Bologna

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Its territory is mostly flat, but it is surrounded by the hills, that are close to the town and create a remarkable natural landscape frame, besides being also important green lungs for Bologna itself. Bologna does not offer only artistic monuments and characteristic ancient corners, but also a remarkable variety of country landscapes, that you can find a few km outside the old walls and that you can enjoy in continuity with the actual town reception. Maybe, this is owed to the small dimensions of the town, to its closeness to the Apennines'green woods and to the hills, which seem to cherish Bologna. The lanscape around Bologna is strong, extreme in its way: while you are crossing the flat country, suddenly you reach some hundred metre peaks and you get to villages like Monghidoro, Monzuno and Corno alle Scale, which are actual mountainous areas, even if part of the Apennines. The natural area nearest to Bologna is Parco dei Gessi, situated on the first hills around the town. This park includes a belt of chalky outcrops, which originated a very interesting karst complex, the Calanchi dell'Abbadessa (gullies). The ways and paths that cross this protected area allow you to get closer to some scenaries, which show an unexpected beauty. Rocky cliffs face big depressions which are similar to natural amphitheatres, while some corners hide the entry to interesting caves. Because of the karst nature of this gypsum, in these areas you can see dolines, blind valleys, swallow-holes and candle erosions. The entries to more than 100 caves hide here and the most famous ones are called Farneto and Spipola. Because of the pleasantness of this place and the mildness of its climate, many villas belonging to noble Bolognese families were built here. Among the oldest ones, we mention Miserazzano Villa, near Croara.