Beyond Bologna’s city limits you can find more than just rolling hills. The Apennines make up a wonderful area full of truly unique experiences, stories and ways to spend 2 days amid sport, wellness and culture.
This itinerary is dedicated to the discovery of some of the most iconic places of the Bolognese Apennines, beginning in Porretta Terme. As the name suggests, this town is not lacking in opportunities to relax and get away from stress by taking advantage of the sulphurous and salso-bromo-iodine thermal waters.
Your first step is to book one of the wellness programs available at Terme di Porretta.
The next step is to put on your bathing suit and go for it.
The result? A rested mind, relaxed nerves, energy and enthusiasm to face what comes next.
Gourmet tips: in Porretta Terme you can’t miss sampling some local delicacies, such as the typical Beltaine beer made with chestnuts and the sweet specialties such as the locally produced “Tortino Porretta” and the “zuccherini montanari” [aniseed flavoured ring-shaped biscuits with sugar icing].
Sticking to the theme of water, after a day at the spa, this itinerary takes you on a trip to Lake Suviana. Artificially built to generate hydroelectric power, today it is a popular destination for any water sports enthusiast, walker or, simply, anyone who loves to sunbathe and enjoy the sun on one of the lovely beaches.
Thanks to the equipped areas, this is a perfect place for organizing a picnic or a barbecue during a break between a windsurfing lesson and a canoe or pedal boat ride. The feeling you’ll have is much like being at the seaside, while actually being surrounded by the lush nature of the Apennines.
Last, but not least, is a stop at Rocchetta Mattei [Little Fortress Mattei], a mythical and magical place that inspires endless curiosity.
Suspended on a slope overlooking Grizzana Morandi and the surrounding hills, this surreal castle was built by an eccentric creator with many references to the Gothic, medieval and Moorish styles. And this is only its first peculiarity. The second is that the owner, Cesare Mattei, who bought a pre-existing yet derelict fortress and transformed it into his workshop, went down in history as the father of Electro Homoeopathy, a discipline he devised to cure all illnesses with water processed according to formulas that today appear enigmatic and unfathomable.
In this labyrinth of spiral staircases, mosaics, loggias and stuccoed rooms, it is impossible not to be smitten by such a unique place, where its unconventional architecture is the perfect setting for an unforgettable story.
While it is impossible that you aren’t already packing your bags for Bologna and its Apennines, here’s a word of advice: this journey is highly recommended in Spring and Autumn, which are also the best seasons for thermal treatments.