The Donkey Alley, officially known as Via del Borgo, is an elevated covered road, particularly picturesque, which receives light from a series of half arches that are unique. It connects houses that were built in the Middle Ages in the chalk escarpment.
It was most likely built in the fourteenth century as a defensive bulwark to protect the small village.
Originally, it was discovered and used as a walkway and communication route. The characteristic arched windows allowed the Brisighellesi in 1467 to prevent Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, from breaking into the village.
It was then covered and incorporated into existing buildings taking the appearance of a long portico that connects the entrances of the houses.
It also began to be used by the birocciai the men who lived in the neighborhood and transported plaster from the quarries that still overlook the village of Brisighella.
Transportation was done using donkey-drawn carts and their stalls were often carved in the caves that were along the way.
The transport wagons, the birocce, were instead placed in rooms carved out of plaster, accessible from the square below.
The houses were on the upper floors and thus the Via del Borgo became Donkey Alley.
Donkey Alley today
Today, the ancient Via degli Asini offers one of the most unique walks in Brisighella.
Entering this quiet environment, the uneven floor, the irregular roof, the thick walls, it really seems to transport you back in time. You can still feel the hooves of the donkeys that laboriously walked the road, before entering the stables at the end of a hard day.
On the ground floor, where the carts and tools were once stored, today we find shops, taverns, cafés. Take advantage of a stop to taste the typical products of this territory, while immersed in one of the most characteristic views of Italy.