The name Sala seems to relate to the handicraft activity of "sala" (vehicle axles) builders. Sala, also means marsh grass once used to make chairs bottom.
The Romanesque Parish Church of Santa Maria Annunziata and San Biagio alone makes a visit to Sala Bolognese worthwhile. The basilica - temporarily closed - dates back to 1096 and was restored to its original form in 1920. Its Romanesque-Lombard architectural style is a unique example this side of the River Panaro, a natural border which for centuries separated the western part of the region from the eastern with its Lombard influences.
By bicycle, it is possible to visit the numerous small villages, churches and villas spread around the countryside, or reach the banks of the Reno and Samoggia Rivers. Among ruins surrounded by elms and white willows, if you keep your eyes open, perhaps with the help of a good pair of binoculars and some plant and animal handbooks, you can spot many interesting examples of flora and fauna.
In the village of Bagno di Piano, there are many things to visit. The 16th-century Church of San Michele Arcangelo - temporarily closed - contains two important paintings attributed to Crespi and Francia, around which the mysteries of the rosary of the School of Carracci are arranged.
Palazzo Zambeccari (Il Conte) is a beautiful 16th-century building, University's property. It has the traditional four angular towers, a two-flight staircase leads inside, where traces of fresco decorations are still visible. It is a University's property and, at the moment, it can only be seen from the outside. In Villa Minelli, a farm now that offers visitors a wide range of services, it is worth noting the tower, courtyard and the small 18th-century chapel.
Not to be missed is a visit to the water-pumping plant of Bagnetto, which together with the nearby area of ecological restructuring in the Dosolo Basin, is one of the major land reclamation works and hydraulic systems to have permitted cultivation and settlement in this area, once extremely swampy.
In Osteria Nuova, we come to Villa Terracini (18th century), a typical country house of the plains: in its extensive park, there is a lovely example of a "conserva", a sort of natural larder- fridge in use until last century.
From the Bologna Bus Station, ATC Public Transport Company (for information on timetables and fares visit www.atc.bo.it):
From the Bologna Central Railway Station (for information on timetables and fares visit www.trenitalia.com): railway line Bologna-San Giovanni in Persiceto-Verona, Osteria Nuova stop, then bus n. 91.
The Guglielmo Marconi Airport is about 10 km. from Sala Bolognese.
The BLQ Airport shuttle connects every 15-30 minutes the airport to the city centre and to the central station. Piazza XX Settembre stop to get a bus towards Sala Bolognese.