Faenza inland area is a great destination for nature lovers and excursionists and there are lots of delightful places that are well-known for their art history and stunning scenery.
A medieval spa town sitting at the foot of three pinnacles of chalk upon which stand the Rocca Manfredi fort, the Clock Tower and the Sanctuary of Monticino. Its origins date back to the late 13th century, when the ruler Maghinardo Pagani constructed the most important fortress in the Lamone Valley on one of the three selenite rocks. In the 14th century the Manfredis, rulers of Faenza, began building a fortress on the second peak and two hundred years later the Venetians completed it as we see it today. Famous for its unique architecture, it is well-known for the “Via degli Asini” (the Donkey’s Way), so-called because animals that were used to transport material from the nearby chalk caves would pass along this road. Brisighella is a big producer of "Brisighello" extra virgin olive oil, which is a Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) product.
The village of Riolo was founded in the early middle ages. It was of great military importance and in the late 14th century a castle and a fortress were built here to strengthen this. These were then fortified and made more secure approximately one hundred years later. In the 16th century its fortified walls were stormed by Cesare Borgia, who was inspiration to Machiavelli and went by the name Valentino; these walls are a splendid example of Renaissance military architecture. The wonderful spa waters are the main attraction in Riolo Terme. These have been known since Roman times and since 1870 they have been used for medicinal and aesthetic purposes at a thermal spa situated in a 12-hectare park. In its time it has welcomed the likes of Artusi, Carducci, Oriani, Lord Byron, Murat and Bonaparte Princes. The recently- built Riolo Golf & Country Club fits in perfectly with the spirit of the place and with the landscape, and its 18 holes nestle in among fields, old villas, vineyards and barren ravines.
Carnè Natural Park
Travel just a few kilometres away from Faenza and you’ll find yourself immersed in the natural beauty of the Carnè Park, with the wonderful Vena del Gesso (Vein of Gypsum), the Tanaccia Cave and numerous nature trails that cover 43 hectares of land. There are also a number of karst cavities, most of which are vertical: these include the Fantini and Garibaldi abysses, beneath Monte Rontana, and the (slightly less deep) Carnè and Faenza abysses. For bookings and info: Ass.PANGEA (Faenza) 0546.681585