San Benedetto Val di Sambro
San Benedetto Val di Sambro is located in the south-eastern Apennines of Bologna and its municipality originates from the merging of two very old pre-existing ones, Pian del Voglio and Poggio dei Rossi.
The area is a well known summer resort and has several historical buildings and sanctuaries; three rivers flow near here (Setta, Lambro and Savena) and their valleys offer beautiful views.
In the village of Pian del Voglio lies the church of San Giovanni Battista and next to it the old Palazzo Comitale with a XV century tower. The building was once the property of the local family de' Bianchi and hosted members of the Medici family on their exile from Florence; another illustrious occupant of the villa was the Cardinal Lambertini, who went on to become Pope Benedict XIV.
Nearby there is also the farmhouse of the Counts Ranuzzi, with a small lake in a pleasant park.
Nearby Ripoli is home to a church dedicated to Sant'Andrea, which is first mentioned at the end of the XIV century, although its present style is late XVII century; it hosts a painting of the visitation of the Virgin which has been ascribed to Guido Reni.
The village known as Madonna dei Fornelli owes its name to the sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve (the Madonna of snow) that local people built in 1638 to celebrate the end of the plague which is featured in Alessandro Manzoni's 'The betrothed'. The fašade and the apse were rebuilt between the XIX and the XX century, and in the same period the small temple was enlarged; here we find an image of the Virgin with child painted on copper. Every year the painting is brought to the nearby Castel dell'Alpi in a procession; after eight days it is carried back again, on Ascension Day, with a great musical celebration. The Castel dell'Alpi is also worth a visit. In 1951 a landslide blocked the river Savena; a charming artificial lake was then created, and now it is a very pleasant place in which to spend a day out and sunbathe.
More recently, in 1974 and 1984, two terrorist attacks took place in San Benedetto; several innocent people were killed as they travelled on the train through the tunnel.
Distances from main Italian cities:
Bologna 44Km Firenze 79Km
from Bologna: A1 towards Florence, exit Pian del Voglio
from Florence: exit Pian del Voglio;
Trains:station San Benedetto val di Sambro Castiglione dei Pepoli
Tel-Fax. 0534 95026 - 95117, 0534 95595
Via Roma, 39 - 40048 San Benedetto Val di Sambro BO