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  • Salvatore Fuda

Park of the Sassi di Roccamalatina(Modena Apennines)

The "Parco dei Sassi di Roccamalatina" protects 2,300 hectares of land lying on the hills of the Modenese Middle Apennines made up of ancient chestnut groves, woods and crops, in the center of which the arenaceous spiers of the Sassi stand out. A wide biodiversity of habitat concentrated in a small space, allows the presence of a variegated flora and numerous fauna species, scattered over a wide variety of environments that add value to the protected territory: from the chestnut groves of the mountain areas to the uncultivated clayey low hills , from the riparian woods of the river banks to the karst phenomena of the caves and sinkholes, from the hillside cultivations to the small medieval villages.

Over 100 kilometers of trails can be used by visitors on foot, on horseback or by bike.

The itineraries of the Park offer a wide range of choices: from simple walks of a few minutes to hiking trails of a few hours through narrow gorges, woods, cliffs, clearings, crops, chestnut woods and rural agglomerations. There is no lack of short via ferratas or paths with regulated access that cross the areas of greater protection.

The itineraries are classified with progressive numbering from 1 to 12 (besides the variants). This classification, necessary to give an order to the hiking network, does not imply the obligation of a rigid choice between one Itinerary and the other, on the contrary it allows the user / hiker the possibility to "customize" the usability of the Area. Protected by also generating routes suitable for your time, training or interest needs, while remaining on the official tracks.

Roccamalatina and the village of the Sassi

The name of Roccamalatina originates from a noble family, the Malatigni, who dominated a fairly large part of the territory between the 12th and 14th centuries. The town, halfway between Guiglia and Zocca, owes its fame to the Sassi, the imposing sandstone spiers that dominate the Panaro valley. The Borgo also houses the Park Visitor Center.

The Sassi, impregnable natural strongholds, have hosted fortified settlements since ancient times. Perhaps already during the Byzantine domination they constituted a cornerstone of the defensive line prepared by the army against the Lombards.

At the foot of the Sassi the pretty Borgo dei Sassi (Rocca di Sopra) is perched at the foot of the Sasso della Croce. Here you can see well-preserved buildings with portals of the '300 and' 400 and the Oratory of the Madonna dei Sassi, with bas-reliefs of the '400. On the altar of the Oratory there is, in a niche, the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary considered by the population of Roccamalatina to be the protector of the town.

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