Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi della Abbadessa
Hotels Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi della Abbadessa
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Villa Abbadia: On the wide terraces at the bottom of the Idice valley, within the imposing architectural structure of Villa Abbadia, it is still possible to distinguish the ancient Abbey of San Michele. It belonged in the past to the Camaldolensian monks and subsequently to the "frati gaudenti" (Knights of Our Lady); then to the family of Carlo Berti Pichat, the first Mayor of San Lazzaro, who transformed the villa at the beginning of the 17th century, adding to it the bell tower.
The Church of the Croara: The Church of the Croara is shaded by imposing stone pines. It was part of an ancient monastery on which the surrounding estates and oratories depended. Today, only the small cloister annexed to the church remains. From the large square, you can enjoy a beautiful view over Bologna and the plain.
Grotta del Farneto: The area of Farneto, with an ancient church dedicated to S. Lorenzo, is known above all for the homonymous cave which was discovered in 1871 by Francesco Orsoni, the one who started the first important archaeological researches. In the 60s, Luigi Fantini found some burials dating back to the Copper Age (the finds are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Bologna). The whole outcrop is very dangerous for landslides and falling rocks caused by the mining activity.
Settefonti: The unmistakable profile of the old bell tower emerges from the thick wood at the top of the hill of Settefonti. It belongs to the important ruins of the 15th century parish church of S. Maria, which is situated in the middle of a fortified medieval village of which only traces of the walls remain. The toponym of the area refers to the ancient seven sources which have nowadays disappeared.
Passo della Badessa: The pass links the marly summit of Mt. Arligo to Via del Pilastrino, through a narrow ridge of gullies separating the valley of the Rio Centonara from that of Rio Ciagnano. A very narrow path, sometimes not even larger than a foot, runs along the ridge. The path becomes rather dangerous above all after the rain.
S. Andrea: On the gentle northern slope of Mt. Arligo rises the isolated church of St. Andrea, quoted in 11th century documents and rebuilt between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. Next to it there is the neogothic Villa Massei, surrounded by a large park.
Pieve di Pastino: The ancient pieve (parish church) was situated in an extremely panoramic point, from which it dominated the plain. According to a legend, its name derives from a pre-existing pagan temple dedicated to Pan. Of the noble past structure, only the simple oratory has remained; in the walls of the nearby 16th century rural structure built using the materials of the old pieve, blocks of selenite and decorative elements have been added.
S. Pietro di Ozzano: The suggestive village has an aspect which still reminds that of the 16th century drawings. It consists of a 11th century massive tower and a few houses around the church, which guards inside a Romanesque capital coming from the Pieve di Pastino.
Castel de' Britti: Evergreen buckthorn shrubs appear among the vegetation growing on the gypsum ridges of the cliff were the church and part of the old village is situated.
On the limited outcrops upstream from the village, among the last gessi bolognesi it is possible to recognize small dolines.
Ciagnano: From here you can enjoy a wonderful view on the plain, the Idice valley, and the suggestive valley of the Rio Olmatello. Once this was an agricultural area with an important fortified village, where the church, destroyed during the last war, administered in the 14th century the widespread surrounding territory; today, only the small abandoned graveyard remains.
Via del Pilastrino: The 17th century Pilastrino, which has been restored at the beginning of the century, marks the place where the monastery of the Badessa Lucia was situated. Going ahead in the direction of Ciagnano, you can enjoy a great view on the calanchi delI'Abbadessa and, towards the South, on the Idice valley and on a large stretch of the Apennine of Bologna.