The hills, the villas and the hermitage
A 17 km ring route between vineyards and hills with suggestive views over the Rhine Valley
Duration: about 01:30
Length : 17,3 Km
Ascent height difference : 379 m
Descent height difference : 378 m
Approvv. water: Yes
Reported: in part
Difficulty: MC - For cycle excursionists
of medium technical ability
The Chiusa Park is the starting point of this long ring, suitable for those with trained legs on mountain bikes. Follow the path CAI 112 VD, none other than the Via degli Dei, that is the famous connection between Bologna and Florence through the Apennines. You cross the footbridge over the Rhine , and, after the sports facilities, you reach the asphalt (via Allende). Near the intersection with the Porrettana, it is advisable to follow the cycle path that leads up to the Faianello Park, thus avoiding going on the main road for a rather insidious stretch. From Faianello, cross the Porrettana and take via Rosa. From here things get more demanding: in fact, you climb the wonderful Casalecchio hill, through vineyards and rows of centuries-old oaks . Along this stretch we meet Villa Marescalchi, and, shortly after, the Hermitage of Tizzano . From here the road continues downhill to the Arullina district, where you can stop at the park of the villa of the same name. Then follow via Manzoni, then via Respighi and cross the Bazzanese. Following the indications for the railway station, you arrive at a ramp which connects to a cycle path. Proceed up to a roundabout and then straight ahead, taking via Ugo Bassi and then via dei Mille. You arrive right in front of the Ponte della Pace; you can cross it or choose to continue on via Tripoli to the new Filanda bridge. From here you can follow a stretch of the path of the four bridges, described on the dedicated page, until you return to the Parco della Chiusa.
Hermitage of Tizzano
The monastic complex of the Hermitage consists of many buildings and has experienced very varied events: it was born by decision of the Camaldolese Eremitani Monks of Monte Corona (Frascati) who decided to start a new community in the Bolognese area on the land of the Guastavillani family. The church, dedicated to San Benedetto, was started in 1655 but the work went slowly: it was therefore finished in 1741 and consecrated on August 27 by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Scarselli. The facade has simple lines, bare and elegant Baroque style, of monastic severity. Inside a single nave, high and bright with side chapels connected to each other by narrow passages. On the main altar and in the side chapels there are several works by Bolognese artists, all dating between the 16th and 18th centuries. Among all, a crucifix set in a cross-shaped marble frame stands out. At the base a reliquary holds fragments of the True Cross and others
relics testimonies of the Passion of Christ, object of veneration by local populations. On the left side stands the bell tower built in 1724, once inhabited by the Prior. In the large lawn at the back there were 22 cells for the Hermit Monks, now only the perimeter walls of two small houses exist. From the lawn in front of the Hermitage you can enjoy a splendid view of Casalecchio and Bologna.
The olive trees of Casalecchio
The olive tree, typical Mediterranean essence, absent in the last three centuries from our landscape, was
present in Emilia-Romagna since the Middle Ages. Casalecchio was also a land of olive trees and to witness this there are some ultra-centenary trees. A specimen of about three hundred years of age found in the western end of the Visconti di Modrone estate is still alive . Near the Hermitage of Tizzano, going down towards the Cà Bianca, there are two stumps of five meters in circumference, which makes them dated as centuries old. Two other olive trees have been found in Ceretolo, at the Villa Guidi; even today their twigs are cut and given to families in the area on the occasion of Palm Sunday.
It seems that the most ancient olive trees of Casalecchio were planted on the Cà di Sotto farm: there is a hard evidence of this dating back to 1607. The olive trees were cultivated here for almost the entire eighteenth century and perhaps even later; following the development of transport it became cheaper to import oil from southern Italy than to produce it locally, so the plants were replaced with other crops. Even within the Parco della Chiusa it seems certain there were olive trees, in addition to the vineyards: it is mentioned in the Boncompagni Land Registry. Today there is no trace of this olive grove but a recent project for the arrangement of the Park plans to restore the old lands of the Sampieri-Talon to cultivation and therefore it is likely that we will soon see some olive trees in the municipality.