Located in the plain north-east of Bologna, between the Navile canal and the Idice stream, the town of Minerbio probably owes its name to the religious cult of the goddess Minerva, whic was practiced here in Roman times.
Still today Minerbio winds around the old medieval borough and the complex of Rocca Isolani, a masterpiece of 16th-century Bolognese architecture, embellished by frescoes by Amico Aspertini. It can be visited on demand or for special events.
Within the Rocca Isolani complex and next to the fortress (Rocca) stands “Palazzo Nuovo”, a mid-16th-century work by the architect Bartolomeo Triachini, with a large courtyard which frames a very elegant dovecote tower - the "Colombaia" - attributed to Jacopo Barozzi, called the Vignola.
The church of San Giovanni Battista, located on the main street of the town, is one of the most beautiful of the countryside. The church was built in the 18th century following the project by architect Carlo Francesco Dotti.
In San Martino in Soverzano stands the spectacular Castle of San Martino in Soverzano, built in 1411 by the Bolognese knight Bartolomeo Manzoli. Heavily remodeled in the nineteenth century by Alfonso Rubbiani in a surprising neo-Gothic style, the castle is now privately owned and is only open for events and during the ancient October fair.
The September Festival (third weekend in September) is a village festival that has traditionally been held in the park of Rocca Isolani; on this occasion, guided tours inside of the fortress are often organised.
The October Fair (first weekend in October) has been held in the village of San Martino in Soverzano since 1584. It offers shows, gastronomy and historical re-enactments in the evocative setting of the Castle of San Martino. On Sunday, a typical breakfast with cotechino and mashed potatoes is served.
On the road to Budrio, there is a particularly interesting oratory, the Pieve di San Giovanni in Triario, still containing paintings attributed to Daniele da Volterra, as well as an ancient baptismal font. The oratory houses the permanent exhibition of Popular Religiosity, which can be visited upon request.