Autumn is the season in which one of nature’s most fascinating shows takes place, that of foliage, also known as autumnal chromatism. What is foliage? It is a natural phenomenon that gives life to a palette of shades that warm and color the landscapes. The leaves, before detaching themselves from the branches of the trees, change color due to the different temperature variations between day and night, going from green to various shades of red, yellow and brown. The ideal months to admire the foliage are October and November.

We have selected for you the places in Emilia-Romagna where the spectacle of the foliage is at its best but before listing them we want to remind you that even those who stay in our farmhouse these days will find the colors and scents of the autumn season. Our 6,000 square meter park lights up with dazzling colours, which are joy and harmony first for the eyes and then for the heart.

Bismantova stone (Reggio Emilia)

The Bismantova Stone is that rocky massif with the unmistakable ship-shaped profile that stands out isolated among the Apennine mountains. Located in the municipality of Castelnovo ne’ Monti, it is one of the most visited naturalistic sites in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines as well as a place rich in history and legends (linked to the presence of witchcraft phenomena and demonic presences). Over the centuries it has amazed travelers and has even been celebrated by poets. Here in the autumn season the scenery is breathtaking. There are numerous paths that lead to the top of the cliff. The shortest climb, suitable for everyone, takes about half an hour. It starts from Piazzale Dante Alighieri in Castelnovo ne’ Monti. Take CAI path no. 697, among downy oaks, hornbeams, juniper shrubs and fiery-hued scrub roses. In the last 10 meters you climb the stone steps.

Calamone Lake (Reggio Emilia)

One of the most popular places in Emilia-Romagna to witness the foliage phenomenon is Lake Calamone (also known as Lake Ventasso). Of glacial origin, it is fed by three natural springs and is the largest natural lake in the Reggio Emilia Apennines. For centuries it was at the center of a legend, which claimed it was bottomless and connected to the depths of the sea. This myth was debunked in 1762 by the scientist Lazzaro Spallanzani, when he was crossed by a boat equipped with a lead wire. In autumn the dense foliage of the beech trees around the lake creates an enchanted forest landscape. It is located near Ramiseto and can be easily reached from Ventasso Laghi by following the forest road closed to traffic that climbs along the slopes of the mountain. Numerous paths depart from the lake.

Ninfa Lake (Modena)

Another spectacular place to admire the foliage is Lago della Ninfa, a small enchanted body of water at 1500 meters above sea level in Sestola. It was originally called Lake Budaloni and only in 1928 was it decided on its current name, tracing it back to an ancient legend according to which a beautiful and evil nymph lived in the lake. It is surrounded by beech forests and coniferous forests which in autumn are tinged with the most varied colors: from intense yellow, to orange or red, the transformations are fast, even from one day to another. The lake can be easily reached by car but also via some paths. We recommend the Carbonaie ring, a short path that starts directly near the lake. It starts near the Rifugio Ninfa del Firenze. You climb up to a ridge with a crossroads: you have to keep right following path no. 11. At the bottom you then follow path 14 to return to the starting point.

Santo Parmense Lake (Parma)

Located at 1500 meters above sea level in the municipality of Corniglio, Lake Santo Parmense, with its 81,550 m2 of surface area, is the largest glacial lake in Emilia-Romagna. It is surmounted by Mount Marmagna and the Apennine ridge that divides the province of Parma from that of Massa Carrara. On its banks stands the Mariotti Refuge, an important point of reference for hikers and for the Regional Alpine Rescue. The lake is enchanting all year round but it is in autumn that it is at its best, when nature unfolds surprising chromatic effects. To reach it you can choose between 2 paths: the first from the Cancelli car park goes up to Lago Santo in 1 hour; the other leaves from behind the Lagdei Refuge and arrives in 45 minutes.

From the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Acero to the Dardagna waterfalls (Bologna)

In Lizzano Belvedere, in the province of Bologna, there is the splendid Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Acero. Built on one floor, formerly called “di Zufardo”, it overlooks the narrow valley of the Dardagna stream. In the cold months the place offers particular suggestions, due to the intense autumn colours, the play of the fog and the profound silence. The route we propose starts from the Sanctuary of Madonna dell’Acero and leads to the Dardagna waterfalls, one of the most beautiful places in the Bolognese Apennines to admire the natural spectacle of the foliage. The path is divided into two main sections: the first, easy and suitable for everyone, follows the CAI path n° 331 to reach the first drop of the waterfall, the most majestic; the second, of medium difficulty, continues on CAI path n° 333 and allows you to closely observe the other 7 waterfalls.

Castles of the Duchy (Piacenza)

Finally, you cannot miss the spectacle of the foliage in the castle parks that dot the Piacenza area. Castelli del Ducato is a network-circuit that brings together a large number of manors immersed in nature, on top of hilltops or on the banks of a river. These are important buildings, often majestic and evocative, erected in various eras (from the Middle Ages to the Belle Epoque) by noble families who made the history of Italy great. The proposal is for a tour in Val Tidone, where the protagonist is the Rocca d’Olgisio (in Pianello Val Tidone), one of the oldest and most fascinating fortified complexes in the Piacenza area. Perched at 570 meters above sea level, it is surrounded by woods that are tinged with a thousand different shades. The whole area is full of spectacular views and panoramic glimpses ablaze with autumn colours. Among these there are the foliage version vineyards in Ziano Piacentino and Sala Mandelli.

Photo Lake Ninfa © Roberto Ferrari | Dardagna waterfalls © Touring Club Italiano – Marino Alessandrini | Rocca d’Olgisio © Travel Val Tidone

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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!

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