Alto Reno Terme, or Porretta Terme, the "pearl" of the Apennines, and Granaglione, land of traditions and renowned chestnuts. This itinerary invites you to discover the last part of the Bolognese territory on the border with Tuscany that has been united into a single municipality for some years.
A land of great charm, with Porretta Terme, a historic holiday resort renowned for its thermal waters and for the most important European festival dedicated to Soul music.
Land of prized historical and monumental discoveries, such as the Manservisi Castle, and solid traditions related to fruits of the forest.
Gone are the times when Porretta was reached from Bologna by carriage or by the steam train that traveled along the historic Porrettana railway; today Porretta Terme is just over an hour's drive from the capital.
Its thermal baths have an ancient origin - they were well known and frequented already in Roman times for the curative properties of the waters - and today they are an equipped and innovative center, where it is possible to spend half a day dedicated to wellness and the body.
Also of interest is the possibility of admiring the underground springs which can be visited through guided tours.
An equally well-known "excellence" of the Apennine center is the Porretta Soul Festival, which over the years has characterized its identity more and more.
Walking along the streets and alleys of the town you can admire the numerous and fascinating murals made by different artists that portray the great musicians who performed in the park dedicated to Rufus Thomas.
For soul enthusiasts there is also the opportunity to visit the Soul Museum where posters from the first editions, photographs and stage clothes donated by various musicians are exhibited.
Before leaving Porretta, the DEMM Museum is also worth a visit, which houses several examples of motorcycles from the historic motor company.
A few kilometers from Porretta is the village of Castelluccio, located on a ridge which dominates the surrounding valleys.
The natural context is particularly appreciable as well as the architectural lines of Manservisi Castle, built in the late nineteenth century, with towers, arcades, and pointed arches. The interior rooms are furnished with antique furniture and some host art exhibitions.
Adjacent to the Castle, there is the Museo Laborantes which, with its more than twenty rooms, is the largest in the Bolognese mountains. The exhibition illustrates the daily life of the people of the early twentieth century: from religious aspects (with an important collection of votive offerings), to those dedicated to cooking, to the different types of work in the home and in the fields.
Less than ten kilometers from Porretta Terme, the visit to Granaglione is dedicated to the chestnut, for centuries a nutritional element and a source of sustenance for the inhabitants of the mountains.
In a chestnut grove of about 9 hectares (part of which is used for the cultivation of wood and fruit essence) there is the Chestnut Experimental Didactic Park, with educational trails that illustrate the history of chestnut growing, the traditional and innovative cultivation methods, and how to care for the undergrowth.
Inside the evocative Park there is also a caniccio, a traditional construction in masonry of local stone, with an attic and wooden roof, where the chestnuts are dried and smoked. The Caniccio still works and allows visitors to observe closely a complete "life cycle" of the chestnut.
In the village of Granaglione it is also possible to taste a particular type of chestnut beer.