Crossed by the Reno River, Casalecchio di Reno lies between the plains and the foohills of the Emilian Apennines and is a crossing point for the Reno Valley.
Casalecchio is a crucial hub for the entire Bolognese water system: here stands the imposing Casalecchio di Reno sluice, the oldest hydraulic work in Europe still in operation and used continuously. Here starts the Reno Canal, along which runs a beautiful cycle path that offers a peaceful connection to Bologna surrounded by nature.
Dominating the town is the Colle della Guardia, with the massive famous Sanctuary of San Luca, directly connected to Casalecchio by the Brégoli pathway. Not far away there is Parco Talon (or Sluice Park).
The Lido of Casalecchio, which is reachable with a nice bike ride, offers a splendid view of the sluice and the river.
The Casalecchio Sluice was built in 1208 to provide motive power to the mills and factories of the rapidly expanding medieval city, and also to foster navigable waterways in order to open international commercial channels for Bolognese products. The Chiusa, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list as a Messenger of the Culture of Peace, is still in operation today and can be visited thanks to guided tours that the Consortiums of the Reno and Savena canals organise periodically.
Fresh handmade pasta is one of the gastronomic specialties that Casalecchio celebrates every year in its "Festa dei Sapori Curiosi" (Festival of curious taste). Among the handmade pasta, the "strichetto" stands out, a handmade pasta type similar to butterflies, which also boasts a Confraternity in Casalecchio.
Talon Park is full of cycle and pedestrian paths surrounded by green areas. Two of the main paths that connect Bologna with Tuscany also pass through Talon Park: the Via degli Dei (Way of the Gods) and the Via della Lana e della Seta (Wool and Silk Road).
In the Lido of Casalecchio’s park there is a Canoe Club where it is possible to practice canoeing: in this section, in fact, the Reno river is wide and flat, shallow and with no currents.
Effetto Blu (held in June or September) is the great festival of the Casalecchio waters: it offers guided visits to the hydraulic constructions, shows, canoe trips on the river, picnics at the Lido of Casalecchio and much more.
The Festival of San Martino (mid-November) is the patronal celebration and features traditional markets, promenades and a lanterns’ parade.
The Festival of Curious Taste (June) focuses every year a typical dish of the Bolognese tradition and offers it in a classic version and then in different creative variations. Many stands challenge each other through curious and surprising recipes.
The Artisan Ice Cream Festival (end of July) transforms Casalecchio into a large open-air ice cream parlour for a weekend, with ice cream points, bicycle rides and shows.
On the other side, across the river, stands the Tizzano Hermitage overlooking the DOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) Colli Bolognesi vineyards.