How to get there:
From the center of Castelnovo ne' Monti you take the SP 108 and, not far after the cemetery, you continue along the SP 26 that leads to Piazzale Dante, below the Pietra and 5 km from the administrative capital.
The Pietra di Bismantova constitutes the geological monument "par excellence" of the Reggiano Mountains. It's formation dates back to the middle lower Miocene (about 15 million years ago). This Calcarenite resting on a base of clay marl was formed in a shallow marine environment in a phase of tropical climate, as is evident by the Paleontological content found: shells of mollusks, calcareous algae, sponge spikola, fish teeth, especially of sharks... The field surface is also covered, sporadically with ceramic fragments which prove that ancient occupation of the area; occasionally you can also find products made of worked flint (tips of arrows, blades, splinters) which demonstrate how the Pietra of Bismantova was also visited in pre-historic times. The characteristic shape of the Pietra is what is left of a much more extensive arenaceous plate, partly demolished because of faults and fractures and molded by erosion during the millenniums. This is attested to by the huge blocks which came off and are lying, in part, at the base of the vertical walls which are over 100 m, most of these rocks descended along the underlying slopes towards Casale and the Secchia Valley. This sliding was also favored by the prevailing clay-like nature of the rocks which constitute the underlying slopes and made moldable by the easy absorption of superficial water.