west side only
The lake of Brasimone is a body of water surrounded by a suggestive landscape of woods. The enchantment of the landscape creates a deep emotion. The lake, which is 22.2 km long, is the backbone of the Lakes Regional Park along with the lake of Suviana.
The lake of Brasimone starts at the dam in the Scaliere area, within the municipality of Camugnano. By car (62.6 km) take the A1 motorway – exit Pian del Voglio – Castiglione dei Pepoli – direction Brasimone/Camugnano – after passing the dam and the Albergo Italia, go down to the left towards the Enea (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment) Visitor Centre and stop at the lake’s bank at the parking lot in front of the Church of Santa Rita al Brasimone.
The park includes two artificial lakes: Suviana and Brasimone, dating back to the last century. The lake of Suviana is fed by the river Limentra di Treppio and the lake of Brasimone by the streams of the Brasimone catchment basin. The technological system that regulates the hydroelectric plants of Suviana, where a visitor centre dedicated to water is located, and of Brasimone, which houses an information point of Enea, is of particular interest. In the park it is possible to admire gorges and clearings and to cross mixed forests composed of beech and oak trees and reforested areas with pine trees, which cover the slopes and sandstones of the main mountains in the western part of the ridge and downstream of the Brasimone basin, forming the beautiful front of the Cinghi delle Mogne. From the highest peaks you can admire steep slopes, covered with woods, while in the lower elevations the hillsides become less steep. The scarce impact of man in these places has favoured the presence of wildlife, among which deer are the most prominent, followed by roe deer, fallow deer, wild boars and wolves, who represent the only large carnivore able to compete with man in the control of the ungulate population.
The construction of such an innovative plant in the early 1900s was motivated by the growing demand for electricity for domestic and industrial use by the city of Bologna. The project of the reservoir, presented on April 24th 1906 at the Civil Engineering Department, was led by the eng. Fausto Baratta. The dam, 35 metres high, is of the gravity type and was built with local stones. It is the work of the eng. Angelo Omodeo, at the beginning of what would become a bright career as a “magician of the waters”. The complex construction site for the construction of the dam was directed by Amilcare Toscani, a close collaborator of the designer and “an extraordinary person both as a technician and as a man” (Costa). The main material used was the stone worked by the Montovolo stonecutters, which was preferred, in this case, to reinforced concrete. Consistent with his socialist ideas, Omodeo applied the eight-hour workday here for the first time in Italy.
The hike we propose has a total length of 4.8 km, divided into two branches. The east bank, which extends from the parking lot of the Church of Santa Rita al Brasimone to the Enea Research Centre and develops for 1.5 km on a tarred road, passes a first slope, then descends to the Scaliere dam with a beautiful view on the lake and continues flat until reaching the gate of the Enea Research Centre (approximately 1 h). The west bank, which develops for 3.3 km from the Church of Santa Rita al Brasimone to the Fontana del Boia, follows the edge of the lake still on a tarred road (1.5 km), to then ascend on a dirt track for 1 km along the stream in the woods. The hike is on average slightly uphill, it passes some small, steeper stretches, presenting no particular difficulties, and arrives at Cà Fontana del Boia (approximately 1h 30′).
The hike is partly complete, but there are two fairly steep slopes. It is advisable to go with more than one guide.
Where to sleep
There is the possibility of overnight stay at the Municipality nearby and at Albergo Italia for those who prefer to sleep in a comfortable bed.
Via Bacino, 89 Lago del Brasimone, 40032 Camugnano BO www.facebook.com/Albergo-Ristorante-Italia tel. 366 236 8224
The banks and the lake forests offer the possibility of camping for nature freaks.
In summer it is extremely pleasant to escape from the city and spend a night among the trees observing the sky that, free from any form of light pollution, shows its bright golden stars.
For those who use a camper
La Guardata Area sosta
Surrounded by greenery between lakes and mountains, the area is an excellent refuge for those who want to relax surrounded by nature
Via Brasimone, 89 Camugnano (BO) www.sostacamperbologna.it tel. Tel. +39 0534 93269
Where to eat
One of the most popular trattorias among locals and visitors is Albergo Italia. Located at the top of a hill that can also be reached by car, the Hotel Restaurant offers a fixed lunch menu for 12 euros as well as the possibility of choosing other tasty dishes typical of the local tradition à la carte. Be careful when you ask for the menu at lunchtime though, as the waiters may propose dishes that are actually not available. Always ask the lady who runs the restaurant.
Toilette facilities along the way
Along the Fontana della Chiesina there is a toilet open to the public. It is not accessible but a little further on you can ask Albergo Italia in case of need.
Disabled parking places
Along the way there are several disabled parking spaces; one, for example, is right in front of the 796 bus stop from Porretta and the 808 bus stop from Castiglione dei Pepoli to Vergato.