[Emilia Romagna Parks] Natural parks in and around Bologna
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Our heading dedicated to Natural Parks in Emilia-Romagna goes on: today we go discovering the natural parks of Bologna, from the first hills to the peaks of the Apennines.
Dominated by the thousand-year-old Abbey of Monteveglio, the namesake Regional Park at the gates of Bologna protects the most significant portion of the Samoggia Valley and is composed of a succession of wooded hills, small valleys and gray gullies.
The territory is walkable through a structured network of routes: 3 Nature Trails and 6 Itineraries.
The Nature Trails are thematic routes dedicated to the discovery of the environment or to aspects of particular value and meaning of the territory. The itineraries are instead hiking trails that develop in the various sectors of the protected area, often retracing significant traits of the historical road system.
The area is also crossed by the Monteveglio Bike Path, a hill route on paved roads that starts from Bazzano and leads to Monteveglio Abbey.
On the first slopes of Bologna’s hills there’s a park that protects a truly peculiar landscape: in the valley of Idice rivier, the gentle hills of Ozzano are interrupted by the rough ridges of Calanchi dell’Abbadessa, gypsum outcrops that gave life to a karstic complex among the most important and studied in Europe.
A protected area of 5k hectares that contains spectacular erosive forms and a complex system of caves, including the Spipola Cave, which can be visited along with specialist staff.
To discover the territory by foot there are many easy paths immersed in the silence of the hills: 1 Nature Trail and 5 Itineraries, in addition to the Gessi di Gaibola Bike Path.
The Corno alle Scale Regional Park consists of 5k hectares enclosing the majestic mountains from which the valleys of the Dardagna and Silla rivers originate. The heart of the park is the highest peak of Bologna’s Apennines, the Corno alle Scale Mount, a massif that touches the two thousand meters (1944 m) marked to the summit by layers of sandstone (hence the name “Scale”, that means “stairs”), which make it resemble to the profile of a book leaning over the underlying beech woods. Around it, the other peaks of Mount La Nuda (1828 m) and Mount Gennaio (1812 m).
Grasslands rich in blueberries, solitary valleys dedicated to grazing, small villages emerging from the woods, sanctuaries, crystalline streams and scenic waterfalls are some of the panoramas that can be admired.
The territory is crossed by 17 walking routes, as well as by the 10th stage of the Alta Via dei Parchi.
In the central sector of Bologna’s mounts, around the two large basins of Suviana and Brasimone, built since the early twentieth century for hydroelectric purposes, a territory rich in forests of oaks, beeches and conifers is enclosed, where the diminished human presence has favored the increase of wildlife, including deers, of wich, especially between September and October, it is easy to hear the roars.
130 km of paths make the park walkable by hiking enthusiasts of every training level, from easy walks to almost climbing the Calvi Mount: many itineraries between lakes and woods, feasible also by mountain bike, and 3 stages (11 ^, 12 ^, 13 ^) of the Alta Via dei Parchi, the stretch that leads from Rifugio di Monte Cavallo to the Alpe di Monghidoro.
The Monte Sole historic Regional Park extends over an area of 6k hectares between the Reno river and the Setta torrent, over the territory of Marzabotto, Monzuno and Grizzana Morandi, where the well-known painter Giorgio Morandi used to spend his holidays and that today has reached new fame thanks to its peculiar Rocchetta Mattei.
It is a small Apennine ridge, composed of the Pezza, Salvaro, Termine and Sole mountains, which rises up to 826 meters above sea level and during World War II represented the front line.
The Park, in addition to the extraordinary natural beauties and the richness of fauna, is characterized by its historical value: these places were witnesses of one of the most tragic pages of the War of Liberation from Nazi-fascism, when, on 29 September 1944, the German departments slaughtered 770 unarmed people.
For this reason, to remind the future generations of these dramatic events, the Historic Park was born, the only example in Italy.
In the territory of the Park some thematic itineraries have been identified: Etruscan, of the Memoriale, of Morandi, to name just a few. The territory is also traveled by the Memorial Bike Path and the wildlife trail “Sulle orme del lupo”.