The Via Bibulca

The Via Bibulca

The Via Bibulca (Bi-bull Road) takes its name from the fact that in ancient times the path was wide enough to allow two oxen to pass. The road was used by the Frignati tribe who often went as far as Lucca and Pisa to pillage, and also by the ancient Romans, which organised the area efficiently.

The pilgrimage route of the Via Bibulca follows the original path that from the vast Secchia Valley took travellers to San Pellegrino in Alpe. The route is a combination of muletracks, paths and proper roads, some of them still with the ancient paving and some even asphalted. It unfolds across clay and sandstone landscapes typical of the central Emilian Apennines. The area surrounding the ancient road changes continuously on its journey up the Apennine ridge and is morphologically interesting and with different geological and naturalistic features.

The itinerary starts in Ponte Dolo, which is just above where the Dragone and Dolo rivers meet.

The path leads to the village of Montestefano, where the fields are still cultivated and the landscape is sloping. Once past the village the route climbs steeply to the Oratorio di Madonna delle Grazie, and then all the way up to the village of Montefiorino, located on the natural window of the ridge with beautiful views.

A short diversion leads to Rubbiano and the Pieve di Santa Maria Assunta. This Parish Church is said to be very old. In fact this was one of the first sacred buildings along the Via Bibulca in the province of Modena.

Framed by the most beautiful of landscapes, the church represents one of the best expressions of Romanesque architecture in the province of Modena.

Past Montefiorino, the via Bibulca starts its most panoramic tract, coasting along the watershed of the Dolo-Dragone rivers.

More impressive views are to be admired to the east, with the mountains of Alpesigola, Sassotignoso against the backdrop of the imposing Mount Cimone. In this area the landscape changes: the hilly-vegetation changes into typical woods of oaks and chestnuts.

The itinerary gradually unfolds along the Dragone Valley and reaches Frassinoro. After a stop in this delightful and important village of the Modena Apennines to visit the Chiesa di Santa Maria e San Claudio, built on the ruins of the Abbey, the route continues towards the higher peaks in the direction of Madonna di Pietravolta. The surrounding landscape changes once again; here it is characterised by beech woods and layered sandstone formations.

The route then reaches Colle del Morto where it crosses the Sentiero Matilde. The path reaches the watershed which divides Tuscany and Emilia and enters the Parco del Frignano. When the Via  Bibulca reaches the Santuario di San Pellegrino in Alpe it meets the Sentiero Matilde, Sentiero Italia,

Sentiero Spallanzani, Via Vandelli and the Grande Escursione Appenninica (GEA) (Great Apennine Trek).

HOW TO GET HERE

Take the A1 motorway and exit at Modena Nord, and then take the road to Sassuolo.
In Sassuolo take the SS486 road towards Passo delle Radici until you reach Ponte Dolo.

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