[Emilia Romagna Slow] Piccola Cassia
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
The Piccola Cassia Way is a ancient Roman road that continues the itinerary of the most famous Via Cassia, crossing the territory between Modena and Bologna. Its use over time was increased, extending from the time of the first populations of the Apennine valleys to the Middle Ages and then in Modern and Contemporary era.
To understand the history and function of Piccola Cassia we have to go back in times of the foundation of the Regio VII Aemilia region by the Romans. From the 3rd century BC the Romans began their expansion into what was called Cisalpine Gaul (which today largely coincides with the territory of Emilia Romagna) with the consequent foundation of new colonies and the reorganization of the road system of the new region.
Ariminum, Forum Livii, Bononia, Mutina, Regium Lepidi were just a few of the cities that were builded at regular distances along the new Via Emilia, which runs in the east-ovest axis of the Italian peninsula. Along the north-south axis of the cities of ancient Emilia Romagna, instead, the communication routes with the countryside and the hills began to emerge, some of which could be a convenient and quick link between the north regions and the South one.
This is the case of the so-called Piccola Cassia, which was born from the southern gate of Modena, near the monasteries of San Pietro, and then continued for Vignola and Savignano sul Panaro. From this point the road overlaid the Romea Nonantolana path, crossing the ridge between the Panaro valley and the Samoggia valley and continued towards Zocca and Castel d’Aiano, where he entered the Reno River Valley to descend into Tuscan territory and reach through the Ombrone Valle the city of Pistoia.
Originally, therefore, the Piccola Cassia, which was an active route until the late imperial age, was mainly a link between the city of Mutina and Tuscany through the crossing of three valleys, the Panaro one, the Samoggia one and the Reno one.
It is to Cicero instead to consider the Piccola Cassia as an extension to the north of the route of the most famous Via Cassia (which was generally considered to end in Lucca). According to Cicero, the Via connecting the cities of Modena and Pistoia was the transappenninic continuation of Via Cassia, which was subsequently confirmed by both contemporary scholars and toponym of certain territories of Emilia like Cassiola, Cassola, Casola, Casolano Etc etc. ..
Belonging to Cassia or not the route was abandoned around the IV century AD, in conjunction with the crisis of the Roman Empire and with the barbarian raids, returning to be a strategic route in the Lombard period when the conflicts with the Byzantine Empire, attested in Bologna areas, made the Piccola Cassia one of the many secure connections between Modena and Rome.
Today, the path of Piccola Cassia, together with Romea Strata and Romea Nonantolana, includes two regions, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany for a total of about 170 km. Going to Rome, it is a fascinating and scattered path along the route of religious and historical testimonies such as the Abbey of Nonantola, the Bazzano Fortress and much more. The path is characterized by a rural and natural landscape ranging from fertile plain to the hillsides and vineyards, from dense mountain forests to the great prairies of the Apennine ridge.
The Piccola Cassia is an ideal route for hikers and mountain bikers, and along the way offers numerous accommodation facilities of various types that allow you to organize your trip according to the most varied needs.
Technical specifications and services
On the official website of Piccola Cassia it is possible to find information about the stages of the itinerary, as well as all the other information about the excursion opportunities in the area.
It is also possible to download files with GPS tracks of individual stages or sort the dedicated guide.
There are also sections dedicated to the landscapes and gastronomic excellences of the area not to be missed along with an up-to-date calendar of events and fairs and festivals taking place in the villages along the way.
The Piccola Cassia in Emilia Romagna is a journey of about 120 km and is divided into 8 stages:
Regions crossed: Emilia Romagna,Tuscany.
Legs: from north to south the trail can be divided as follows:
1st leg | Nonantola – Bazzano 26 km
2nd leg | Bazzano – Tolè 29.5 km
3rd leg | Tolè – Abetaia 24.3 km
4th leg | Abetaia – Rocca Corneta 15.8 km
5th leg | Rocca Corneta – Capanna Tassoni 17.98 km
6th leg | Capanna Tassoni – Cutigliano 13.80 km
7th leg | Cutigliano – Ponte Petri 23.70 km
8th leg | Ponte Petri – Pistoia 18.30 km
Length: 177.40 km, the section in Emilia is at most 124.20 km.
Level of difficulty: medium due to the length of some legs, but it does not have any particular technical difficulties.
Phone: +39 051 6723011
For any info about [Slow Emilia Romagna] contact < email@example.com >