Contrafforte Pliocenico is an area of breathtaking natural beauty characterised by distinctive sandstone rockfaces and located in the valleys known as the ComunitÓ Montana Cinque Valli Bolognesi that covers the municipalities of Monzuno, Pianoro and Sasso Marconi.
The peculiar geological character of this area was created by sandstone sediments left here during the Pliocene period by a series of rivers that flowed into a large maritime gulf that once covered most of the Bolognese Apennines.
The area is in fact particularly rich in fossils that testify to the incredible change from sea to mountain that took place here when the Apennines rose into being.
Now the Contrafforte hilltops offer many beautiful walks especially in the areas of Monte delle Formiche, Monte Adone and Monte Mario. And In 2006 an important step forward was made when a specific Contrafforte Pliocenico Nature Reserve was established. This area, officially protected by the Emilia Romagna Regional Authorities, is located to the south of the Bologna province and is truly remarkable for both its structure and the variety of its plant and animal life.
The spectacular natural beauty of the reserve can be best enjoyed by walking or mountain biking along the famous ôVia degli Deiö (Path of the Gods), an Alpine Club-marked trail that crosses the Tusco-Emilian Apennines from Bologna to Florence.