Albinea is a foothill town that stands out for its landscape and naturalistic beauties and for the presence of historic buildings of artistic importance. It was already inhabited in prehistoric times, as showed by the Tana della Mussina, tomb of the third millennium. In the Middle Ages the hamlets of Borzano, Montericco and Albinea with their relative hills joined together in a single estate, each one with a parish church and a castle, and part of a powerful defence system to protect the territories already subject to Matilde di Canossa.
With the arrival of the Este family, its territory was embellished with numerous tower-houses and then with historic villas such as Villa Sidoli-Rossi, Villa Arnò and Villa Tarabini, which houses in the attic of the municipal Acetaia (vinegar factory). Albinea has a rich cultural offer all year and numerous itineraries, and is a privileged location for those seeking refreshment from the nearby town of Reggio Emilia in the summer.
The three cycling routes that we suggest can be downloaded from the free app "Sentieri Appennino".
Mainly on gravel, it is a very popular route for hikers and cyclists, as, although only 20 minutes away from Reggio Emilia, it offers to its visitors the experience of being immersed in nature and enjoying breath-taking views.
Park your car in one of the public parkings in Borzano, and follow Via Chierici, until you reach Via Franchetti. This is where the 12.5 km loop path starts. On the way you will find directions to guide you and descriptions of the naturalistic beauties (former La Tana della Mussina, an ancient and magic cave). The total difference in height is approximately 430 metres. On the way you can find resting places suitable for a picnic or a moment of relaxation.
Itinerary entirely on paved roads but mostly away from the main traffic routes.
From Piazza Cavicchioni, in the town centre, follow the cycling path “Tirabuson” (which means corkscrew, in local dialect), arrive at the hamlet of Botteghe and take via Crostolo. In this area you can still see the Canal of Albinea, 10 km long and built by the Bishop of Reggio in 1188 to use the water of the Crostolo river so as to irrigate the fields and several mills.
Go to via Conte Re and stop to rest (it is a steep climb), so as to admire the amazing landscape, the valleys and vineyards. This is the “Monte Jaco”, mentioned by the Italian XVI-century poet Ariosto in one of his masterpieces. Once on top of the hill you will find a public fountain and the historic little hamlet of “Broletto” (the ancient Albinea) with its picturesque stone dwellings surrounding a tower-house dating back to the Middle Ages. If you turn left, you will come back to your starting point reaching the Parish Church, from where the descent starts and from which it will be possible to reach Botteghe and Albinea’s main square.
Ring route (11.5 km) mainly on paved and partly gravel road. The start is from Piazzale Lavezza, the area where the Municipality carries out most of the public initiatives. Going up to Via Castellana you arrive at Lourdes Virgin Mary Sanctuary, a XIX-century church in Lombard-Gothic style, skirting the Montericco Castle (neoclassical style) and then reaching Via Oliveto; from here the road descends and on the way you come across the neoclassical Oliveto Virgin Mary Church.
At the end of Via Oliveto, at the crossroads, go straight into Via Spallanzani, a gravel road, then turn left into Via Vallisneri, then Via Nobili, until the crossroads with via Roncosano. Take the cycling route on the left: Via della Tenuta, Via Grandi, Via Di Vittorio. At the crossroads take Via Verdi, then on the left Via Caduti della Libertà to the starting point.