The Santerno Cycle Route is the perfect way to cycle and hike through a historical landscape of charming old towns, hamlets and churches.

Local culture and tradition intersect with a stunning national history.

Even the small Santerno Valley offers an array of personalities who have distinguished themselves in numerous fields.

Mordano and Imola have close historical ties with the Sforza family, especially Caterina, who left us with the impressive Rocca Sforzesca (Sforza Fortress) in Imola and the Torrione Sforzesco in Bubano. Every June, Mordano celebrates the Palio del Torrione, a historical re-enactment of a medieval knights tournament. The impressive towers – inspired by the arsenale in Venice – mark the entrance to the fortress hamlet of Mordano.

In Imola, visitors to theCivic Museum of San Domenico and Palazzo Tozzoni can retrace the city’s history, from its Roman past as Forum Cornelii to the modern ceramic art of Bertozzi & Casoni.

Casalfiumanese was the birthplace of Luca Ghini, the creator of the world’s first botanical garden intended for university use: his passion for nature and close observation of the landscape bordering the River Santerno have inspired local men and women since the 16th century. The Luca Ghini trail (Sentiero Luca Ghini – SLG) takes hikers to the botanist’s birthplace.

Giuseppe Mengoni Archive (photograph by Anna Maria Guccini)

The Municipality of Fontanelice houses a small gem of a museum:the Giuseppe Mengoni Archive.. It conserves the studies, projects and drawings that led the architect-engineer, originally from Fontanelice, to build the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.

During the Second World War, the Apennines near Imola witnessed bitter fighting. The imposing Palazzo Alidosi in Castel del Rio is home to the Museo della Guerra e della Linea Gotica (War and Gothic Line Museum),packed with relics, military vehicles and exhibits donated by the local populace. The Palazzo is a short walk from the unique Alidosi Bridge. Borgo Tossignano still bears the scars of German occupation, battles and bombings: all that remains of the ancient Rocca di Tossignano is the suggestive ruin left behind by the Allied bombardment.

Discover the local art and culture