The Bismantova Stone is an imposing massif with vertical walls that stands isolated among the Apennine mountains. And it is one of the most well-known and appreciated symbols of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park. Its unmistakable ship-shaped profile can be seen everywhere from the ridge. Located in the municipality of Castelnovo ne’ Monti, it looks like a huge rocky cliff. It is not a barren rock, however; on the contrary, it is rich in greenery: it is surrounded by dense forests, and a vast grassy plateau lies on the summit.
Over the centuries it has amazed wayfarers and has even been celebrated by poets. First and foremost was Dante Alighieri, who was so impressed by it that he cited it in verses 26 and 27 of the Fourth Canto of Purgatory to describe the harshness of its ascent, referring to the image of its vertical walls. The Stone is also the subject of various legends related to the presence of witchcraft and demonic presences. Its summit is said to have been inhabited by the devil himself and even left his footprints imprinted on the rock there.
As for the flora, it is characterized by very diverse environments, encompassing a wide variety of situations. The plateau and surrounding area are populated by wild animals such as wild boar, deer, hares, hedgehogs, and birds of prey. Regionally rare and/or threatened species present include the wallcreeper. At the foot of the cliff stands a hermitage, built in the 17th century where a church stood even earlier. Its interior contains numerous frescoes dating back to the 15th century. Among these is that of Our Lady of Bismantova (or Our Lady of Milk) to whom the hermitage is dedicated and toward whom a heartfelt pilgrimage takes place in the Marian month.
Because of the beauty of the landscape, the Stone is now one of the most visited nature sites in the area. There are numerous paths leading to the top of the cliff, where even children climb without difficulty. The routes, most marked CAI, begin at population centers. One of these is the Spallanzani Trail, dedicated to the famous naturalist from Reggio Emilia who lived in the 18th century, which starts right from Scandiano and reaches San Pellegrino in Alpe, passing through Viano, Regnano, Carpineti, Pietra di Bismantova, Ligonchio, Lama Lite, Passo delle Forbici and Passo delle Radici. In addition, the Stone can also be considered the most interesting and complete “rock gym” in all of Emilia Romagna for those who enjoy the sport of climbing. A vast panorama can be enjoyed from the summit plateau: the view sweeps from the peaks of the ridge to the Emilian plain.
AGRITURISMO IL BRUGNOLO
Welcome to il Brugnolo
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!