San lazzaro di savena – Ozzano emilia – Castel san pietro terme – Dozza – Imola
Going out from “Porta Maggiore” we take Emilia Road,we get to S. LAZZARO and,turning off along the South, we reach the “Farneto Grottos”, which were inhabited during the Neolithic age. They are one of the largest groups of gypsum grottos in Europe. Inside them ancient objects were found, now kept in the Archaeological Museum in Bologna. Among the gypsum areas the “Spipola’s Grotto” is one of the longest grottos in the world.
Then we come back to Emilia Road, through OZZANO. In Ozzano there was the Roman village of Claterna, between the Republican and the Imperial ages. This area is also interesting from a speleological and mineralogical point of view.
We go on until we reach “CASTEL SAN PIETRO TERME”, a town important from a historical point of view as well as an important thermal centre. The thermal baths, classified by the Ministry of Health at a very high level of treatment qualification, belong to the large geological basin which stretches along the Northern Apennine. Here there are sulphurous, ferruginous springs low in mineral content. We can’t avoid to visit the historical centre where we find the Clock Tower with the “Cassero”, which dates back to the end of the 12th Century that are the ruins of the ancient castle. Also the 12th century SS. Crucifix Sanctuary is worth to be visited; inside the bell tower we can admire a 55 bell Carillon which can play whole pieces of holy music. Two wonderful villas are noteworthy: Villa Guadagnini in neoclassic style and Villa Legnani which dates back to the 16th century.
We go on through Emilia Road and turning off on the right we reach DOZZA, after 3 kilometers. It is a characteristic medieval town near “Romagna”, in the middle of the wine-producing area of Albana, Trebbiano and Sangiovese. The village is overlooked by the Fortress (Rocca) of the “Sforza” period built in the 13th century and restored in the 16th century by Giorgio Fiorentino. The interior, well furnished with pictures and furniture which date back to various historical ages is very interesting also for the instruments of torture and the trap located in front of the chapel’s altar. In the ancient dungeons inside the fortress there is the Peasants’ civilization Museum and the Oenological Museum which are noteworthy. Another peculiar aspect of the village is that on the walls of the ancient buildings there are several “murals” made by very famous and less famous artists coming here every year on the occasion of the “Biennal Exhibition of the painted wall”. Coming back to Emilia Road we reach IMOLA a very ancient city rich of history. Among the monuments we remember the ancient square planned ” Rocca”, with four towers at the corners, which date back to the 14th century. In the interior there is an interesting collection of ancient arms and in summer it gives hospitality to interesting festival. S. Cassiano’s Chathedral and S. Maria in Regola’s Church are of particular importance as well, the first one was rebuilt in the 18th century and is rich of important works, the second one keeps a Byzantine altar and a beautiful 12th century bell tower. Among the Palaces, the Episcopal one presents a 19th century front (but the building dates back to the 13th century) and keeps inside valuable paintings by Vitale da Bologna’s school. Also the art-gallery is rich of works by “Bolognese” and “Romagnola” School from the 15th to the 17th centuries.
Finally among the attractions we remember the important motor racing track where important international races are organized.