2ND LEG: 32,1 km | 1540 D+ | 9 h
Rastignano – Ciclopedonale Lungosavena / Lungosavena cycle and pedestrian path – Pianoro – Podere Riosto – Castello di Zena / Zena Castle – Museo dei Botroidi (Tazzola) – Santuario di Santa Maria di Zena o del Monte delle Formiche / Shrine of Santa Maria di Zena or Monte delle Formiche – Fornace di Zena – Barbarolo
DO NOT MISS
via di Riosto (Pianoro)
Splendid hills embroidered with the violet of grapes growing in rows of vines. Since the time of the Papal States the history of Riosto has been linked to a surprising winegrowing trade. Scholar Luigi Fantini even investigated the sweet fruits of Bacchus and in 1961 discovered an heirloom variety later called “Fantini’s Vine”. Among the orderly cypress and oak woods appear the remains of a church: an altar and the entrance portal, hidden by nature. This is the site of a celebration on 14–15 August of Our Lady of the Assumption dating back to ancient times.
The village of Tazzola is halfway between Zena and Monte delle Formiche and upon reaching it you will see an inscription on the wall of an old barn that states “Museo dei Botroidi”, a museum of botroids, namely a collection of anthropomorphic rocks found along the Zena torrent in the 1960s by speleologist Luigi Fantini, and which narrate the history of the area from the Pliocene to the present. Another unique spot is the Contrafforte Pliocenico, a nature reserve rich in natural monuments dating many thousands of years.
Ca’ di Pippo
Pianoro – via Monte delle Formiche
The history of the village of Ca’ di Pippo is closely linked to that of the Monte delle Formiche sanctuary, which is only 2km away. Ca’ di Pippo’s proximity to this mysterious place so dear to the communities of the Zena and Idice valleys has made it a reference point for many believers and pilgrims. Welcoming, with its simple original structure, the eighteenth-century village still preserves the rural spirit of the past. The village also has an inn.
Barbarolo (end of Stage 2)
via Barbarolo (Loiano)
Just above the Zena torrent, Barbarolo’s large Santi Pietro e Paolo church soars amongst the cornfields. Dating back to the ninth century, by 1300 or so it had become one of the Diocese of Bologna’s thirteen parish churches. The current building stands over an eighth-century Romanesque church whose foundations are visible in the underground rooms. On the first weekend of August, the statue of Our Lady of Carmel is carried in a procession up to Trebbo di Barbarolo. This ancient village offers B&B accommodation and a trattoria.