These mountains border on the southernmost area of metropolitan Bologna, they separate the capital of Emilia Romagna from the Tuscan provinces of Florence, Prato and Pistoia.
The area is loaded with interesting nature sites to visit, villages, and industrial facilities (like grain mills) perfectly preserved. There are Etruscan settlements, the majestic Rocchetta Mattei and landscapes that were dear to the Bolognese painter Giorgio Morandi and Faro di Gaggio Montano (Lighthouse of Gaggio Montano), the only one lighthouse in Italian mountains.
Many ancient pathways that were used in past centuries to transport merchandise and passengers crisscross this area. Among them, the Via degli Dei (Path of Gods) that connects Bologna and Florence.
The signs of WWII are indelible: the Gothic Line passed through here and there are many places dedicated to the memory. The most significant and poignant is the Historical Park of Monte Sole and the monument that commemorates the slaughter at Marzabotto.
Porretta Terme lights up each year since 1988 to the notes of the Porretta Soul Festival, Tribute to Otis Redding, which has become the most important event in all of Europe for soul and R&B music. This year the festival focuses on the "Memphis sound" that was Otis Redding’s favorite.
The area is well-known for the white truffles of the Bolognese hills, wild game cuisine, chestnuts and other typical recipes, for example zuccherini montanari (sugar cookies).