In the heart of Romagna there is a strip of land that was strategic during the last part of the Second World War. Inland, the small towns of Bassa Romagna were victims of the harsh Nazi-Fascist repression, as witnessed by the memorial stones and plaques scattered along the embankments and in the countryside. Today, walking through these places, you can immerse yourself in a landscape that does not forget but spreads peace and serenity.
The route starts in Cotignola and continues along the embankment of the Senio river (or along adjacent roads if you are travelling by car) from which you can detour to Bagnacavallo, Fusignano and Villanova di Bagnacavallo, and then on to Alfonsine. From Alfonsine you cross the countryside to Conselice, reach Massa Lombarda and Sant’Agata sul Santerno, and then you arrive in Lugo, after a possible diversion to Bagnara di Romagna. Return to Cotignola.
You can travel either by bike or by car following the directions on the map available at this link.
In Cotignola, "The town of the Righteous Ones", there is Piazza della Pace located in front of the church of Pio Suffragio dedicated to the fallen of all wars. Next to this square, the Varoli Museum has a section dedicated to the Righteous. A few steps away we find the mural of the Non-automatic Distributor of Courage and in the Resistance Park there is the Monument dedicated to the New Zealand allied soldiers and the Memorial Plaque of the "Bandiera bianca" operation. In the Giardino dei Giusti there are: the Memorial stele, the trees symbolizing every saved life and a cedar from Lebanon. Along the Senio several Memorial stones in memory of the offensives, deminers and Martyrs.
From here you can continue to Alfonsine or take the following detours:
In the Giardino dei Semplici, you will find the Roses of Peace and the Rosa Bella Ciao. In the Parco della Pace, you will find the Stele to Jewish refugees and deportees.
In Masiera a Memorial stone commemorates the Borgo Pignatta massacre and, beyond the bridge that leads to the center of Fusignano, stands the Monument to the Cremona Combat Group and to the 28th Garibaldi Brigade and to the Commonwealth fighters.
Fusignano hosts two museums of the "Romagna Air Finders" association, is a must for all aviation and military history enthusiasts, with its displays of finds discovered by the men of the R.a.F.
Continuing along the embankment we reach the Stele in memory of the crossing of the Senio river.
In Villanova di Bagnacavallo you will find the Canadian Cemetery, designed by Louis De Soissons, the Monument to the Canadian soldiers, the Stele of the Battle of the Rivers and the Memorial Stone dedicated to the Three Martyrs.
In the center of Alfonsine there is the Monument to the Resistance, the Museum of the Battle of the Senio, which houses evidence of the final phase of the attack on the "Gothic Line" and the Historical Institute of the Resistance and Contemporary Age consisting of a library, a newspaper library, a photo library and a media library that includes films, documentaries, newsreels and recordings.
In Conselice you will find the Monument to the Clandestine Press and Freedom of Press, the monument is a printing machine similar to those used during the liberation days and the Plaque dedicated to the partisan relay girl Ines Bedeschi.
In the town centre you will find the Monument to the Fallen Partisans and in the countryside there are the Memorial Stones in memory of the Baffè and Foletti massacre.
In Sant'Agata sul Santerno on the two sides inside the clock tower are the tombstones to the Fallen of Sant'Agata sul Santerno during the African Campaign, in the First and Second World Wars.
From Sant'Agata, you can continue to Lugo or make a detour to Bagnara di Romagna
Bagnara di Romagna
In the city park near the Fortress, stands the Monument to the Bagnara Fallen of all wars plexiglass and bronze monument commemorating the civilian and military deaths of the two World Wars.
In the Rocca di Lugo there are: the plaque in memory of the partisan Carlo Landi "Matto", the plaque to the deported Lughese Jews and the fragments of the Cippo in memory of the Martyrs of the Senio.