ZATTAGLIA – BRISIGHELLA (RAVENNA)

Our Location

Staying at Monte Spada means enjoying interesting opportunities to explore the distinctive features of our local history, landscape, art and nature. You will also stand the chance of benefiting from the nearby thermal waters.

Monte Spada Footpaths

The Monte Spada Footpaths stretch from the farm to Monte Mauro. Whether you set out on foot or on a mountain bike, you will embark on a biodiversity adventure through ancient fruit trees, oak tress, olive trees and brooms, apiaries, orchards, lavender, ponds, gypsum… A map has been expressly designed to guide you, and a system of signposts and information will help you make the most of the places.

Guided Excursions

As a Monte Spada guest, you can book a guide knowledgeable about the whole gypsum area, subject to availability, and will be accompanied on walks and treks of different complexity. All our itineraries begin at Monte Spada, either on foot, on a mountain bike or on a transfer car. For info and bookings, contact here your guide.

MONTE MAURO LOOP TRAIL 

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MONTE MAURO

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GYPSUM & CALANCHI

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Vena del Gesso Regional Park

Vena del Gesso Regional Park, the massive gypsum outcrop extending for about 20 km over the provinces of Bologna and Ravenna peaks near Zattaglia at Monte Mauro (517 m a.s.l.). The continuity and beauty of such ridge make it one of a kind, which offers the visitor doline, blind valleys and caves shimmering with gypsum crystals and great environmental diversity.

The Great Park Trail

The route runs the whole length of the Vena del Gesso, from Tossignano to Brisighella, crossing the valleys of the Santerno, Senio, Sintria and Lamone river. It can take 9 hours to walk the 20 km of the trail which crosses Monte Spada Footpaths near Monte Mauro. These will take the visitors directly to the farmhouse: an ideal stopover before leaving for Brisighella the day after.

The Path of Crystals

The Path of Crystals crosses Monte Spada Footpaths. It connects doline with blind valleys and Roman mineral quarries of Lapis Specularis, which can be visited from the outside. Lapis Specularis is formed by a gypsum-saturated water solution which re-deposits in the cracks of the rock. It was used by the Romans as an economic alternative to glass. The Palazzo Baronale Visitor Centre in Borgo Tossignano focuses on the relationship between man and gypsum through history.

Cà Carnè Reception Centre

The Cà Carnè Reception Centre is 15 minutes away by car and 15 minutes on foot (easy walk). It houses a rich and evocative museum of the fauna of the Vena del Gesso, a traditional snack bar as well as picnic areas with cooking facilities. Suitable for families with children of all ages. Very close to the Tanaccia Cave, which can be visited upon prior reservation at the Centre. This is a one-hour excursion to discover the four chambers of the cave with their hanging stalactites and curved concretions.

King Tiberius’s Cave

King Tiberius’s Cave (Grotta del Re Tiberio) is only a half-an-hour drive from Monte Spada and can be visited by all ages under the supervision of caving guides. It represents the end of a system of tunnels hollowed out by underground streams. In 2010 archaeological surveys confirmed that the cave was used between 3000 and 2000 BC, and from 1000 BC to the Roman Imperial era. The cave is home to a rich fauna, including 15 species of bats.

Brisighella

Brisighella is a 15-minute ride away. The picturesque Medieval town is nestled at the foot of three rocky pinnacles on which stand the Rocca Manfrediana fortress (14th century), the Sanctuary of Monticino (18th century) and the Clock Tower. The famous Donkeys’ Alley (Via degli Asini) owes its name to the stables for the donkeys used to transport chalk down from the nearby quarries. On the Faentina provincial road towards Fognano lies the Romanesque church (or Pieve) of San Giovanni in Ottavo (9th-11th century).

Casola Valsenio

The Herb Garden (Giardino delle Erbe) is a half-an-hour drive away. This is a jewel of terraces and flowerbeds which houses a living collection of about 450 species of medicinal herbs. It is also a dissemination and research centre on the cultivation and use of medicinal herbs for food, medicine and cosmetics. Educational activities and guided visits are organized for children and grown-ups. It is possible to purchase seeds and aromatic plants at the store and nursery.

Terme di Riolo Spa

The Terme di Riolo Spa is just a 10-minute ride away. Thermal pool with warm salsobromoiodic water (32°C-34°C) which stimulates the endocryne system and has analgesic, myorelaxant and anti-inflammatory properties; hydromassage jests, aquasteps and aquabike. 25°C and 34°C vascular path. Thermarium with Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, emotional shower, rainstorm shower, tepidarium, fully equipped fitness room. Monte Spada guests enjoy 15% off entry.

The Rocca di Riolo Fortress

The Rocca di Riolo Fortress (16th century) offers interactive activities related to the architectural and defensive features of fortresses and castles, the history of the region told through the finds uncovered at the King Tiberius’s Cave, and the scenery of the Apennines around Faenza. Summer Friday visits are particularly evocative, with Caterina Sforza in person as your guide, who will tell her story so closely linked to the history of the fortress.

Fognano

Fognano railway station is a 10-minute ride away and is directly connected to Ravenna (1 hour and 10 minutes) and Florence (1 hour and 40 minutes) by “Dante’s train” (“il treno di Dante”). You will sit back and enjoy slow travel, conveniently reaching the centre of marvellous cities of art faster than driving. On the way to Florence, in every season you will be presented with the mesmerizing beauty of the Apennines.

Faenza

Faenza, with its International Museum of Ceramics, is a half-an-hour drive away. Here you will find artworks from every continent and every period, together with a rich section dedicated to Faenza pottery from the Renaissance. Over 25 artisan ceramics workshops are still active in town. The late 15th century Cathedral, or “Duomo”, the 18th century Palazzo Milzetti, the Masini Theatre, and the octagonal bell tower of St. Maria ad Nives are also remarkable.

Cervia and its Saltworks

Cervia and its saltworks, inside the Parco del Delta del Po, are a one-hour-and-a-half drive away. The visitor centre offers guided excursions on foot, by bicycle and by boat to discover rare and protected birdlife (flamingos, avocets), as well as itineraries to learn more about the history of salt. From June through September guided visits are organised at the ancient Camillone saltworks, where it is possible to see the various phases of artisanal sea salt production.

The Adriatic Riviera

The Adriatic Riviera is a one-hour-and-a-half drive away. It epitomizes the warm hospitality typical of Romagna and caters for the needs of young people, couples and families with children alike. If you cannot enjoy the sea every day, you can just take a daily getaway and have a swim, breathe in the salty sea air or taste a simple yet tasty fresh fish dish. Not to mention the scenery and the cultural offer of nearby inland areas.

Bologna

Bologna, the city of porticos, is a one-hour-and-a-half drive away. Highlights: Piazza Maggiore and the Basilica of San Petronio, the portico of Pavaglione, the Palace of Archiginnasio, originally the main building of the oldest University of the Western world, founded in 1088; the church of San Domenico, a treasure chest of Italian history and art; Piazza Santo Stefano with the church of the same name, actually seven churches in one; Strada Maggiore, the Towers of Asinelli and Garisenda.