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  • Pianoro Pianoro is in the Apennines on the south-eastern side of Bologna. During World War II the old town was destroyed and three kilometres away a new village began to be built. Still remaining of the old town are the XV century tower of the Lupari and the church of S.Giacomo Maggiore, a restored XVIII century building with a pilgrim hospital which is thought to be at least nine hundred years old. 15 kilometres from Pianoro lies the mountain 'Monte delle Formiche' (mountain of the ants), which offers a beautiful view from its summit; the name of the place comes from the great number of ants that, around the 8th of September each year (a day of celebration of the Virgin), fly to the church on top of the mountain to die. According to a popular tradition, the dead insects are preserved, blessed with holy water and given away to the faithful people that believe in the ants' healing power. The sanctuary on top of the mountain is also known as 'Santuario di S.Maria di Zena'; it is medieval and was rebuilt in 1297 after the severe destruction caused by the battles between Bologna and Ferrara, but the present building displays XVIII and XIX century renovations, together with more recent ones (1955) carried out after the severe damage caused in WWII. At the foot of the mountain of the ants is the castle of Zena; a brook of the same name flows nearby. The castle is also medieval, but with Renaissance reconstructions. In 1270, Count Guido Selvatico from Dovadola was captured by the counts of Loiano and S. Lazzaro; they kept him prisoner here until the Bolognese eventually liberated him.

    Distances from main Italian cities:
    Bologna 17Km  Milano 236Km Roma 396Km
    Closest tollgates:
    from Florence: A1 towards Bologna, exit Sasso Marconi;
    from Milano exit Tangenziale Bologna
    Statale n.65
    Trains: on the Bologna Firenze
    Taxi: tel. 051 744524, 051 776200. Taxi C.a.t. 051 534141

    Tel-Fax. 051 6529111, 051 774299
    Piazza dei Martiri, 1 - 40065 Pianoro BO

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