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The Reno Valley

MAP

Most of this itinerary runs along the Reno River. This waterway starts in the foothills of the Apennines and rolls through the valley before reaching the city of the Due Torri (the two towers). The route proposes a selection of the natural, archaeological, historical and artistic sites that are part of the charm of the mountains that run along the southern border of the Bologna province.

Once you have reached the village of Marzabotto (on provincial highway SS64 Porrettana), the first stop is the National Etruscan Museum Pompeo Aria, located near the archaeological site of the ancient city of Kainua, an exceptional example of the Etruscan civilization’s passage through Bolognese history.

Continue along Porrettana Road, just a few kilometres away near the village Pian di Venola is your second stop: the Montesole Historical Park. This protected park is a lovely place to experience the area’s natural beauty. It was set aside to honour the memory of the civilians who were assassinated there by Nazi-Fascists in 1944.

Your third destination is Vergato (also profoundly hit by the Second World War and reconstructed almost completely). Here, in the Palazzo dei Capitani della Montagna (Palace of Mountain Captains), now the Town Hall, you can admire the impressive stained glass windows by Maestro Luigi Ontani.

For the last stop of your itinerary, travel to the municipality of Castel d'Aiano, in the hamlet called Labante. There you can visit the Labante caves, a site that has been recognized for its importance for the European Community, immersed in beautiful natural surroundings.

Chiusa di Casalecchio di Reno

Chiusa di Casalecchio di Reno

The Chiusa di Casalecchio is the oldest hydraulic work in Europe still working – in continuous and uninterrupted function. It stands almost in the middle of the Reno river course: 83 km from its source and 128 km from Torre di Primaro where the river flows into the Adriatic sea after having crossed plains of Bologna, Ferrara and Ravenna.

Villa Griffone

Villa Griffone

Main residence of the Marconi family since mid-nineteenth century. It was precisely in Villa  Griffone that Guglielmo Marconi set up his first workshop and completed his first experiments in wireless telegraphy  (1895), as reported also on a plaque on the façade of the villa.

Pieve di San Lorenzo di Panico

Pieve di San Lorenzo di Panico

Dating back to the Twelfth Century, it stands north of Marzabotto, and it is considered one of the most beautiful Roman-style churches in the Bolognese Apennines. Also worth noting is the preciously decorated aps

Monte Sole Historical Park

Monte Sole Historical Park

A protected area since 1989, it covers a surface of about 6,300 hectares, enclosing much of the area struck by the 1944 massacres. Rich in floral and animal species

Palazzo dei Capitani di Montagna

Palazzo dei Capitani di Montagna

Dated back to the Fourteenth century, it was rebuilt after the bombing raids which struck the town during World War Two. The centuries-old seat of the Mountain Captains has its façade adorned by the stained glass windows by Luigi Ontani

Pieve di San Pietro di Roffeno

Pieve di San Pietro di Roffeno

Located near Cereglio, in the suggestive hamlet of Pieve di Roffeno, it is one of the most famous and ancient churches in the Bologna diocese. It holds a Lombard-style font dating back to the 7th Century

Rocchetta Mattei

Rocchetta Mattei

The castle Rocchetta Mattei (literally "small fortress Mattei") is situated in the mountan chain of the Apennines between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. It is 45 km away from Bologna, on the SS.64 (road) that links Bologna to Porretta Terme, just after the town of Riola, in the municipality of Grizzana Morandi.
It was built by the Count Cesare Mattei (1809-1896) on the remains of an ancient medieval castle that belonged to Matilde di Canossa (a.k.a. Matilda of Tuscany).

Labante Caves

Labante Caves

The Labante caves are considered the most significant example of travertine caves in Italy, and perhaps in all of Europe