The Antiche Paludi (Ancient Wetlands) Bolognesi Cycle route is a bike path that connects the city of Bologna to the area of the Po Delta Regional Park, passing through the districts of Castenaso, Budrio and Molinella. The route starts from Bologna railway station and ends past the Reno river at Molinella, where it joins the Primaro cycle route that leads to Lavezzola (Ferrara) in the Po Delta Park.
The itinerary, about 42 km long, winds its way through the eastern part of the Bolognese plain, an area with unique history, conformation and vocation, which in ancient times was characterised by large swamp areas. Nowadays, the area has completely changed and displays a pleasant rural landscape, which is characterised by water. The element of water is present in the Idice river, which flanks the cycle route, and in the wet areas of considerable naturalistic and panoramic value, where peculiar specimens of flora and fauna live. The nature trail is also scattered with villages, historic villas and museums of great archaeological and artistic interest.
Once we leave the city of Bologna behind, the cycle route enters the territory of Castenaso, where we find the first point of interest, the MUV - Museum of Villanovan Civilisation : where it is possible to find relics and reconstructions of the first ancient phase of the Etruscan civilisation, one that owes its name precisely from the Villanova di Castenaso area, where it was identified for the first time.
The itinerary continues through the countryside up to the town of Budrio, which is worldwide famous as the homeland of the Ocarina, a peculiar wind instrument to which an Ocarina Museum is also dedicated. Budrio also has a beautiful historic centre with a seventeenth-eighteenth-century appearance, characterised by the traditional element of the porticoes and featuring many museums of interest, such as the Domenico Inzaghi Art Gallery which displays works attributed to important artists including Vitale da Bologna, Dosso Dossi, Denijs Calvaert, Lavinia Fontana and Alessandro Tiarini. In the countryside around Budrio there are splendid historic buildings, such as the Bagnarola’s Villas , defined as the "Versailles of Bologna", and others in the hamlets of Vedrana and Mezzolara.
Continuing past Budrio towards Molinella, the Cycle route of the Ancient Bolognese Marshes runs along some wetlands and valleys that skim the Po Delta Regional Park and display a great naturalistic wealth. The route directly enters the site "Biotopes and environmental restoration of Medicina and Molinella": an area of over 4000 hectares located in the territories of Budrio, Medicina and Molinella’s Municipalities, and that is also the gateway to the great sites of naturalistic interest in the Po Delta.
In the territory of Molinella it is also possible to visit the fifteenth-century village of Selva Malvezzi , which, although remodelled in the seventeenth century, has preserved its original appearance.
The Cycle route can be rode in "pedalabile subito" on roads with low traffic impact, alternating with bike paths and short unpaved stretches. The entire itinerary is flanked by the Bologna-Portomaggiore railway line, built in 1887, which allows train-bike intermodal transport and allows the cyclist to return to Bologna by train.
Itinerary: Bologna - Castenaso - Budrio - Molinella - Po Delta Park
Length: about 42 km
Difference in height: slight
Budrio: Tel 051 692 8281
Castenaso: Tel 051 605 9255
FIAB Castenaso Association - www.fiabcastenaso.it
Last update: 10-02-2021