The Via Mater Dei is a 135 km path divided into 6 stages from Bologna to the hill of the Apennines dedicated to the Marian Sanctuaries. It is a project supported by the Tourist Destination and the Metropolitan City of Bologna, the Curia of Bologna, the Union of Municipalities of the Bolognese Apennines and the Union of Savena Idice. The path touches 7 municipalities in the Bolognese Apennines: Pianoro, Loiano, Monghidoro, San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Castiglione dei Pepoli, Camugnano and Grizzana Morandi.
The Sanctuaries involved are: - Santa Maria della Vita (Bologna) - Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine di San Luca (Bologna) - S. Maria di Zena / Sanctuary of the Monte delle Formiche (Pianoro) - Sanctuary of the Madonna di Lourdes / Camping (Monghidoro) - Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Boschi (Monghidoro) - Sanctuary of the Madonna di Pompei / Piamaggio (Monghidoro) - Sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve / Madonna dei Fornelli (San Benedetto Val di Sambro) - Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine delle Grazie / Boccadirio (Castiglione dei Pepoli) - Sanctuary of the Beata Vergine della Consolazione / Montovolo (Grizzana Morandi) - Sanctuary of the Serra di Ripoli (San Benedetto Val di Sambro)
Saturday 18 May programme: At 2.00 pm in front of the Sanctuary in Madonna dei Fornelli, inauguration of the Via Mater Dei and blessing of the new paviment in front of the Church of Madonna dei Fornelli in the presence of Bishop Mons. Matteo Zuppi, Matteo Lepore President of Turistic Destination and Alessandro Santoni Mayor of the Municipality of San Benedetto V.S with cake cutting and toast. Followed by the opening of the market with tasting by local producers operating in the territories of the Via Mater Dei. At about 3.00 pm departure of the musical trek to the historic village of Qualto where we will be greeted with a buffet by the local community. Short guided tour of the medieval village and the church. At the end return to Madonna dei Fornelli where, at 6.00 pm, the Via mater Dei will be officially presented. At 8.00 pm at the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve concert by Carlo Maver During the afternoon and evening, the typical “crescentina montanara” by the parish and local association.