Via Tolara di Sopra 78 – Ozzano dell’Emilia (BO)
This excursion requires a little effort but is truly worth it. The Calanchi (gullies) are a band of chalky outcrops that generated a fascinating karst complex. The vegetation is characterised by Mediterranean plants and species usually to be found on higher altitudes. The Badessa pass connects the marly relief of Mount Arligo to via del Pilastrino through a narrow ridge separating the Rio Centonara from the Rio Ciagnano valleys.
Means of transport: By car towards Via del Pilastrino – Ozzano dell’Emilia (BO)
Unfortunately, part of the way has to be done on foot and there is a slope. If you drive there with one or more attendants, in order to avoid having to retrace your steps to the starting point, we recommend having one of your attendants park the car near the arrival point of the excursion (La Palazzina di Ciagnano Osteria)
The excursion starts in Via del Pilastrino and ends at Trattoria La Palazzina di Ciagnano Osteria covering 1.7 km in total. At km 1.1, the dirt road is more difficult to walk on, but reaching the established point is manageable. The road is not very long but exposed to the sun, so we recommend bringing a hat and a bottle of water, especially in summer. The terrain includes stretches of gravel, pebbles and asphalt. There are no natural architectural barriers – unlike the Gessi complex which is mostly inaccessible – but we recommend bringing two attendants because there are slopes where it is important to have additional help: with the help of two people, there will be no problems. The route follows the Calanchi, so there are also side slopes, which are nevertheless manageable.
The paths and forests of these high grounds are linked to a love story that seems to have taken place precisely between these peaks and valleys. The website of the Metropolitan City of Bologna reports that word of Lucia’s beauty, the abbess of the Camaldolese monastery in Stifonti (Settefonte), spread quickly and reached Count Diatagora Fava in Bologna, who then transferred to San Pietro di Ozzano only to be near her. He rode his horse along the road to the convent every morning, and Lucia immediately found herself fighting the restlessness caused by his visits. Prayers, wakes and penances only had a harmful effect on her health. When Lucia finally decided to meet Rolando, the two confessed their love but she did not want to betray her vows and begged him not to return. Rolando left for the Crusades in the Holy Land while Lucia, who was very sick by then, died. The knight was imprisoned in Palestine and, one night, Lucia appeared to him in his dreams to announce her death. Upon awakening, Rolando found himself free beside the grave of his beloved and, because of his tears, water started gushing once again from the seven springs that had dried up when Lucia died. Ever since Medieval times, the place has been called Passo della Badessa (Abbess Pass).
Where to sleep
B&B I Calanchi
This B&B is found at the start location of the excursion. Rustic and comfortable. We recommend phoning as it does not have a website.
Via del Pilastrino, 7, 40064 Ozzano dell’Emilia BO Tel. 051 651 5540
Where to eat
Dulcamara also has a path inside its grounds providing close contact not only with nature but also with its inhabitants. You may come across animals, enjoy a break near a small pond and reach the top of “Viale dei Mandorli”, from which you can enjoy a panoramic viewpoint, with the help of an attendant. In addition, by following this route, you will cross the organic vegetable plot. The entire farm has been laid out to meet the needs of disabled guests.
Via Tolara di Sopra 78 – Ozzano dell’Emilia (BO) -Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell’Abbadessa coopdulcamara.it Tel. 051.796643
La Palazzina di Ciagnano Osteria
The Osteria, located in Parco dei Gessi e dei Calanchi dell’Abbadessa (Park of Chalks and Abbadessa Gullies), is named after the area and after La Palazzina estate. It pays particular attention to the high quality of the ingredients used, which come mainly from the family’s organic farm, especially when it comes to cereal, flour and mutton and beef.
Via Bianchina, 1, 40064 Ciagnano di Ozzano dell’Emilia BO www.facebook.com/pg/osterialapalazzina/ Phone no. 051 651 5051
Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings as well as lunchtime on Sundays and festivities. In July and August, it only opens in the evening on Sundays.