To the observer, Baiso presents itself as a long block of buildings clinging to the edge of a vast and unstable clay "calanche" amphitheatre. As a medium altitude mountain tourist resort it is known for its woods rich in mushrooms and also for its very particular Byzantine- Romagna like cuisine, in common with the villages of Valestra and Casteldaldo (hamlets belonging to Carpineti). Among the historical-cultural landmarks there's the plebeian church of S. Lorenzo, dating back to the Matildic period (12th-13th centuries), of which only a few traces can still be seen due to the landslide which knocked it down at the end of the 1800's.
In the hamlet of Visignolo, about 7 km from the administrative capital, you'll find the church of Santa Maria Assunta, one of the oldest of the entire Apennines. Architecturally interesting is the castle which occupies the peak of a hill north of the town (although it can't be visited as it is private property). You can also admire the nice area surrounding the S. Cassiano church, with an extensive view of the Secchia valley.
Historical information. The first mention of "Bagisium" dates back to 954 and it is also mentioned in the "Vita Matildis" of Monk Donizone when he speaks of the siege of Canossa. During those years the history of Baiso is tied to the Baiso family which in fact gave the town its name. The members of this family often surrounded the countess Matilde and during disputes they would always take sides with the church, thus obtaining from the bishops of Reggio the entire territory of the Baiso parish, expanding later in 1144 towards the Marola abbey, taking lands to the right and to the left of the Secchia river. The unity of the feud broke down and in 1174 the Baisi lost jurisdiction over the territory beyond the Secchia. Still belonging to the feud were the towns of Baiso, San Remo, Lorano Maiatica and Canicchia. In 1256 Baiso was entirely under the Fogliani and in 1315 it appeared as a town registered in the "Libro dei Fuochi" (Book of Fires): it listed 37 property owning families and another 46 residents. The castle was at the centre of various disputes, lost and re-conquered by the Fogliani, by the Baisi, and the Reggiani, but in the end the Fogliani prevailed and they kept it until 1472, the year in which the family lost all of its mountain properties. The Estensi succeeded until 1553. After alternating events in 1641 the Levizzani took it over, they also owned the feud of Livizzano. When the old regime fell, in 1796, Baiso became a town of its own until 1807 when it became a part of Carpineti. To find new autonomy it had to wait for the Faini decree which, in 1859 on the eve of the beginning of the Kingdom of Italy, reinstated the town. ("AA.VV. 199")
How to get there:
Baiso is set in a nice panoramic position, on the divide between the Tresinaro torrent and the Secchia river, along which you find, respectively, the SP 98 (main road which connects to the provincial administrative capital of Reggio Emilia) and the SS 486 (which rapidly connects Baiso to Modena and the ceramic district).