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Via della Lana e della Seta

MAP

The “Via della Lana e della Seta” involves a 6-day trek connecting the cities of Bologna and Prato combining the discovery of the natural beauties of the mountains to that of the great local cultural heritage.

This itinerary, which boasts Medieval architecture andindustrial archaeology linked to textile production, connects two cities already joined by their productive history: Bologna, the city of the Lock and canals and centuries’ old silk capital, and Prato, the city of the Cavalciotto, millstreams and fulling mills, capital of the wool and textile district.

Starting from Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, you arrive in Sasso Marconi passing by the Casalecchio Lock, the oldest hydraulic work in Europe still in operation and declared a “Heritage to Promote a Culture of Peace for the Young Generations” by UNESCO, and enjoying the thrill of walking over the Vizzano suspension bridge. As you admire the natural beauty of Montesole park, you arrive at Grizzana Morandi first and then on to Castiglione dei Pepoli, the third and fourth stops of the itinerary respectively. The trek continues through the magnificent Lakes Suviana and Brasimone park and by Santa Maria Abbey in Montepiano as far as Vernio. From here, you climb the Calvana massif boasting rare species of flora and fauna where it is not unusual to spot wild horses as far as Poggio Cocolla and then descend to San Salvatore Abbey in Vaiano. Once in Vaiano, the sixth stop on the itinerary, the trail takes you to Prato passing by Cavalciotto di Santa Lucia, one of the leading examples of industrial archaeology in Italy dating back to the 11th century and an essential part of the Prato water system.

The “Via della Lana e della Seta” (Path of the Wool and of the Silk) enables you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines full of excellencies and tradition, and discover the territory's history and culture.

Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore is located at the very centre of Bologna. In the past the square underwent many changes and was further enriched with important buildings: Basilica di San Petronio, Palazzo dei Notai, Palazzo d'Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo dei Bianchi.

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.

Ponte di Vizzano

Ponte di Vizzano

The current suspended bridge is the last of a series of constructions that are hypothetically date back to Roman times, as it is thought that the road connecting Rome to Florence and Bologna ran through here.

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

Lago di Suviana

Lago di Suviana

It’s one of the largest lakes in the region, formed following the construction of a dam for the production of electricity used by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane between 1928 and 1932.

Immagine Percorso

Its towering peaks create a typical karst environment dotted with caves, sinkholes and springs, recognisable for the meadows on the slopes. Here you can observe rare flower species, specimens of the native Calvana cattle and also encounter wild horses, among the low vegetation typical of this area.

Immagine Percorso

Dating back to the 11th century, it is one of the main examples of Prato's rich industrial archaeology heritage. It is the levee of the Bisenzio creek that feeds into the water system consisting of 53 km of millstreams that cross the city and that once powered the textile factories before flowing into the Ombrone river.