We recommend a unique route off the beaten track to immerse yourself in the nature and history of the Bolognese Apennine.
From Lodole reach the Reno Valley heading towards Rioveggio and take the SS 64 Porrettana road south. After Vergato, at Ca' Mezzini and just before the bridge on the Reno, turn right and follow the directions for Vimignano. Then continue until Ca' Viola and the intersection with the SP 73 road. Continue towards Vimignano, as far as the La Scola hamlet in the municipality of Grizzana Morandi, an area that shares the same name as the local painter Giorgio Morandi.
La Scola derives its name from the Lombard term Sculca, which means a lookout from a high position. The hamletĺs defences were strengthened over the years with the construction of walls and towers, as a final bulwark of defence. The most important building of the hamlet, Casa Parisi (named after the family that owned the hamlet until the eighteenth century), which dates from the second half of the fourteenth century, is a massive construction that follows the shape of defence fortresses. The higher part of the hamlet still houses the Oratory of S.Rocco which, built with blocks of sandstone, is the only example of this type of building left in the Bolognese Apennine. Finally the lower part of the hamlet, full of valuable architectonic features (covered loggias, windows and fireplaces with coats of arms, internal walls and covered walkways) is also home to a cypress which is over a hundred years old and has been declared an arboreal monument.
From La Scola you can reach the Sanctuary of Montovolo. Once past Grizzana Morandi and the Church of Campolo, the road rises to the summit of the hill, revealing wonderful surprises: a beautiful panorama over the surrounding mountains of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines (the Corno alle Scale, Nuda and Monte Cimone mountains can be seen), the sanctuary, a sort of lodge and a breath taking view of the Reno valley.
Heading back towards Lodole Country House, the road from Grizzana reaches Camugnano where, just south of Mount Vigese (Site of Community Importance where birds of prey such as golden eagles nest) there is an enormous rock with the Vigo church on top, which is quite spectacular when illuminated at night. To round off the trip in fine style stop off at the Trattoria da Anna in Campolo, for a fantastic meal of typical dishes of the Bolognese Apennine.