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Among the numerous Renaissance villas in the area, Castello de’ Rossi is certainly worth visiting, with its elegant neo-gothic profile, along the banks of the Reno. It can be reached following a 1.4 km side road off the Porrettana highway. Built at the end of the 15th century by the banker Bartolomeo Rossi, it hosted Popes Giulio II, Paolo III, Leone X, the poet Torquato Tasso and Giovanni II Bentivoglio. Separated from the castle by a canal, the courtyard, with its inns and shops, has a beautiful dovecote tower with two orders of loggias at the northern end. It is in this setting that the “Fira di sdaz”, a traditional September fair, has been held for over three hundred years.

Continuing along the road which leads to the castle, the elegant architecture in wood and metal of the bridge, Ponte di Vizzano, allows us to cross over and discover the territory of Sasso on the right-hand side of the River Reno. Passing alongside the extensive park of Prati di Mugnano (over 110 hectares of land), we take the mountain road of Ganzole to a junction, turning left to Pieve del Pino, where the view opens out over a splendid natural amphitheatre of gullies overlooked by the “dente” (tooth), a sandstone spur. A little further on, turning right after 6 kms, we reach Bàdolo and Monte Adone, the heart of the Pliocene Foothills.

Before reaching Sasso Marconi, coming from Casalecchio di Reno, you come to the small town of Pontecchio. From the Porrettana highway, the Villa Griffone built at the end of the 17th century and modified in the 18th, is easily visible. The building passed into the Marconi family in 1895, and it was here that Guglielmo conducted his first transmission experiment.

The San Gherardo Nature Reserve stretches between the River Reno and the rocky cliffs of the “Balzo dei Rossi”, and includes two wet zones created from abandoned sand and gravel pits. The area has a network of trails, information boards and observation points, intended for public and educational purpose

The Via degli Dei (Path of Gods) is a hiking trail that connects the cities of Bologna and Florence across the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, named after some of the locations crossed during the journey, such as Monte Adone, Monzuno (Mons Iovis, Mount Jupiter), Monte Venere (Mount Venus) and Monte Luaro (Lua being the name of the Roman goddess of atonement). While hiking along this ancient path, dating back to the Etruscan period, you will experience the excitement of a true time travel! The first leg of today’s trail starts in Bologna, then follows the arcades of San Luca, goes all the way down to Casalecchio and ends in Sasso Marconi with the stunning Ponte di Vizzano after skirting the river.