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Polinago is the main town in the Rossenna Valley, the third largest valley of the Modena Apennines in terms of land area, after the Panaro Valley and the Scoltenna Valley, within the Frignano Regional Park.

The Rossenna Valley takes its name from the mountain stream of the same name, which flows from the northern side of Mount Cantiere (1,618 metres). The obvious similarity between the name Rossenna and the name by which the Etruscans called themselves, “Rasenna”, is surprising, and has led to the theory that these places were once Etruscan outposts in the Modena area. 

Why visit it

In Polinago you can enjoy the experience of living in harmony with the mountains, the land, and the local culture and traditions either alone or with all the family.  The territory belongs to the mid-mountain climate zone, although altitudes within the territory range from around 300 metres in the village of Talbignano to 1,100 metres at the summit of Mount San Martino, offering changing landscapes and natural beauty. Passing from the gentle hills of Cinghianello, to the woods of Brandola, known for its castle, Herculean Bridge and the properties of its natural springs flowing with Brandola mineral water; from the solitary villages of San Martino to the main town standing by a hillside, in an open, sunny position with Mount Cimone opposite; from historic Gombola and its seventeenth-century village centre with splendid panoramic position, to Talbignano and the imposing Palazzo Cesis; from the verdant Palaveggio to the bare Casa Matteazzi with its high-altitude meadows and artificial lakes; from the mud volcano in Canalina to the ridge which descends towards Prignano. And everywhere vast swathes of woodland full of chestnut trees, oak trees, poplars, ash trees and hornbeams, and a dense undergrowth of heather and gorse. 

When to go and what to see

Polinago is the ideal destination to spend your free time in the green Apennine mountains during the summer months.  

Don't miss

You cannot leave Polinago without having tasted the dairy products which are the pride of the local food industry, especially the Parmigiano Reggiano and the ricotta from Cinghianello.

On the table

From crescentine (flatbreads) to borlenghi (savoury pancakes), to croccante (almond crunch) to ciacci (chestnut-flour pancakes), to typical products such as mushrooms, chestnuts and cheese: the Apennines of Modena offer a wide range of culinary delights just waiting to be discovered. The gastronomic traditions of the mountains bring together a unique range of timeless recipes; all these products can be purchased in the local shops of the area or also directly from the producers. 

Having fun

There are bars and restaurants in the main town and the outlying villages. The main forms of entertainment, organised by local associations, tend to be concentrated during the summer months, when tourist numbers are traditionally higher. 

Keeping fit

In addition to traditional sports, visitors can keep fit by walking along the trails in the area, either independently or in organised groups, for example during the event “Trekking under the Stars”, organised by Polinago Tourist Office. 

Significant appointments

Two important events in the town are the ancient Fiera dello Statuto or Charter Fair (second Sunday in July) and the Fiera di San Rocco, which takes place on 16th August, in the middle of the summer festival “Polinago in festa”, and is held in honour of the patron saint of the town, Saint Roch, whose festival day falls during the “Ferragosto” holiday week dedicated to the Assumption of Mary.

Over the last few years, on the first Sunday in August, the event “2&4 Ruote d’Epoca” has been held, attracting exhibitors, collectors and lovers of vintage cars and motorbikes from all over the region.  

In the surroundings

Sights worthy of note include the Parish Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption in Polinago, the Oratory of the Holy Cross in Gombola, the Oratory of the Infant Mary in Cinghianello, and the Oratory of Cavecchia in Brandola, as well as ancient hamlets and manor houses. In addition, the area is home to two castles, in Gombola and in Brandola, with each castle forming the original nucleus of the respective village which gradually grew up around it, and is also home to the ancient Romanesque bridges, Ponte Brandola and Ponte Cervaro.  

From Brandola, once known for its healing waters, a path crosses through the woods of the same name and leads to the archeological area of Ponte Ercole (Hercules’ Bridge, also known as the Devil’s Bridge) on the borders of the municipalities of Polinago, Lama Mocogno and Pavullo. The bridge is actually a large, arch-shaped monolith, which is also depicted in frescoes dating to 1596, painted by the artist Cesare Baglione in the “Sala delle Vedute” of Spezzano Castle. 

Last update 06/02/2021
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