Daily hiking itinerary in the hills of Reggio Emilia, along ancient paths between the municipalities of Casina and Canossa: an area known in Italy and abroad for the importance of the medieval events that had as their main protagonist the Canossa family.
This hike of about 6 km (about a 3 hour walk) runs around the valley of the Campola Stream in the Parks of central Emilia, and allows knowledge of the environment and naturalistic heritage to be combined with the historical heritage of this land.
The starting point is in Bergogno, in the municipality of Casina, a medieval village famous for the production of high quality Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
The ancient village of Bergogno retains its historical features, with houses in local stone.
From the center of the village you take a downhill cart track, which leads to the Campola Stream; once you get to the riverbed there is a fountain fed with sulfur water on your left.
Once you pass the river, you meet on the left the Rio Pantoma.
Continue on a well-trodden cart road and begin to climb on the northern side of Mount Tesa, between chestnut and beech trees, until you reach the paved road that connects Casina to the Castle of Rossena and follow it on the right for about 200 m until you pass a junction that leads to the village of Cerredolo. A little further, take a cart road that goes up on the right until a nearby junction.
Take the fork and reach the top of Mount Tesa and then descend again into a forest. Walking in the woods you reach the small village of Cavandola, which still has a medieval tower house.
Walking close to some renovated buildings, you will reach the intersection with the paved road that connects Canossa to Votigno. Turn right along the road to the fork for Votigno.
The ancient village of Votigno was fortified in the Middle Ages with tower-houses, like the other neighbours through which this itinerary passes. We are just 2 kilometers from the castle of Canossa, in the heart of the ancient feuds where the loyalists of Matilde di Canossa fought in the fight between Pope and Emperor.
Today in Votigno there is also the House of Tibet, one of the most known Italian centers of the Buddhist religion.
Leaving the village, continue the itinerary reaching the bottom of the valley; pass the bridge that surmounts the Rio Campola and follow a path uphill to the place called Castello: a viewpoint on outcrops of sandstone rock not far away.
At this point, walk a short uphill stretch to get back to the village of Bergogno closing our loop route.
The trail is marked with a paint trail and there are also some information points marked with special signs.
In the village of Bergogno and in the nearby Matildic Castle of Sarzano there are places to stop for a meal at km0.