Via dei Brentatori
Hills, vineyards and cellars ... the Colli Bolognesi in a food and wine itinerary to be discovered
The Via dei Brentatori is one of the few wine routes that can boast an ancient and documented history, originating from the need to transport wine and must from the countryside to the city of Bologna.
We are in fact in 1250 and the Modena troops raged with their raids along the border of the Bolognese countryside, making the roads of the plain unsafe. The Municipality of Bologna therefore decides to start the construction of a new route through the hills, to allow the Brentatori to safely transport the grapes and wine produced in Monteveglio, Oliveto and Zappolino to the city. As established by the Bologna statutes, the road is built by the communities crossed by the route: Zappolino, Oliveto, Monte Maggiore, Monte San Pietro, Rocca Massenata - now disappeared - and San Chierlo.
The Brentatori are one of the oldest Compagnie delle Arti and an essential figure in medieval life: profound connoisseurs and admirers of wine were the only judges who could attest to the quality and transported it by means of "Brente" containers carried on their backs, but in case of necessities they assumed the role of fireman, rushing with their brenta to extinguish the frequent cases of fire.
The Compagnia dell'Arte dei Brentatori was legally recognized in 1407 and the public service was reconfirmed, already assigned to it in 1250, specifying the obligation to rush with the brente to bring water where a fire had broken out as soon as it was called by the signal given from the sound of the bell of the Asinelli Tower.
The Via dei Brentatori has become over the centuries an important part of the local road network: it has therefore turned, in many places, into a strip of asphalt. However, it is still possible to retrace the same hills crossed by the Brentatori using the network of paths, in an itinerary that is also an ideal guiding thread through which to rediscover the local tradition of viticulture, still testified today by the numerous cellars of Valsamoggia, Monte San Pietro and Zola Predosa.
Starting from Via Dei Brentatori, which represents a sort of backbone of the winemaking tradition in the western hills of Bologna , you can build slow-paced itineraries that allow you to visit places rich in history, wineries where you can taste the best wines and farmhouses where you can try the proverbial Emilian hospitality.
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