The boundaries of the farm lie just a few hundred metres from the largest karst park in Emilia Romagna. The ‘Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell’Abbadessa’ is characterised by its landscape underlain by eroded limestone, forming ridges towers, fissures and sinkholes. It stretches between Bologna, Pianoro, San Lazzaro di Savena and Ozzano dell’Emilia, and makes for a stunning trip.
The area around the Agriturismo has an infinite number of excursions. Be it walking, hiking or trekking, by foot or on horseback, you can start from the woods and explore all the way to the Tosco Emiliano Appenine.
Sasso Marconi, a village in the neighbouring area of Badolo, boasts rock walls for free-climbers that are renowned in Italy.
In Pianoro you can find places to take part in almost any sport. From football, basketball or baseball to swimming, cricket, tennis and horse-riding, there’s something for everyone all year round.
The Bologna hillsides are also famous for cycling routes. No matter your level of experience, there are trails ranging from the simplest to the most challenging. From long and winding roads, to mountain biking paths, mule tracks, headlands and fells, you can bike through almost every landscape, cycle-tourists are spoilt for choice.
Since 1000AD Europeans travelling to Rome would take a pilgrimage to Rome following the historic ‘Strada della Futa’, which passes nearby the farm. It was also an alternative road for aristocrats of the 17th and 18th centuries following the grand tour, which you can take to Florence, accompanied by the breathtaking landscapes on the way.
For ancient history lovers, the ‘Strada degli Dei’ (The Road of the Gods) is only a few hundred metres from the estate. It was also known as the Flaminia Militare, the road for the Roman military connecting Bologna to Fiesole, and now serves as the perfect trekking or cycling route, which takes around 3 or 4 days with a few stops.
To explore the beautiful cities of Italy, Bologna is only a 10 minute drive away. It is home to the oldest university in the world, and the most porticos in any city. Its medieval roads and incomparable love of food fill the city with enchanting colours and aromas.
Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, home of the Medici family and the world renowned Uffizi museum, Brunelleschi’s dome, the Palazzo Pitti and many more is only a 40 minute train ride away. The centre of the city is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can reach it with no changes from Rastignano station.
The territory surrounding the reserve offers vistors some truly beautiful places to see.
The ‘Eremo di Ronzano’ is an ancient monastery, dating back to 1140AD, which boasts a breathtaking view of Bologna from above, and on really clear days you can see all the way to the Italian Alps, with more than 70 miles of visibility.
The Pliocene outcrope, an amazing sandstone rock formation that runs along the Appenine valleys like a boundary wall is very nearby. It houses ‘Il Monte delle Formiche’ (The mountain of ants) an historic sanctuary, famous for the annual migration of winged ants during the month of September.
The Park of Monte Sole, which was the site of the terrible Fascist massacre of Marzabotto in 1944, is a place of untouched and wild nature, which extends a ruminant air to its visitors, and stuns with its expanses of unspoilt greenery.
Marzabotto is home to Villa Aria and the Etruscan Museum of Misa, the only Etruscan town that never underwent Roman or Medieval construction, and has remained true to its original, orthogonal structure.
Monte Bibele, which lies in the commune of Monterenzio, is an ancient Etruscan-Celtic settlementl. It is a unique example of peaceful coexistance between two different races before its destruction by the Romans in the 2nd Century BC. Its ruins are a wonder to explore, and the view around them are spectacular.
Sasso Marconi was also home to Guglielmo Marconi, you can visit his home and the museum dedicated to his life. He was an Italian inventor and was known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909 and was ennobled by the King of Italy as a Marquis.