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a Vespa

“If you want to go on pilgrimage to the place where our Constitution was born, go to the mountains where the partisans fell, to the prisons where they were imprisoned, to the fields where they were hanged, wherever an Italian died to redeem freedom and dignity, go there or young people, in thought, because our Constitution was born there"(Piero Calamandrei, January 26, 1955)

10 Places of Memory on the Bolognese Hills


On April 25 we celebrate the Liberation from Nazi-fascism, a moment that is not just a date in the history of our country, but which represents ever-present values and principles at the basis of our democratic life. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary, we offer you a virtual itinerary visiting ten places of memory (and not only...) of the Colli Bolognesi, also discovering the "little" stories of the women and men who form part of the "big" history.


The virtual itinerary was created in collaboration with the local ANPI associations (ANPI Casalecchio di Reno, ANPI Monte San Pietro, ANPI Bazzano, ANPI Zola Predosa), with the "La Conserva" Association APS Circolo ARCI, Cinerana, La Conserva APS Circolo ARCI. 


1) In the footsteps of the film "The Man Who Will Come"

The hills of Monte San Pietro surrounded by the vines that give rise to the renowned wines of the Colli Bolognesi, and interspersed with the characteristic gullies were the film set of the film "The man to come”,  by the Bolognese directorGeorge Rights, which has recently obtained important international awards for the film "Volevo Nascondermi" dedicated to the painter Antonio Ligabue. The film narrates the events preceding the Marzabotto massacre seen through the eyes of Martina, an eight-year-old girl. In localitySan Chierlo, it will be possible to ideally walk the paths traveled by Martina and come acrossCà Monetti, the house in which the film was set. To better discover these places, the Municipality of Monte San Pietro, as part of the tourist project "Monte San Pietro Cuore Colli Bolognesi" has also created a path dedicated to the film, which you can consult at the following link :

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2) The war memorial of Monte Capra in Zola Predosa

On the hills of Zola Predosa, along Via Valle, in a splendid panoramic point over the plain is the monument to the fallen of Monte Capra.
In the tough battle ofMount Goatwhich took place in the early afternoon ofApril 20, 1945, and who decreed the liberation of Zola Predosa the partisans have eight wounded including the commander of the Brigade, Commissioner Luccarini and Ivo Ventura; died during the fight: Merighi Guerrino, Galli Ermenegildo, Collina Augusto, Maldini Bruno and the eighteen year old Alba Maldini.
To reach this place of memory it is possible to climb the hill through thePath of the Gessaroli.


3) The memorial stone and the story of the pilot Paul R. Joyce

On 7 October 2017 in Pragatto - Crespellano di Valsamoggia - near the Rio Martignone, on private land, a memorial stone was placed in memory of the USAAF pilotPaul R. Joyce, shot down by German anti-aircraft on 15 July 1944. The recovery of the wreck  of the P – 47 Thunderbolt plane (single-seat fighter-bomber) took place in 1993, thanks to the memories of citizens at the time who were children they had witnessed the felling. The wreck is now preserved at theNigelli collection, in San Martino in Casola, a famous collection of vintage motorcycles and a stop on the routes of the "Motovalley".

Following the discovery, the ANPI associations of MSPietro, Cinerana, La Conserva APS Circ. ARCi, and Messrs. Simone Caniati and Alessandro Cosi have started the research to reconstruct the story of Paul R. Joyce and his plane, today told in the documentary MISSION N. AO#54 visible on Vimeo at the address:_cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_


The memorial stone was erected by Anpi section. MS Peter. At the inauguration of the memorial, Paul R. Joyce's relatives from the United States were present together with the authorities, who donated his mother's gloves and handkerchief to the community, resting on the memorial in the photograph, to tell the sense of a existence. The gloves, which symbolize the mother's hands on him. The handkerchief, for all the tears shed. Now gloves and handkerchief are kept in a display case in the "Peppino Impastato" municipal library of Monte San Pietro.


4) The "Mario Anderlini" air-raid shelter in Bazzano

Under the bank where the Rocca del Bentivoglio stands, on Via Termanini, it is possible to see an arch with a green door. There is an air-raid shelter built in 1944 to a design by engineers Fava and Osti. The construction of the shelter (initially two were planned) was started urgently, following the bombings and compatibly with the difficulties of procuring the necessary materials, with the scarcity of available manpower and, at certain times, with the refusal of workers and birocciai to go to work for fear of German roundups. There the people of Bazzanesi and the displaced people first spend the periods of alarm and then those of the attacks. After the war, the refuge was destined for different uses. In 2018 the refuge was named after the heroic partisanMario Anderlini,  Silver Medal of Military Valor, during an inauguration ceremony told in this video by Roberto Cerè of Millecolline. Watch the video...


5) The Casalecchio di Reno flyover

In the city center of Casalecchio di Reno, a few steps from Piazza del Popolo, at the foot of the railway overpass, stands the monument to the fallen of the Overpass massacre which took place onOctober 10, 1944. After the clashes that engaged a group of partisans of the 63rd Garibaldi "Bolero" Brigade on 8 October 1944 near Rasiglio (Sasso Marconi), thirteen partisans were captured by the Nazis who imprisoned them in Ronca ( Monte San Pietro) to then take them to Calderino (Monte San Pietro), Zola Predosa and finally to Casalecchio di Reno. Here on 10 October 1944, after numerous tortures, they were tied to the gate of a villa and the trees near the current via dei Martiri e killed by the Nazis. The fallen are the Italians, Alberto Raimondi, Gino Zacchini, Ubaldo Musolesi, Giacomo Dall'Oca and Mauro Emeri, the Soviet citizens Andréevic Marussa Filip, Miska and Vassili and the Costa Rican Carlo Luis Collado Martinez. Four fallen remain unknown, three of which are Soviet and one Italian.

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6) Cross of the Pradole


On the Pradole pass, on the border between the municipalities of Monte San Pietro (Loc. Montepastore) and Valsamoggia (Loc. Cà Bortolani di Savigno) there is a memorial stone  in memory of the civilian victims of the summer of 1944 in the area (fractions of Gavignano, Merlano and Montepastore). In this very suggestive panoramic point where you can admire from Cimone to the Pianura up to the Pre-Alps, also originates the Lavino torrent which gives its name to the valley below, and is one of the points touched by the path of theLittle Cassia. The memorial stone, located at the crossroads between via Lavino and via Merlano, shows the names and ages of those who lost their lives under the bombings or during roundups and it is striking to find people of all ages, one-year-old children together with ninety-year-olds . A short distance from the Pradole also passed theGothic line.

For information on the passage of the Piccola Cassia to Monte San Pietroclick here... 

Visit the


7) Not places, but extraordinary stories: the Jews in Valsamoggia

In addition to the places of memory, it is also appropriate to tell the stories of the people who have lived in or crossed our territory. Among the many events that took place during the Second World War we mention - also indicating links for further information - two that see families and people of Jewish origin as protagonists, persecuted at the time by the racial laws promulgated in Italy by the fascist regime. Emblematic is the story ofMatthias family, recently recounted in the book "ISavigno, and then later were deported and killed in Auschwitz [click here for further information] Little known is also the complex story of the59 Libyan Jewswho passed through"Bagantona" housein the countryside of Bazzano, on which today there is a commemorative plaque. Following persecutions and complex war and economic dynamics, the Jews arrived in Bazzano from the Giado concentration camp, south of Tripoli. They remained in the territory until 1943, when after the armistice they were deported to the  Bergen Belsen extermination camp. _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-58d_Diversicf it is possible to find them in the municipal historical archive of Bazzano. We invite you to learn more about the topic by consulting the blog "Fasten up the story", at the following address:


8) The bombing of the Church of Ponzano (Valsamoggia)

ThereChurch of Ponzano(Castello di Serravalle, Valsamoggia) located on Via Valle del Samoggia, datedApril 17, 1945was subject to heavy bombardment. A bomb fell at the base of the bell tower causing it and the parish priest to collapseDon Aggeo Montanariand about thirty faithful were buried under the rubble of the bell tower where they had taken refuge during the furious air raids of those days. A man who had climbed up with the monstrance entrusted to him by Don Aggeo remained miraculously unharmed in the rubble. The decision to take refuge in the bell tower was a tragic imprudence: the bell towers and towers in fact were targeted by Allied aircraft as they were potential enemy observation points. In those days the attacks of the 10th American "Mountain" Division were concentrated in the Samoggia valley, which captured hundreds of German prisoners and then prepared to break into the Po valley. For further information on the events of those daysClick here...

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9) The memorial stone to Don Mauro Fornasari on the Zola Predosa Life Path

A memorial stone dedicated toDon Mauro Fornasari. Don Fornasari was an open and loyal young man and freely expressed his ideas and thoughts. when the fascists of Calderara did not forgive him this frankness of his and had him arrested. It was October 5, 1944, he was 22 years old when he was handed over to the squad of the "Black Brigade" garrison in Riale di Zola Predosa, commanded by an unscrupulous man called "Walter", and by him sentenced to death and handed over to three soldiers for execution. The three men take Don Fornasari to Gesso, along the bank of the Lavino torrent, and having arrived here, with a haste that almost denotes fear, they aimed their their weapons at him and shot him dead. The echo of the shots that killed the priest had not yet died down before another machine gun made its deathly voice heard:  along the bank of the stream, a team of German soldiers was doing exercises, under the command of a non-commissioned officer, not far from the place of martyrdom of Don Fornasari. The non-commissioned officer, seeing that those soldiers had shot at the priest, took up the machine gun and killed_cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136_bad58d_the priest with a furious burst.

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10) The village of Colle Ameno in Sasso Marconi

Built in the 18th century, the Colle Ameno complex (villa, church in Baroque style and village with houses and artisan shops) was the center of numerous artistic activities including a majolica factory. During World War II, Colle Ameno was the only example, in the Bolognese Apennines, of a concentration camp and sorting of civilians under the command of the SS. Today, in memory of those events, a Hall of Memory has been created in the Borgo in which testimonies and documents relating to the history of Colle Ameno during the war are kept. Info:

To know more:


The places and stories collected in this article are only a small part of the rich memory heritage that our territory holds. 
To learn more and better understand the facts, we invite you to consult the municipal historical archives, and the reference websites listed below:

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