Madonna dei Fornelli, a Village out of time
Madonna dei Fornelli is a typical Apennine village. It was born as a holiday resort, developed around a road, and became a point of reference for La Via degli Dei. Today the country holds the tourist impact of low cost and alpine refuges offering tourists and vacationers a protected environment, genuine and typically Emilia.
Stoves, furnaces and hearths
The toponym "fornelli" refers to the presence of charcoal burners that lit up in the small woods fires to slowly burn the wood and obtain coal. According to others it would derive not from Foculus, that is small hearth, but from the word Fornax in reference to a furnace or a crater. One could therefore also hazard the hypothesis that in this place, at the time of Imperial Rome, there were some kilns from cooking or lime.
A gold medal for Father Bernardino Father
Bernardino was born in Madonna dei Fornelli on January 24, 1905. He became the priest of Ancona, during the war he saved his life to the rabbi Toaff, from 1951 chief rabbi to Rome, giving him shelter in the cellar of his parsonage. For this reason in 1948 he received from the Mayor of Ancona the gold medal for merits contracted to his great humanity. A process has been ongoing for his beatification.
The "pietra serena" of Firenzuola
The pietra serena is typical of Tuscan architecture and was used by the Etruscans and Romans. It is a gray sandstone particularly used in architecture and is characteristic of the Firenzuola area. Along the way you can see these striated banks usually of considerable thickness: they are rarely less than 50 centimeters and can even reach a few meters in height.
The mystery of the bones
The origin of the name "Piana degli ossi" comes from an error. In the past, in fact, the local peasants, while they were on the ground, found small white fragments, round with shapes that could remember those of the bones, animals and humans. In reality they were pieces of limestone, residues of a large plant of six lime kilns probably dating back to the II century BC.
When you get to Monte Poggiaccio here is a first real destination: half of the path or at least the approximate equidistance between Bologna and Fiesole (to which you must add the stretch of Florence). It is worth a pause in this plain, probably a place of stop and military camp since ancient times.
The military Flaminia in numbers
The discovered and documented route of this ancient road built by the Roman legions is about 24 km, from Monte Venere to Monte Poggione. It is a ridge road but is 10-20 meters lower, well sheltered from the wind. It has characteristics typical of an official road: it is linear, has a constant width of 2.40 m (corresponding to the Roman measure of 8 feet) and it can be calculated that for each meter have been used about 25 quintals of sandstone. Info: www.flaminiamilitare.it
The green flower of the Apennines
The name of this flower comes from the Greek Helleborus or "killing nourishment" in reference to the poisonousness of the rhizome and roots. In ancient times it was thought that its root cured madness. In this area usually Helleborus viridis, green, is composed of five sepals that take on the petaloid aspect; looking at them you think of delicate flowers, actually bloom in the coldest moments of the year often under the snow.
5 Km of Gothic Line
In 1944 on the Futa Pass the Germans built a complex system consisting of forts equipped with turrets with guns, artillery posts, reinforced concrete casemates, shelters in the gallery and observation points to protect the sides of the pass, all accompanied by an anti-tank ditch of more than five kilometers, with extensive minefields all around. Near the village of Santa Lucia there are traces of that great defensive system: the anti-tank ditch, two bunkers for cannons, two underground and two completely exposed.
The largest Italian German cemetery
The German Futa cemetery is the largest of the twelve Germanic military cemeteries in Italy. It has almost 33,000 bodies and remains a reminder of a war that has hit the Apennines hard. Designed and built in the 1960s (until the 1950s, Germany could not build cemeteries in war-torn countries) is an example of landscape architecture. In fact, its spiral shape seems to be screwing towards the monument to memory, surmounted by the symbolic "splinter".