Parco Storico Monte Sole

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The Gothic Line and Monte Sole

Posted on 03 December 2023

Monte Sole

There is an invisible thread that runs through the mountains of the Bolognese Apennines and connects some nodal points that can be considered "arks" of memory. Places where today there are green slopes, forests and paths to walk along surrounded by the beauty of nature, and, in a time not so long ago, there was war. This itinerary proposes four stages, which can be covered in a day, combining the pleasure of walking and visiting places full of art and monuments with the value of knowing history and remembering in order to understand.


In about thirty minutes drive from Bologna you can easily reach the charming village of Livergnano (Pianoro) with its characteristic and renowned houses set in the rocks of which only the facade protrudes. Here, during World War II, extremely harsh fighting took place, the evidence of which is illustrated in the small but very interesting Winter Line Museum. The result of Umberto Magnani's long and tenacious field research, it houses a fascinating collection of objects collected over the years on the mountain trails: old radios, helmets, uniforms, pictures, canteens and cutlery. Objects that tell dramatic stories that are narrated, according to oral tradition, inside the museum in a highly evocative atmosphere.


From Livergnano we move toward the via Porrettana in order to reach Marzabotto. In the center of the town stands the Memorial that holds the remains of the civilian victims and partisans who died in the various localities in the municipality of Marzabotto and beyond, most of them as a result of the ferocious reprisal unleashed by the Nazi-Fascists between September 29 and early October 1944. Inside, on four facades of the central cross, large white marble plaques bear the motivations for the Gold Medals for Military Valor awarded in memory of Chaplain Don Giovanni Fornasini, Partisan Brigade Commander Mario Musolesi ("Lupo"), 16-year-old partisan Gastone Rossi, and partisan Francesco Calzolari.

Monte Sole

Much of the massacre took place in the Monte Sole area, which is now a Nature Park. From Marzabotto the route is short (about 8 kilometers that can also be walked if desired). The Scuola di pace and Poggiolo Resistente, which has bar services, restaurant, children's playground, information materials and ample parking, are located within the Park. Thanks to its location, it is the ideal starting point to start a walk (or participate in guided hikes) and reach the location of San Martino, in the area of the Memorial (at an altitude of about 400 meters), from which there is also a picturesque view.

Castel d'Aiano

Continuing on the Porrettana road towards Vergato, you will turn off for Castel d'Aiano, a pleasant and cool town that lies 800 meters above sea level. The town's multipurpose Civic Hall (via Val d'Aneva) houses the multimedia model of the Gothic Line. A unique creation (measuring 5x2 meters in size, scale 1:50,000) and fascinating historical-didactic tool that chronologically traces the events that occurred on that tragic front between August 1944 and April 1945, in the sector between Florence and Bologna. A narrative of about an hour animated by a synchronized electronic system of lights, music, sounds and projections of period images and films.

Duration: 24 hours

Interest: Art & Culture

Target audience: family/friends-single/couple