[Emilia Romagna Slow] The Way of the Gods
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“A 75-mile slow journey on an age-old route with a spectacular start: 2.5 miles from Bologna to Mount Adone under the longest arched gallery in the world“
It’s called Way of the Gods, and it’s as old as the hills. In ancient times, it was part of the Etruscan road network and was used mainly to link the Tuscan cities to the Po Valley, as a trade route and to reinforce Etruscan dominance in northern Italy. Historians think it was originally laid out between the 7th and 4th centuries BC, although it was the Roman engineers who then brought it up to scratch.
In 187 bc, just a few years after the city of Bononia (Bologna) was founded, the Roman consul Caius Flaminius decided to enlarge the ancient Etruscan track for purely defensive purposes; the Flaminia Military Road (as it was known) served as a shortcut to move the Legions quickly from south to north, without having to go out of their way along the classic Via Flaminia.
With the fall of Roman empire, the imperial consular ways fell into disrepair, and the road lost part of its original surfacing. It was reduced to a path, although it remained a convenient route between the cities of Florence and Bologna, until the modern roads took over. It was rediscovered by a group of hiking enthusiasts in the 1980s, who spruced it up and renamed it the “Way of the Gods“, after the places it passes through – Mount Adonis, Mount Venere (Venus) and Mount Giunone (Juno).
Today the Way of the Gods is an extraordinary route equipped for both and , which winds among evocative landscapes of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, and that each spring is the preferred destination of travelers who want to reach
the cities of Florence and Bologna in more days, rediscovering the Italian hidden corners and the nature of the Apennines mountains.
The Way of the Gods is now a treat for both walkers and mountain bikers, winding among the evocative landscapes of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. Every spring, it becomes a favourite route for wayfarers wanting a leisurely way to get between Florence and Bologna while rediscovering Italy’s hidden corners and the natural delights of the Apennines mountains.
So if that sounds like you, forget the motorways and express trains and rediscover a taste for the good old slow ways amid these rugged Apennine landscapes. The Way of the Gods will repay you with some amazing sights, unique stories, and great memories.
Services and practical informations
The Way of the Gods is fully signposted throughout and offers information about distances, walking times, and the places en route, including the path number. The official website has suggestions on where to eat and sleep.
The Way is usually divided into 5 stages, and the website has plenty of tips on the sights to look out for as you go.
The Way of the Gods official App (Android only) provides technical details, GPS tracks, accommodation information, tips, curiosities, pictures and everything else you need to plan your walk.
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