Periods of Activity:
The higher part of the path has difficult stretches in winter, with snow and ice. We advise it be done in summer, for the fresh climate and for the variety and intensity of colors in autumn and spring.
The path begins at Scandiano, Lazzaro Spallanzani's birth place (famous Reggiano naturalist of the XVIII century), to whom the path is dedicated, in memory of his many explorations on the Apennines. The path, to be precise, starts at Ventasso, a couple of km from Scandiano.
The Spallanzani path, dedicated to the scientist Lazzaro Spallanzani, passes through all the vegetation strips of the Reggiano Apennines (hills, mountains and peaks), from Scandiano up to S. Pellegrino in Alpe, on the Reggiano ridge.
The path, besides being marked by white and red CAI signs also has a butterfly symbol and the initials SSP.
The path does not have particular technical difficulties, it can also be used by inexperienced excursionists and is quite suitable for horse trekking.
The path is 115 km long, is usually traveled in stages an, usually 7, for a total of 35 hours walking time.
Details of tour:
Itinerary in detail Time needed: 5 hrs
Difference in altitude climbing: 700 m
Difference in altitude descending: 430 m The itinerary starts in the hamlet of Ventasso, 1 km south of Scandiano. The path is easily recognizable from the hamlet as it is near the western side of the ex lime furnace of paleo-industrial interest. A carriage road climbs down the valley of the Rio Guiglia among areas of shrubs and extensive prairies. The Carriage road is interrupted by a private gate which can be crossed by excursionists. After a little stretch the cart road is left behind and the walk continues uphill (the path is not always evident). Having reached the dividing line you continue to the right (south-west): the path passes a farmhouse (Bottegaro) and staying on the dividing line, winds on over a false plane amongst outcrops of flaky clay, Panorama of th Tresinaro valley. In the gramineae prairie many orchids flower in spring. At a junction, after the hill, you take the mule road on the left which, with a complete shift in directions, rapidly moves down hill, have a look at the famous centuries-old oak trees ( among the nicest examples of Emilia), but turn back about 150 m, to get on the right path. Having passed a farmhouse which is now abandoned, on a carriage road through cultivated fields, you quickly descend onto a group of houses in the location Colombaro, which has a tower house in the center (2 hrs).
After having passes the paved bridge on the Tresinaro torrent in front of the Rondinara church, you take the path before a barrier, a path which starts to climb through cultivated fields. The road forms a semi-circle around a group of houses (il Monte, the Mount) and comes out on a gravel road which you take towards the right. The Mount is an equine tourist center, member of A.N.T.E. (Association of Equine Tourism): it is a private center but it can be contacted for information regarding the Sentiero Spallanzani on horseback.
The road is now paved. After crossing the provincial road, you take the road which leads to the Viano Castle. Having reached a group of houses the road turns in to a mule road and leads to the characteristic Viano Castle, part of the defensive Matildic complex (1.30 hr). A gravel road on the dividing ridge leads to the S. Polo, where, a little bit before the Viano town hall, you will notice a very nice tower house with decorations in relief and wall fresco (XV century).
You now follow the paved road towards Mamorra for about 2 km, and then leave it after Casina, taking a carriage road on the right which after having passed a group of houses, quickly descending reaches Rio Faggiano and the provincial road near a farm (( hrs). From behind the farm you climb, on a carriage road used for agricultural purposes, on another divide, between fields and vineyards, in a pretty and typical landscape of the Reggiano hills. At Cà de Vezzoli the paved road leads to Regnano (1 hr; 5 hrs) At Regnano ask about the "Salse", small volcanoes of cold mud which bubble in the clay soil, a phenomena caused by the presence of underground gaseous hydrocarbons. Lazzaro Spallanzani studied the "Salse" various times. The most active small volcano is found behind the community dairy.
(L. Giandotti, 1992)