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Trail No. 3 - The trail of the Fornacione

Scenic route with a view of Scandiano and the plain.


42019 Scandiano

Route characteristics

Travelling time: 3 hours
Difference in heigth: starting and arrival point: 145 m; maximum altitude: 385 m 
Vegetation: stretches of mixed hedges and juniper shrubs in the dry xerophilous clearings, rare Scotch pine, sparse pubescent oak woods, blackthorn, dogwood, maple, and hornbeam.
Fauna: birds of prey, small mammals, hares, pheasants and partridges (introduced for restocking).
Historical-cultural highlights: examples of rural architecture.

Starting point: old lime kiln in Ventoso; old village of Ventoso, view of the castle of Torricella.

Route description

The trail starts from Ventoso and you can park your car near the so-called “fornasoun”, the old gypsum and lime kiln. Setting off from the kiln, take the road that starts on the right just before the kiln, and stay on it for approximately 150 m. You then take the dirt road going uphill on the left, through meadows, crop fields, and hedges. From the steep uphill path you can soon enjoy some stunning views over Scandiano and the plain. In April-May, you can see orchid blossoms in the surrounding meadows. After crossing a meadow, the dirt road becomes more clearly marked and continues to rise uphill to the chapel of the Madonna of Fatima. Turn right into the scenic dirt road (watch out for possible oncoming vehicles), continue until you reach a barrier (one hour from the starting point), and then walk downhill up to a farmhouse (La Piana). Go around and past the farmhouse and follow the dirt road up to the asphalt road, not far from the Tre Croci hill. Cross the road and take an indistinct path that changes direction, leading southward (to the right). Once you have gone over the watershed, you begin to descend toward the valley of the Rio Riazzone stream. After the first stretch of flat land, the path drops sharply into a small valley with heavy erosions (walk carefully along the first tract as you are on a landslide), and across arid, clayey prairies to a small stream a little way down. The path becomes clearer here and the vegetation gets more interesting. It includes typical xerophilous species such as juniper, broom, elm, dogwood, rosehips, hawthorn as well as a few rare Scotch pines. The path then continues downhill alongside a stream. A little further on, however, you leave the path, cross the stream, and go a little way up the slope on the opposite side. Walk past the opening of a fenced enclosure and shortly afterward come across another path which you follow to the right. Half-way up the hillside, follow the path across a meadow, paying close attention to the where the path continues on the other side as it is covered in vegetation. You go over another stream and again go up the slope on the other side, to find yourself in the midst of shrubs and a small wood that opens onto another meadow. You now walk between the meadow and the wood (with the wood on your left) until you reach a vineyard. Then take a beautiful lane lined by two mixed hedges, which comes out onto the lane of Valaro (2 hours from the starting time). Follow the lane to the right, going around a house, and continue until you almost reach the San Ruffino cemetery (small fountain). Just before the cemetery, take another lane on the left (not very clearly marked) which leads up to a meadow with an impressive elm-tree. Cross the meadow up to the summit of the hillock to find another path which you follow in a south-easterly direction. Shortly afterward, you can enjoy a lovely view of the Castello della Torricella and of the oak of Cà de Degani which is over a century old. Continue uphill and, after crossing a field a little way above Cà Nuova, leave the lane and cross a meadow underneath a telephone cable line, which takes you to the asphalt road. This road leads from Ventoso to the Tre Croci hill. Follow the road downhill for approximately 700 m to the church of Ventoso. Once you have passed the church, follow Via Colombaia downhill until you reach the oldest part of the village of Ventoso, which is only a short walk from the starting point of the trail (the complete trail takes 3 hours).