Castelnovo ne' Monti is the main center in the Apennines of Reggio Emilia. It’s also a tourist resort known especially for the Bismantova Stone, a particular rock that rises next to the town. Castelnovo ne' Monti has medieval origins, it preserves a small old town on the slopes of Monte Castello, on whose top there are the remains of the fortification that gave the name to the village.
In the valley of the Secchia river there are the spectacular outcrops of Triassic Chalk: among the oldest rocks in the Apennines, 200 million years old. These peculiarities have made it part of the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. Since 2015 it is also part of the Mab Unesco Biosphere Reserve of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
Castelnovo ne' Monti is also the shopping capital of this area, with over 150 shops.
It is "a town for sport", thanks to excellent equipment in the field of sports training. Many teams, both Italian and foreign, have been coming here for years for both athletic and coaching training courses.
Every season is good to visit Castelnovo ne' Monti, with its various activities: sports, nature, gastronomy and events.
The Bismantova stone: an imposing limestone rock visited by thousands of visitors every year. Everywhere from the ridge it is possible to see its unmistakable shape 1 km long, 240 meters wide and 300 meters high on the surrounding plain. It is mentioned by Dante Alighieri in the fourth canto of Purgatory, in the Divine Comedy and some scholars think that the poet personally visited the place in 1306.
It is a very important archaeological and geological site, known all over the world among fans of climbing, which began to be practiced here at the beginning of the 1900s. A dense network of trails, mostly suitable for everyone, draws paths that reach the summit and make this place ideal for walks.
Many restaurants in and around Castelnovo ne' Monti attract enthusiasts of gastronomic tradition and local products. The fried gnocco with cold cuts and cheeses, the erbazzone, the cappelletti, the tortelli with potatoes or erbette are very appreciated dishes, cooked with local ingredients. Not to mention Parmigiano Reggiano and porcini mushrooms, part of many traditional recipes.
Felina is one of the Cittaslow, of Slow Food Italy and hosts every year at the end of July three days dedicated to sustainability, local food production and the environment.
The San Michele Fair has been held along the streets of Castelnovo ne' Monti for over 5 centuries, the last weekend of September. Thousands of people and hundreds of stalls with every commodity crowd the streets: between modernity and tradition, in fact there is an area dedicated to livestock and agricultural tools.
Many small hamlets of Castelnovo ne' Monti have medieval origins. For example: Maillo (the oldest according to historical documents) Pietradura, Roncroffio, Villaberza, Gombio.
Felina is the largest hamlet, a balcony on the Apennines. A round tower stands on the hill at the top of the village. It guards this place of connection and the ancient parish church.
The path for Mount Fosola, starting from Felina and accessible also for children, is very popular because there is a Giant Red Bench, part of the famous international project.