Along the Reno Canal | Certosa di Bologna – Parco Talon – Cà Bianca
for the first part
Via Panoramica 40033 Casalecchio di Reno (BO) www.parcodellachiusa.it
Parco della Chiusa (Lock Park), known to most as Parco Talon (Talon Park), is a place of great beauty and environmental quality. We are especially fond of this excursion, as it was the first Paratrekking event in Trekking Urbano Bologna which paved the way for trekking activities for people with mainly motor disabilities.
Tper bus: 20, 14
Parco Talon covers 5000 hectares in the Bologna, Casalecchio di Reno and Sasso Marconi municipalities and includes the hilly areas between the Savena stream to the east and the Reno river to the west, linking the Parco Regionale Gessi Bolognesi, Calanchi dell’Abbadessa (Regional Park of Chalks and Abbadessa Gullies), Parco storico regionale di Monte Sole (Monte Sole Regional Historic Park) and Riserva naturale del Contrafforte Pliocenico (Contrafforte Pliocenico Nature Reserve). Large meadows alternate with woods boasting a wide variety of trees.
As reported on website www.parcodellachiusa.it – Parco Talon is home to field maples, nettle trees, Judas trees and manna ashes as well as foreign species such as honey locusts, ginkgos and various species of cedar trees (Atlas cedar, Lebanon cedar, Himalayan cedar) down to some scattered coffee plants of North American origin.
The excursion starts in the city centre and proceeds along a foot- and cycle-path between Bologna and Casalecchio through Giardino del Ghisello (Garden of Ghisello) first, followed by Parco della Chiusa di Casalecchio di Reno. The return hike is 4 km long and takes approximately 4 hours. At the end, an asphalt and gravel road will lead to a viewpoint offering a marvellous panoramic view of Bologna from above.
We set off from Cimitero della Certosa (Certosa Monumental Cemetery) at the spot where the path is signalled on the ground. White stripes on cobblestones alternate on the path that leaves the city passing through the parks. Giardino del Ghisello is reminiscent of a sort of New York line park that extends in length along the river. It was once used to supply energy to silk spinning mills which were very important for the economy of the city. Once out of the garden, roads lined with houses embellish the surrounding scenery as far as the entrance to Parco Talon. The landscape suddenly opens up to reveal the striking Reno Lock, an important water system that, between the 13th and 14th centuries, supplied most of the water needed to process silk. After a stop to take in the landscape, we reach the entrance to the park in via de Bregoli. This is where Via degli Dei actually starts, but we enter the park for the last leg of our excursion.
Following the panoramic route towards Cà Bianca, we start noticing a gentle slope. This area is known as Ca’ Bianca (literally “White House”) because it used to be the location of the rural farmstead of the same name until it was demolished in 1987. Its function was to safeguard the agricultural territory and to cultivate it thanks to the families of farmers who lived in the area.
The entire route is almost entirely accessible. The road presents no difficulties and it is suitable for all kinds of wheelchairs, from electric to traditional ones. There is a slope only towards the end, for which we recommend having two people alongside you. The slope is quite short but, in the summer heat or in the cold, it could be tiring for a single attendant. The road becomes steeper and more irregular the nearer you approach Cà Bianca.
Historic and cultural places
Certosa di Bologna monumental cemetery
Established in 1801, Certosa is a true “open-air museum” as well as being an essential stop on the historic Italian Grand Tour visited by Byron, Dickens, Stendhal and other illustrious figures. The interior is very complex. A loggia, halls and porticoes reminiscent of the city of Bologna, the city of the “living”, extend from the heart of the convent. The arched portico which joins that leading to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca is peculiar in that it symbolically renews a deeper meaning, i.e. the continuity between the city of the dead and that of the living.
Via della Certosa, 16 www.comune.bologna.it/risorgimento/luoghi/49495/id/49221
Chiusa del Reno (Reno Lock)
A beautiful natural viewpoint that opens up near Giardino del Ghisello just before reaching Parco Talon in Casalecchio di Reno. Chiusa del Reno is one of the city’s most important and imposing locks – an important water system that, between the 13th and 14th centuries, supplied most of the water needed to process silk.
Teatro comunale Laura Betti (Laura Betti Municipal Theatre)
If you end the excursion in the early evening, you could attend a performance at the Laura Betti Municipal theatre, which changed its name in 2015 after a structural review.
The figure of Laura Betti metaphorically recalls many aspects of the new cultural setting: first of all, the multi-disciplinary aspects between theatre, cinema and music and secondly the connection between Casalecchio and the national and international cultural scene. Laura Betti, who strived to remain contemporary, was a close friend of Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Piazza del Popolo, 1, 40033 Casalecchio di Reno BO www.teatrocasalecchio.it Phone no. 051.570977