In 2009, the nonprofit Big Bench Community Project (BBCP), promoted by American designer Chris Bangle together with his wife Catherine, was born with the aim of promoting and supporting local communities, tourism, and the craftsmanship excellence of villages, particularly smaller localities, through the construction of large-scale benches (Big Bench). These outsized installations, which are nothing more than a large-scale reproduction of classic public garden benches, are placed in scenic locations surrounded by nature from which one can enjoy the view as if “one were a child again.” In fact, the change in perspective given by the size of the bench makes those who sit on it feel like children.

Placed in spots easily accessible to all, they offer a unique experience to be shared with others. They are made for relaxing and wide enough to accommodate several people to give precisely a collective experience. To reach them one must cross short paths often through forests and they are accessible all the time so any season is good to discover them. The first large bench was made in 2010 in Clavesana in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont. Since then some time has passed and big benches are now widespread throughout Italy.

Of the more than 200 benches installed, as many as 7 are located in Emilia-Romagna. The first giant bench in Emilia Romagna (number 58) was installed in 2018 in Castelnovo ne’ Monti (geographic coordinates 44.43598, 10.48094), from which it is possible to admire not only the Reggio Emilia peaks but also Cimone and the Secchia Valley below. The second bench in Emilia Romagna (number 86) was installed in 2019 on Mount of the Cross in Ligonchio (geographic coordinates 44.31953, 10.34137) and allows visitors to enjoy a unique landscape ranging from the Ozola Valley to the Bismantova Stone. In 2020, one (number 93) was installed in Baiso (geographic coordinates 44.509954, 10.609982), on the knoll commonly called “la Balota,” from which one can admire the gullies, Mount Cusna, Cimone and Abetone. Also in 2020, a big bench (number 106) was installed on Mount Malee, in the territory of the municipality of Castellarano (geographic coordinates 44.3398771, 10.5248208), which offers a 360-degree view of the Secchia valley and the main reliefs in the area. The fifth bench (number 108), on the other hand, is located on the summit of Mount Pedrazzo, in the municipality of Prignano sulla Secchia (geographic coordinates 44.5330155, 10.7363124), from which the view sweeps over the Reggio Emilia and Modena Apennines. The sixth bench in Emilia (number 195) was installed in San Cassiano (geographic coordinates 44.444324, 10.602860), a hamlet in the municipality of Baiso, with a 360-degree panorama showing the Reggio Emilia and Modena Apennines, the Po Valley and the Veneto Pre Alps. The seventh bench (number 203) is located in Via Castello c/o cross of Casalgrande (geographic coordinates 44.57068, 10.71445), just a few kilometers from Scandiano, from which you can see the Euganean Hills, Reggio Emilia, the Ghirlandina of Modena and even the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca.

Foto © Comune di Baiso

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If you’re looking for completely independent apartments surrounded by greenery you really are in the right place here!

In fact, Brugnolo is immersed in the green nature of the Emilian countryside. For your relaxation, for that of your children, and again for the runs of your 4-legged friends, you will have 6000 square meters of park at your disposal!

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