Between Marzabotto and the Monte Sole Park: a journey to discover the Bolognese Apennines

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Signs, traces, references. The territory of Marzabotto is probably the richest in ideas and places of historical and archaeological interest in the whole Apennine area of Bologna.

This town has its roots in antiquity, giving visitors a unique experience that spans through millennia of history starting from the foundation of the Etruscan city of Kainua, and up to the more recent tragedies of the Second World War, especially through the episode known as the Massacre of Monte Sole.

Witnesses to this are the Piazza del Comune, in the centre of the city, with olive trees dedicated to peace; the churchyard of the church where a plaque protects the urn with inside the land of the "invitta Stalingrado" and the Shrine. A stop along an itinerary of great emotions, discoveries and evocative views.

  • Length
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop - The archaeological area of ancient Kainua Marzabotto

    Between the 6th and the 4th century B.C. the territory of the municipality of Marzabotto hosted one of the most important city-states of the Padanian Etruria: the City of Kainua.

    What makes the site an exceptional testimony of this civilization is the extraordinary preservation of the urban system of the city, in which the regular layout of spaces is a sign of precise planning.

    On the Misano plateau and on the overhanging hill this center prospered for about two centuries - from the middle of the sixth to the middle of the fourth century B.C. - thanks to commercial and political relations with the motherland (Etruria, today Tuscany) until the arrival of the Celtic invasion.

    Walking along the main roads you can admire part of the town and its neighborhoods, marked by the remains of houses. There are important religious shrines, such as those dedicated to Tinia and Uni, the divine couple at the head of the Etruscan pantheon and two necropolis characterized by large stone caissons with stone markers of various shapes. There is also the acropolis of the city with sacred buildings and propitiatory altars.

  • Second stop - The Pompeo Aria Museum Marzabotto

    To complete the itinerary dedicated to Marzabotto we suggest the prestigious "Pompeo Aria" Museum, which, through its material collections, sheds light on the history and events of this ancient city.

    The Museum - dedicated to the memory of Count Pompeo Aria who, in the footsteps of his father Giuseppe, organized the first nucleus of the collection - houses and preserves the finds from over a century and a half of excavations in the ancient Etruscan city of Kainua and its necropolis.

    The exhibition is divided into four rooms where the general characteristics of the area are illustrated and the fascinating finds are on display: attic vases, bronzes, stone and marble tomb markers, unguentaria in glass paste and alabaster; numerous votive statues in bronze representing devotees in the gesture of offerings and prayers; architectural pottery from the Acropolis and the houses of dwellings that allow us to reconstruct the raised aspect of the buildings.

  • Third stop - Monte Sole Marzabotto

    The Natural Park of Monte Sole covers an area of over 6,000 hectares in the territory of the municipalities of Marzabotto, Monzuno and Grizzana Morandi and includes, almost entirely, the area involved in the massacre of Monte Sole.

    Elected in 1989 as a protected area, with the main objective of spreading a culture of peace (also through the "Scuola di pace" institution of international importance aimed especially at the younger generations), as well as the protection and enhancement of the environmental heritage, this area houses the path of the "Memorial".

    It is an itinerary that, passing from the center Il Poggiolo (today Rifugio Resistente, where you can have lunch and dinner), it traces the dramatic and violent history that struck this territory during the Second World War when 955 people were killed by the Nazi Fascists in the three municipalities of Marzabotto, Monzuno and Grizzana.

    The route reaches the summit of Monte Sole with the stele in memory of the partisans who sacrificed themselves in these valleys during the Liberation War.

    For nature lovers, the park offers numerous floristic species and a rich wildlife that can be observed, along with the picturesque panorama, during excursions and walks.

  • Fourth stop - The Shrine Marzabotto

    Built in the early 1960s to commemorate the victims of war, the Sacrarium is located in the historic centre of Marzabotto on the floor below the Parish of Saints Joseph and Charles of Marzabotto.

    Inside there are the remains of the civilian victims and partisans who died in the various locations of the town, following the fierce reprisal unleashed by the Nazi-fascists between September and October 1944.

    On four facades of the central cross vault, large tombstones of white marble report the motivations of the Gold Medals to Military Valor granted to the memory of Chaplain Don Giovanni Fornasini, the Commander of the partisan brigade Mario Musolesi ("Wolf"), the 16-year-old partisan Gastone Rossi and partisan Francesco Calzolari. 

  • Fifth stop - The parish church of San Lorenzo di Panico Marzabotto

    On the way back to the city of Bologna we recommend, lastly, a visit to the ancient church of San Lorenzo di Panico, easily accessible from the Porrettana road, deviating once you arrive at the height of Lama di Reno.

    Considered one of the most beautiful Romanesque buildings of the Bolognese Apennines, the building still retains most of its original structures, although at the beginning of the last century it underwent a major restoration.

    The building, which seems to have been finished in the first half of the twelfth century, has a single-apse plan with three naves and the walls are made of square sandstone ashlars. 

    The interior, characterized by a monumental colonnade that has some capitals of Corinthian imitation, is the best-preserved part of the building with the apse marked by a prized architectural ornamentation.

Last update 29/01/2024

Information offices

Infopoint of Marzabotto
Via G. Matteotti, 1c - Marzabotto (BO)

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