Going by the name of Serra de Legorzano in the past, Serramazzoni was simply an uninhabited place on the border. In fact nobody lived here until after the construction of Via Vandelli in 1749 and Via Giardini in 1776. During the Middle Ages it was famous for the village of Monfestino, an important defensive outpost thanks to its splendid castle of which the remains can still be seen today.
Why it’s worth a visit
Popular in the summer, not only with Modena’s inhabitants, Serramazzoni is the perfect choice if you want to spend your days hiking, cycling, relaxing and making new discoveries. More than 120 trails for walking and mountain biking take you through all the interesting places nearby where, as well as incredible natural sights, you will come across fascinating medieval villages and ancient castles. And if you just want to chill, you can spend a pleasant hour or so in the peace and quiet of the pine wood next to the town.
Serramazzoni Pine Wood
Just a stone’s throw from the town square, Piazza Tasso, is the town’s very well-known wood of pine trees, popular in the summer with locals and visitors alike. Its many facilities include a playground for children, mountain bike trails, a football and 5-a-side pitches, a beach volley court, areas for relaxing, wellbeing trails, an Adventure Park and drinking fountains to quench your thirst.
Typical local delicacies here in Frignano include unique flavours and specialities linked to mountain traditions such as traditional crescentine flatbreads and borlenghi pancakes. There is also an abundance of typical products too, like mushrooms, chestnuts, and other excellences including Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese also made with milk from the Vacca Bianca Modenese breed of cattle, farmed locally and also famous for its excellent quality meat.
A scenic route takes you to the wonderful medieval village of Monfestino, just 4 km from Serramazzoni. The heart of this place is the ancient castle overlooking the valley of the River Tiepido which has obviously influenced its history.
Faeto is also 4 kilometres from Serramazzoni, at the end of a road that takes you up to 869 metres a.s.l. Surrounded by centuries-old oaks, woods and chestnut groves, it is a spectacular village with amazing views.
Another enchanting visit for those who love medieval villages is Pompeano, dominated by its ancient castle that was built on a rock with underwater volcanic origins, complete with a grotto called “Grotta Tassoni”.
Varana Sassi - Campodolio
Just a few hundred metres separate the villages of Campodolio and Varana Sassi, both 10 kilometres from Serramazzoni. Here you can see two outcrops of ophiolite serpentinite, rocks of underwater volcanic origin of great geological importance.
The church of Santa Maria Assunta in the village of Rocca Santa Maria
This is one of the oldest and most beautiful churches in the Modena Apennines and it was mentioned as early as 971. Built between the eighth and ninth century, in 1108 it was donated to the Bishop of Modena by Matilda of Canossa. It stands on an impenetrable crag overlooking the picturesque valley of the River Fossa.
The Witches’ Rock
Following the steep path not far from the church of Rocca Santa Maria, you will come to the Sasso delle Streghe, the “Witches’ Rock”, a calcareous monolith containing hundreds of marine fossils and standing about 9 metres tall inside a dense wood of downy oak trees.
In “Bucamante” valley, between Monfestino and Mount Cornazzano, Bucamante Waterfalls are a group of medium sized cascades of water on the Rio Bucamante, the most important tributary of the River Tiepido. This is a very beautiful place linked to a curious legend.
The Borre Waterfalls are cascades along the Rio delle Borre, whose source is to the north of Serramazzoni. Some are even 20 metres high, but given the lack of a path and due to the thick vegetation, this is not an easy walk.
The Old Rose Garden Museum in Montagnana
The Old Rose Garden Museum in Montagnana di Serramazzoni is a collection of more than 800 varieties of roses covering 43 hectares. The Serra Ronda This is a 60 km circular route that takes in 10 little villages in Serramazzoni. It can be covered in either direction, clockwise (orange arrows) or anti-clockwise (black arrows) and is the perfect way to explore the local area.
Via Vandelli provided a vital link between Emilia and Tuscany and it was named after Domenico Vandelli, the works supervisor during construction. With time, due to its winding bends and steep gradients, it has become disused and today only a few parts remain of it in the woods in the Upper Apennines and the chestnut groves that cover the northern slope of Faeto called “Carbonara”.
Read the itinerary for Via Vandelli.
When to come
Serramazzoni is the ideal place to spend a pleasant summer. It is also worth a visit in late spring and in the warm early days of autumn.