San Lazzaro di Savena - Calanchi Abbadessa

San Lazzaro di Savena

San Lazzaro di Savena first developed in the 12th and 13th centuries around a leper hospital founded by the Order of the Knights of San Lazzaro, along the Via Emilia to the east of Bologna. It was actually believed that the wind, blowing in that direction, would also carry diseases away.

In the hills to the south of the county town, it is worth visiting the Abbey of Santa Cecilia della Croara. Of medieval origins, its present structure dates back to the 19th century, while the frescoed cloisters still have the 16th-century structure intact. It also houses some very interesting painting, in particular a beautiful altar piece with the infant Jesus attributed to Annibale Carracci.

It was here, in the summer of 1915, that the 19-year-old Filippo De Pisis stayed, destined to become one of the major 20th-century European painters, as well as being a poet and writer. During his short stay, De Pisis wrote most of the prose-poems later published under the title "Canti della Croara" (Croara's Songs).

The hills between San Lazzaro, Ozzano and Pianoro are of karst formation and of exceptional environmental value, so much so that in the heart of these hills, there is the Regional Park of Bolognese Gypsums and the Abbadessa Gullies. The Park is full of caves, the most famous of which are the Farneto and Spipola. The Grotta della Spipola, discovered by the great Bolognese speleologist Luigi Fantini, is the largest European cave to have been dug in chalk, while the Grotta del Farneto is famous for the discovery of relics from six thousand years ago, today preserved in the Archaeological Museums of San Lazzaro, Bologna and Budrio.

In the territory of San Lazzaro, there are some beautiful Renaissance country villas, in particular, on the Via Emilia, Villa Cicogna. Built to a project by the Vignola in the second half of the 16th century by the Boncompagni family, it today hosts meetings and cultural events.

Villa Bellaria is also 16th-century, situated on the road of the same name, property of the Furla society.

On a chalk outcrop, on the right of the River Idice, there is the ancient village of Castel de' Britti: of the original castle belonging to Matilde of Canossa, there remains only the entrance arch in the square in front of the church, while nearby you cannot fail to notice the neo-medieval form of Villa Malvezzi. In the same area, at No. 30 Via Idice, Villa L'Abbadia, previously the Abbey of San Michele, is a centuries-old construction which belonged to the Camaldolesi monks until 1090 and then to the Gaudenti friars in the period of Dante, 1262-1586. Today it is a private residence.

In San Lazzaro in early August, there is the famous festival, the Fiera di San Lazzaro, mentioned in a traditional Bolognese song, made famous in a version by Francesco Guccini.

More information

  • Distance from Bologna: 6 Km.
  • Altitude: 40/331 m.
  • Inhabitants: 32.065 (updated January 1st 2016)
  • Market day: Saturday Patron Saint: San Lazzaro (December 17th)
  • Hamlets: Borgatella, Ca' de' Mandorli, Caselle, Castel de' Britti, Campana, Cicogna, Colunga, Croara, Farneto, Idice, Mura San Carlo, Paleotto, Ponticella, Pulce, Villaggio Martino.

Recurring events

  • Verde San Lazzaro, a fair of nature and biological agriculture: 1st Sunday of April
  • Festival of San Lazzaro: August
  • Festival of the Madonna della Cintura, at the Farneto Parish Church: early September
  • Flavours of the Apennines: 1st Sunday of November.

Guida della provincia di Bologna

The text is taken from

Guide to the province of Bologna - Valley itineraries

Discover the Guide of the province of Bologna

How to get to San Lazzaro di Savena

By car

  • Roads from Bologna: SS 9 Via Emilia up to San Lazzaro di Savena
  • Motorways from Bologna: A14 Motorway, exit Bologna-San Lazzaro di Savena from Milano/Firenze: A1 Motorway, exit Bologna-Borgo Panigale / Bologna-Casalecchio and drive along the tangenziale (ringroad) towards San Lazzaro, exit number 13 from Padova: A13 Motorway, exit Bologna-Arcoveggio, then take the tangenziale in the direction of San Lazzaro, exit number 13.

By bus

From the Bologna Bus Station, ATC Public Transport Company (for information on timetables and fares visit

  • Bus n. 19 Casteldebole-San Lazzaro (by Via Rizzoli)
  • Bus n. 90 Bologna (by Piazza Cavour)-S.Camillo/Ozzano
  • Bus n. 94 Bazzano-Bologna (by Via Marconi)-Castel S.Pietro Terme
  • Bus n. 101 Bologna-Castel S Pietro Terme-Imola
  • Bus n. 916 Bologna-Monterenzio-San Benedetto Q.-Monghidoro
  • Bus n. 918 Bologna-Monterenzio-San Benedetto Q.-Monghidoro-Loiano

By train

From the Bologna Central Station (for information on timetables and fares visit railway line railway line Ferrara-San Pietro in Casale-San Lazzaro di Savena-Imola, San Lazzaro di Savena stop.

By plane

The Guglielmo Marconi Airport is about 16 km. from San Lazzaro di Savena.
The BLQ Airport shuttle connects every 15-30 minutes the airpo


URP - Public Relations Office
Address: Piazza Bracci 1 - 40068 San Lazzaro di Savena (BO)
Phone: +39 051 6228174
Fax +39 051 6228283

Opening times:

  • Mon, Wed and Fri 8am-12.30pm Tue 8am-1pm
  • Thu 8am-1pm, 2.30pm-6pm