Travel and Culture in
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 and which underline the reception and the passion for life, typical of the Bolognese.
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 (its mount is 1945 mt high), 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 park extends to the first hills’slopes to the South-East of Bologna, among the streams Savena, Idice and Quaderna and includes a composite territory, where the spectacular messiniani gypsum outcrops and the typical gullies stand out.
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.
The natural area nearest to Bologna is Parco dei Gessi, situated on the first hills around the town
From the highest points you can see the wakes of the principal valleys, that fade away into the big plain and, in the clearest days, the horizon is closed by the almost unreal view of the Alps. In the zones of the outcrops, the peaks become silver summits, where the crystalline structure of the rocks stand out. Its pearly brightness, in fact, has made it worthy of the name Elenite (moon stone).
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 Miserrazzano Villa, near Croara.
Bologna photographies kindly granted by Provincia di Bologna