Towns and cities of the territory
Borgo Tossignano, founded in 1198, is situated in the Santerno Valley, surrounded by Gypsum Vein Regional Park.
Castel Guelfo is located in the Bologna flatland, a few km away from Castel San Pietro Terme (10km) and Imola (13km). Why visit it This Medieval village was built by Guelfo VII of Baviera, Matilde di Canossa’s husband, as a main defense for the city of Medicina around the year 1000. The historical center still reflects the late-medieval structure. The access to the triangular square is through walls and towers. Do not miss Walking along the main street are historical buildings, such as Malvezzi-Hercolani Palace, with a precious courtyard and double portico, and Cassero, the original gate to enter the town. Main events On the last weekend of June “Sagra del Vino e della Ciambella” (Cake and Wine festival) enlivens the city with events and food stands. Do not miss out on the typical local delicacies. For further information, visit the website.
Castel del Rio is a small town in Santerno Valley, housing Alidosi Palace and Alidosi bridge, connectin the two sides of Santerno river.
Known all around the world for its racetrack, Imola is the ideal place where you can spend a couple of days enjoying culture and delightful food.
City of waters and history Riolo Terme is one of the most famous and prestigious centers for thermal baths and curative treatments in Italy. It is located on a small and luch hill, above Senio river. The old part of the town story begins in fourteenth century, with the building of strong walls around the Fortress. The more recent part extends towards the majestic Parco delle Terme, a perfect “fin de siècle” park. The name Riolo comes from “Rio Doccia”, a modest watercourse running close to the Fortress. For more than two centuries, the river was called “Riolo Secco”, meaning small dry river. In 1914, because of the therapeutic characteristics of the waters springs in the surrounding area, the name Riolo dei Bagni was adopted. It was only in 1957 when the thermal station reached national importance and the name of the city was changed in todays’ Riolo Terme.
The town of Casalfiumanese is the first village travelling along the Santerno valley and hometown of botanic pioneer Luca Ghini.
Solarolo is located in Romagna plain, between the rivers Senio and Santerno.
Situated at the foot of Bologna greenest hills, between Emilia and Romagna, Castel San Pietro Terme revolves around thermal and slow tourism.
The village of herbs anf forgotten fruits Casola Valsenio, together with Brisighella, is the mountain side of the Province of Ravenna. Traces of the first inhabitants date back to Prehistoric age. This part of Senio Valley was colonized at the end of the first millennium with the foundation of Benedictine Abbey of Valsenio. In the following centuries, the economic, political and social role moved to fortresses on the hills, such as the Castle fo Casola. It was later demolished in 1216 by Faenza. The ones who escaped took shelter in a closeby borgo, rising on a natural terrace where river Senio merged with river Casola. After Second World War, Casola Valsenio asset was upset by an exodus of the farmers families towards the plains in Valley and towards the city. The close connection between the territory and the officinal plants, Lavender before anything else, eased the birth and development of the Herb Garden Augusto Rinaldi Ceroni. Many cultural events connected to the theme of aromatic and officinal plants liven up the town all year round. For further information, visit the website.
The area The origin of Fontanelice, like that of other inhabited centers in the Santerno Valley, has prehistoric roots. Scattered fragments from the stone age are testament to its ancient roots. The remnants of its historic path become more numerous as we travel through Villanovan, Etruscan, Celtic and Roman periods. The subsequent urban development with medieval character can still be seen today in the layout of the inhabited center. It is centered around the square on which the former public palace faces, today it is the home of the Giuseppe Mengoni Archive Museum. Fontanelice sided with Imola in the fights between Guelphs and Ghibellines, but later joined Bologna against Imola, allying with Tossignano. During the feudal period, it passed into the hands of the Alidosi family, owners of much of the surrounding area, until 1424, when it became a territory governed by the papcy. Renowned for its wines and gastronomic specialties, Fontanelice offers a rich calendar of cultural events. The territory of Fontanelice is crossed by Santerno Valley Cycling Path: a scenic bike ride for any kind of cycling tourist who wishes to be surrounded by nature. Santerno Valley Cycling Path is a mixed trail of gravel and paved roads, […]
Closeby Faenza, the village of Brisighella preserves fascination of its Medieval origins, surrounded by incredible nature.
Faenza is located on Via Emilia, when it crosses the ancient road connecting Ravenna port to Tuscany. It is world famous for the production of ceramics.
The Medieval Village of Dozza, one of the 100 “Most Beautiful Towns in Italy” is located south of Bologna, 6 km from Imola.
Medicina is a town founded during the Bronze Age and is located in the plain east of Bologna on the border with the province of Ravenna.
The ancient town of Moretano, today called Mordano, is located in the Eastern flatland of Bologna. Amongst the rows of grape vines and peach trees there are a number of important buildings displaying typical features of rural Romagna architecture. Why visit it Two twin towers stand at the entrance of the fortified center of Mordano. The towers were built at the end of the 1800s, in the place of an even older gate, inspired by the Venetian Arsenale. When to go and what to see The most important event is the Agricultural Fair/District Contest at the end of May. Do not miss In Bubano, one of the town disctricts, a defensive tower has been standing strong since the 15th century, built by the Sforza family. Today the building hosts a museum dedicated to the history and culture of this land. Keep fit The territory of Mordano/Imola/Casalfiumanese/Borgo Tossignano/Fontanelice/Castel del Rio is crossed by Santerno Valley Cycling Path: a scenic bike ride for any kind of cycling tourist who wishes to be surrounded by nature. Santerno Valley Cycling Path is a mixed trail of gravel and paved roads, connecting the plain of Imola area to the Appennines, from Mordano to Castel del […]
Located along the Via Emilia, halfway between Faenza and Imola, Castel Bolognese is an important agricultural and industrial town founded by Bologna in 1389. In fact, it was an outpost built to defend Bologna territories, and was under control of the city until the end of the XVII Century. The original city walls were partly destroyed in 1501 by Cesare Borgia, known as Il Valentino, but were immediately rebuilt. Little or nothing of the old walls remain, except for a few tracts of walls, some towers and vague traces of the recently rebuilt ancient fortress. The archaeological material found in the municipal territory is housed in the “Umberto I Municipal Museum”. This structure also is home to the Pinacoteca where it is possible to admire the works of many Castellan artists. Castel Bolognese for many years has welcomed among its squares, streets and avenues some important sculptures by Angelo Biancini, creating an open air museum dedicated to the important sculptor from this town. About 2 km from the center of Castel Bolognese is the Scodellino Mill, the last standing example of a series of mills built in the 1400s along the canal from which they got their name. For further information, visit the […]
Around Imola and Faenza...by bike
Panoramic itinerary on the hills, leading to Dozza, pictoresque village “of the painted walls”, dominated by Sforza Fortress. Going over Monte del Re, enter Castel San Pietro Terme, in Sillaro river Valley. Start: Castel San Pietro Thermal Baths Length: 16.3 km Difference in height: 400 m Duration: about 3h Difficulty: medium To see The town of Dozza (1), one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, hosts every two yeas the “Biennale of the Painted Walls” and Fantastika, a festival dedicated to the world of fantasy. When in Dozza, visit the Fortress (2) and its interesting visitors path, the collection of Muro Dipinto pieces alla round the town walls, and Emilia Romagna Wine Cellar (3). Castel San Pietro Terme (4), renowned thermal destination, is driven to outdoor activities, wellbeing and wellness. In its historical centre, il Cassero (5) marks the foundation of the town, in 1199. Today hosts the Municipal Theatre. Book an Experience Tours and guided tastings of wine and local products at “Cantina da Vittorio” Assirelli Winery (6), just outside Dozza centre, and at Gandolfi Winery (7). Typical lunches in restaurants and agriturismi in Dozza and Castel San Pietro Terme hills. Info and […]
From Reinassance Oriolo Tower to Faenza town center, city of Ceramics, and back thourgh Sarna: an easy bike excursion on the hills, putting together art and history evocations and landscape decorated by vineyards. Start: Oriolo Tower Length: 34 km Difference in height: 400 m Duration: about 3h30m Difficulty: easy To see Oriolo Tower, in a panoramic location, has a unique pentagonal map. In Faenza, the International Museum of Ceramics (2) presents the story of ceramics, from Pre-columbian times to nowadays and preserves pieces by Fontana, Picasso, Chagall. In Faenza town centre: Piazza del Popolo (3), Milzetti Palace hosting Romagna Neoclassical Age Museum (4), ceramic artists’ workshops (5). Esperienze su prenotazione La Sabbiona Agriturismo (6) offers a visit to the farm and tasting of its wines and homegrown products, a cooking class to learn how to make piadina, snack and relax by the swimming pool. International Museum of Ceramics (2) is a gem not to miss, can be visited freely of with a guided visit. Info and experience booking + 39 0542 25413 +39 0546 71044 firstname.lastname@example.org More itineraries on Imola and Faenza hills
Discovering Imola, one of the most precious cities along Via Emilia: its Racetrack symbol of motors and speed, and its quiet green areas and art all around. Ride into Santerno Valley along Canale dei Mulini and back into town. Start: Info Point, Enzo and Dino Ferrari Racetrack Length: 14 km Difference in height: 80 m Duration: around 1h30m Difficulty: easy To see Historic Enzo and Dino Ferrari Racetrack (1), with the monument commemorating Ayrton Senna. Acque Minerali Park (2), created inside of the racetrack after the discovering of natural water springs, today is a place for sport and relax. A prehistorical site is found in the park as well: Monte Castellaccio (3). In Imola town center is located San Cassiano Cathedral (4) by architect Cosimo Morelli, and the towering Sforza Fortress (5), splendin example of fortified buildin between Middle Ages and Reinassance. Canale dei Molini (6) was used for moving mills and watering field, probably dates back to Roman ages and is 42km long. Book an Experience Exciting Guided Tour of the Racetrack and driving simulators activity. Info and experience booking + 39 0542 25413 +39 0546 71044 email@example.com More itinearies on Imola and Faenza hills
Starting in Imola, follow the cycling path towards Piratello Sactuary, taking a left towards the hills up to the evocative village of Dozza. Get back to Imola crossing Valsellustra. Start: Enzo and Dino Ferrari Racetrack Length: 19.8 km Difference in height: 220 m Duration: abour 2h30 Dfficulty: medium-easy To see Enzo and Dino Ferrari Racetrack (1), famous fot Formula One and many events hosted here. In town centre, many are the precious buildings, among these San Cassiano Cathedral (2), Bishop Palace (3), Rocca Sforzesca (4), a fortress strictly linked to Caterina Sforza. Piratello Sanctuary (5) is the most important center of the cult of the Virgin Mary. Medieval village of Dozza (6) is an open-air museum exposing its Painted Walls, created in the various editions of Biennale of the Painted Walls. The Medieval Sforza Fortress (6) of Dozza was transformed by Caterina Sforza into a fortifies castle, then made into a noble residence. Today, it hosts a house-museum and the Regional Wine Cellar of Emilia Romagna (6), showcase of regional and local products. Book an Experience Guided tours and wine tastings in Fattoria Monticino Rosso (7). A traditional meal in one of the restaurants or argriturismo […]
Typical products and traditional recipes
Garganelli of Imola
Garganelli is a typical pasta shape of Imola area, prepared with flour, eggs, Parmigiano Reggiano and nutmeg. After preparing a thin “sfoglia” dough with a rolling pin, cut it into squares with 4 or 5 cm sides. Place the squares diagonally on the “pettine”, a frame with a series of parallel wires crossing it, then roll them around a small stick of 4mm in diameter. To make a green variation of the recipe, add to the dough a small quantity of boiled spinach. Garganelli of Imola used to be cooked and served with broth, today they are typically seasoned with ragout, scalogno or peas. Wine pairing If seasoned with game ragout, Garganelli are perfectly paired with a red young Sangiovese di Romagna wine. Bits of history A lady, working as a cook in a noble home in Imola, precisely home of Cardinal Cornelio Bentivoglio d’Aragona, Pope Ambassador in Romagna in 1725, was busy preparing a meal for a group of guests. Menu of the day consisted in “caplett”, similar to Bologna tortellini but with a different taste. After preparing the filling with pork meat and chicken, she put it aside and moved to the pasta dough. While thinning the dough, […]
Romagna Shallot PGI
Romagna Shallot PGI should not be confused with French shallot, way more popular in supermarkets. Romagna Shallot is a typical product of Ravenna province, more precisely in Riolo Terme Municipality. It is part of the large Liliaceae family and it grows into a beautiful white and violet small bulb. This produce does not have flowers or seeds: reproduction can only happen by planting previous year bulbs. Romagna Shallot is a fully organic product: its natural growth and peculiar flavour, half way between onion and garlic, does not need any chemical fertilising. Reasearcher and historians traced the story of “Allium Ascolanicum” in ancient classic texts and dated its knowledge since Roman times. In 1997, Shallot was awarded with PGI mark, which defined its residency in this small piece of Romagna. Its color suggests artistic creations in summer starter dishes or stronger autumn dishes. It is ideal in the preparation of ragout or side dishes, in oil or pickled. In order to discover and export the knowledge of this local produce, Riolo Terme Pro Loco organises every year in july Romagna Shallot GPI Fest. For further information, visit the website.
Chestnut of Castel del Rio PGI
Protected geographical indication of Chestnut Castel del Rio PGI is reserved to fruits produced by Castanea Sativa woods, in the biotypes of Domestic Chestnut, Nostrano Chestnut and San Michele Chestnut. This chestnut differs from the others because of the bigger size of the fruit, the organoleptic qualities and its shape, flat on one side and curved on the other one. Chestnut of Castel del Rio PGI presents a shiny red-brown skin with darker stripes, while the pulp is lighter in color, crunchy and sweet. Another difference between Castel del Rio chestnut and other varieties is the thickness of the skin: it is very thin and makes it easy to peel the fruit. Cultivation techniques Suitable for PGI mark are chestnut tress growing between 200 and 800 above sea level. Tree density should be between 75 and 125 per hectar. It is forbidden any kind of fertilisation, making the produce natural and organic. Maximum production is fixed at 1.5 tons per hectar, while all lavoration processes should take place inside the production territory, with the extension of Imola municipality. Santerno Valley offer ideal conditions for production: here chestnut trees can live over 400 years. Cooking techniques To enjoy chestnuts of Castel […]