Since ancient times, the Bologna plain has been inhabited and crossed by numerous populations: among its fertile countryside and canals there are many traces of its long history, to be discovered in this itinerary that crosses lands still marked by the ancient Roman Centuriation.
Our journey through the history of the Bolognese plain can only start from its origins. The Terramara of Anzola dell'Emilia, a Bronze Age village with a typical quadrangular shape and surrounded by a deep moat, dates back to about 3300 years ago. The Archaeological and Environmental Museum of Anzola is dedicated to the relics of this site and depicts, through artifacts and reconstructions, the daily life of a very well organized community, open to trade and commerce, with various productions which are quite refined.
Our itinerary through the centuries moves to the hamlet of Villanova di Castenaso, where, between 1853 and 1856, the archaeologist Giovanni Gozzadini discovered and identified the traces of one of the main cultures of the first Italian Iron Age, which is called "Villanovian" and is considered the initial phase of the Etruscan civilization. Right in the place of the first findings stands the MUV - Museo della Civiltà Villanoviana, a remarkable collection that hosts the remains of a Villanovan necropolis, including the "Stele of the swords", very interesting for the complexity of the decoration in low relief that characterises it, but also funerary objects, bronze pottery and personal ornaments. The visit is completed by the life-size reconstruction of a Villanovan hut in the garden of the Museum.
We continue along the Via Emilia, a communication road of immense importance since ancient times, up to Ozzano dell'Emilia. Here, an archaeological area of great interest reveals the ancient existence of the Roman city of Claterna, a settlement built in the 2nd century B.C. that was once equal to or bigger than Bononia (the ancient Bologna) and Forum Cornelii (nowadays, Imola), before disappearing mysteriously around the 6th century A.D.
The singular history of the city and its characteristics are narrated through relics and reconstructions in the Museum of Claterna, which is located in the Palazzo della Cultura in Ozzano.
The Roman era has left many traces in the Bolognese plain: some of them have been made evident by important findings, others only documented but of great fascination for the local populations. This is the case of the Cippo di Sacerno, a memorial stone that stands in the countryside of Calderara di Reno: a monument that celebrates the place where, according to the interpretation of some historical texts, the three Roman generals Octavian, Lepidus and Antony divided up the provinces in the dominion of Rome after the death of Julius Caesar, giving life to the Second Triumvirate. The very name of the place, Mezzomondo, which literally means "in the middle of the world," gives us an idea of the popular fascination with the place where these great Roman generals divided up -in actual fact- the world.
For the last stop of the journey, we will move to San Pietro in Casale, where the permanent archaeological section "Pianura romana. Villa Vicus Via" brings together the archaeological relics of an area which was probably remarkably flourishing, especially in the Augustan age. At the center of the narration is the town of Maccaretolo, with its exceptional archaeological findings, but also rustic villas and agricultural settlements of the time. The exhibition is hosted in the Museo Casa Frabboni, recently reopened after renovation works.