San Prospero is located about 24 km north of Modena. Its name comes from the primitive church built there to honor St. Prosper (San Prospero) during the time reclamation projects were being carried out by the Benedictine monks of Nonantola (likely around 1017).
Why it's worth a trip
Some of the most beautiful and characteristic historic villas of the river valley around Modena can be found in San Prospero, which is also where Modena pears and Sorbara Lambrusco are produced.
Sites you won't want to miss
Villa Tusini Park
San Prospero’s Villa Tusini Park can be reached from either Via Viazza or Via della Pace. A central path divides the park into halves, and a network of winding trails take walkers in various directions through the thick vegetation. The forest itself is home to a wide diversity of plant life and environments.
Good things to eat
San Prospero is also where Emilia-Romagna PGI (protected geographical indication) Pears are produced. In fact, the Emilia-Romagna Region is the European cradle of pear production, which received PGI designation from the European Union in 1998. Since 2006, a part of San Prospero’s pear crop is sold throughout Europe under the name, “Pera Tipica di San Prospero.”
From San Prospero it’s easy to reach the other towns and villages north of Modena, including by bike.
See https://www.piste-ciclabili.com/comune-san_prospero or, for the nearby Secchia Bikeway, see https://www.piste-ciclabili.com/itinerari/987-ciclabile-della-secchia-mn-mo.
Cyclists can also take the Ville di San Prospero bikeway which affords a view of the many villas and historic buildings in the San Prospero area. You can download a map of the bike path here (in Italian). The villas are private and not open to visitors, but their diverse styles of architecture, typical of this part of Italy, can be appreciated even from outside. Look for dovecote towers, traditional country-villa designs, lodges, and open courtyards. Sadly, many of these structures were damaged in the 2012 earthquake.