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Home Horse trails Bologna - Tour of Bologna’s parks

Bologna - Tour of Bologna’s parks

Experience nature


Not everybody knows it, but just outside Bologna, one of the most beautiful cities of art in Europe, there are many large, uncontaminated parks and very valuable natural reserves.

Not only are they important from an environmental point of view (many of the botanical species are protected: from the alpine aster to the silver geraniums, as are fauna such as the golden eagle, mouflon and marmots), but also from a historic, cultural and scientific point of view.  These parks are organized and managed daily in order to preserve and improve this natural environment, promote scientific research, recreational-didactic activities, developing compatible human activities.  This tour crosses through various Bologna parks: Monteveglio Park, through the Pliocene Buttress, the Historic Montesole Park, the Montovolo Park and the Park of Corno alle Scale, near the dividing line between the Emilia and the Tuscan Apennines.  The there’s Martina Park, with the Park of the Bologna Gypsum and the Abbadessa Bights.  A great opportunity also to visit towns and parish churches.  And to taste the best of Bologna’s food: from Mortadella to crescentine (bread) with salamis and cold cuts, from DOC wines to the legendary tortellini.


Ippovia - Romagna Ferrara Bologna - Le vie d'acqua


From Monteveglio to Lagune: 25 km about (1 day)
Starting out from Monteveglio, a hilly area with a lot of vineyards and DOC wines (there is also the Headquarters of the Consortium of wineries).  We are in the regional park of Monteveglio (established in 1995, 1,000 hectares of land).  This trip goes around the crags of the imposing Abbey of Monteveglio.  An ancient building: from the Exarchate of Ravenna, the Abbey was passed on to the Longobards, then to Matilde di Canossa.  Then it it’s up to the ridge between the rivers Serravalle and Samoggia.  After crossing the latter and crossing over the hill up to the Lavino river, and from Calderino you go back up to the next ridge to Lagune in the Pliocene Buttress.


From Lagune al Poggiolo di Montesole: 19 km about (1 day)
From Lagune, after some steep downhill stretches, you reach the Reno river, where it crosses the Setta.  Here, you enter into the territory of the Historic Park of Montesole.  The panoramic ridge between the Setta and the Reno lead travelers through the woods, old farmhouses and tragic memories made by the second world war (slaughter of civilians during the massacre in Marzabotto), up to “Il Poggiolo” lodge in Montesole.  In the park of Montesole, you can visit the House of Peace, a small building where they hold seminars and lessons, frequently with international guests.  You can also take a guided tour of the park.


From Montesole to Parco di Montovolo: 20 km about (1 day)
From Montesole the paths widen out and wind through the park.  The landscape is made up of woods and fields, populated by wild animals and botanic species typical of the Apennines, such as the protected Scots pine, lyophilic arboreal, which grows very slowly and survived the ice age.  Then it’s on to Grizzana Morandi, a typical Bologna Apennine town, but with something more.  Here you can peruse the house-museum and the personal library of the great Bologna painter Giorgio Morandi, one of the greatest artists of the 1900s (the Morandi Museum is in Bologna).  The path winds between hills and chestnut groves up to the cliffs of Montovolo in the center of the park of the same name.  In the forested area, there is a Romanesque church dating back to the 12th century and the Santa Caterina oratory built, according to legend, by the crusaders.


From the Park of Montovolo to the Park of Corno alle Scale: 28 km about (1 day)
A steep mule track from Montovolo goes down to Campolo, town of masons, then on to the medieval town of Scola, up to Riola under the Mattei Rocchetta.  It’s impossible not to notice it: it is a bizarre castle, vaguely oriental, and commissioned by a pharmacist at the beginning of the 1900s.  Cross the Reno river, and go up to Rocca Pitigliana.  Then on to the town of Abetaia, until the ridge between the Reno and the Panaro rivers, to the little church of Ronchidoso in Monte Belvedere.  Continue on to Querciola until the town of La Ca’, in the Park of Corno alle Scale.  Here, a stop is recommended of one or more days in order to visit the park which hosts a large web of paths among remote mountain towns (there is the mule track or the medieval one organized by the Park Center), set in imposing vegetation, inhabited by various and interesting fauna.  Among the most interesting natural attractions: the waterfalls of Dardagna and those of Tanamalia, without forgetting about


From La Ca' to Borgo Capanne: 20 km circa (1 day)
This itinerary starts with a climb up to the Tre Croci pass (1281 m above sea level) in the territory of the Park of Corno alle Scale.  The pathways are wide and easy: they are the old streets that connected the high Reno valley to Tuscany.  From Ca’ di Vidiciatico you cross though, among mountains and wide panoramas, the towns of Pianaccio, Monteacuto delle Alpi, until Borgo Capanne.


From Borgo Capanne to the Park of Suviana and Brasimone Lakes: 16 km about (1/2 day)
Take this path to discover the Suviana and Brasimone Lakes, set among the Bologna Apennines.  Amazing views.  In the summer, Suviana becomes a colorful meeting point for windsurfing fans.  You cross through the territory of the park, full of streams and dotted with historical towns and old farmhouses, many of which have been abandoned.  You ride in the middle of woods made up of broadleaves, chestnuts, downy oaks, hornbeams, sorb-apple trees and beech trees.  And if you are lucky, you can run into deer, roe deer, fallow deer, wild boars, squirrels, weasels, badgers or rare red or green woodpeckers.  This stretch ends at the L’Abetina lodge among the conifer woods above the medieval town of Castiglione de Pepoli.


From Castiglione de Pepoli to Montefreddi: 18 km about (1/2 day)
From the woods of Castiglione de Pepoli you can reach the sanctuary of Bocca di Rio with its elegant cloister built for housing pilgrims.  Once you’ve passed Roncobilaccio, you go up to the so-called “messenger”, a four-way crossroads of very old paths along the roman Military Flaminia which connected Bologna to Fiesole, still accessible on horseback.

From Montefreddi to Martina Park: 14 km about (1/2 day)
Among the woods of Alpe di Monghidoro, you reach the Raticosa Pass, on the road from Bologna to Florence to then arrive in Sasso di San Zenobi, at Martina Park.


Places of interest

Food Bed Stable Horseshoe
1 - Monteveglio BO
Azienda Agrituristica "La Stadira"
via Acqua Fredda, 17
tel./ fax 051.831429
Closed in January
Food Bed Stable Horseshoe
2 - Sasso Marconi    BO  
Azienda Agrituristica C.I. "Grazia"
via Boschi, 27
tel. 051.6760158
Closed on Mondays
Stable Horseshoe
3 - Sasso Marconi    BO  
Azienda Agrituristica C.I. "Le Conchiglie"
via Lagune, 76/1
tel./ fax 051.6750755
Closed from January 10 to February 10
Food Bed Stable Horseshoe
4 - Marzabotto    BO  
Rifugio "Il Poggiolo" di Montesole
via S.Martino, 25
tel. 051.6787100 - 841277 - fax 051.6787100
Closed in January after the holidays
Food Bed
5 - Grizzana Morandi    BO  
Azienda Agrituristica C.I. dell'Orso
Località Polveriera, 167
tel. 051.910237
Closed on Mondays
Food Bed Horseshoe
6 - Parco Provinciale del Montovolo - Grizzana Morandi    BO  
Foresteria Parco di Montovolo
Foresteria Parco Provinciale del Montovolo
tel./ fax 051.6730007 (Comune)
Closed from October to April
7 - La Cà - Lizzano in Belvedere    BO  
Azienda Agrituristica C.I. "Ca' Gabrielli"
via Cà Gabrielli, 156
tel./ fax 0534.54049
Food Bed Stable Horseshoe
8 - Pavana    PT  
Azienda Agrituristica "Casa Marcacci"
via Cà di Dano, 50
tel./ fax 0573.892141
Food Bed Stable Horseshoe
9 - Castel del Rio    BO  
Azienda Agrituristica "Le Fontanelle"
via Osta, 1228
tel. 0542.95591 - fax 0542.92601
Closed from November to February; open for the holidays
Bed Stable Horseshoe
Last modified Feb 21, 2011

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