natural parks Regional Park of the Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell'Abbadessa

Regional Park of the Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell'Abbadessa

Created in 1988 between San Lazzaro di Savena, Ozzano, Pianoro and Bologna, the Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell’Abbadessa covers a protected area of 4844 hectares, with over 200 caves; it is one of the largest and most spectacular networks of gypsum caves in Europe. Gypsum outcrops and calanques are the mineral treasure of this area. The Gessi Bolognesi is not only one of the most important and most studied karst configurations in Europe but it is also an area of great beauty, full of spectacular erosive features and cavities populated by vegetation and animal species of great scientific interest.


Gessi Bolognesi JPG


This landscape is typical of Mediterranean hillsides, where highlands and rocky cliffs are interrupted by flat fields that extend through the clay calanques: a geological wonder for its

uniqueness which makes the Passo dell’Abadessa a breathtakingly beautiful area.

Spending a few hours in this park, it is easy to run into “lunar” landscapes because of the  similarities that can be seen in particular at the top of the gypsum outcrops where the crystal structure and pearly brightness of this rock is very visible and gives it its name: selenite (moon rock).

From the highest points, you can look out over the main valleys which soften into a great plain, and when the sky is clear you even catch a glimpse of the Alps.


Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi Dell'Abbadessa
Park Headquarters and Visitor Centre

"Casa Fantini" Via Jussi, 171 - 40068 San Lazzaro di Savena Località Farneto (BO)
Tel. +39 051 6254811 - Fax +39 051 6254521


Visitor's Centres

Villa Torre
Visitor Centre and Environmental Education Centre

Via Tolara di Sopra, 99 -  40064 Ozzano dell'Emilia
Tel: +39 051 6254811

Environmental Education Centre:
Gessi Bolognesi

The Centre organises educational activities for schools to offer children the opportunity to learn about the precious natural, paeleontological, archaeological and historical heritage of this protected area and the good practices for a correct management of this area such as organic farming and sustainable tourism.

Tel: +39 051 6254821



Ermes Ambiente


How to get here

From the by-pass road of Bologna take the exit no. 12 and go towards the town. You will find yourself on a stretch of a three-lane fast road. When you reach the first roundabout go ahead and cross the via Emilia (if you turn left you will get to San Lazzaro), and at the second roundabout you will have on the right viale Roma (in the direction of Bologna) and on the left via Bellaria (in the direction of S. Lazzaro di Savena) which continues towards the Farneto with the name of Via Jussi. The indications of all the meeting points will have exit 12 and the above-mentioned indications as a reference point.

Last modified Jun 29, 2017

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