Spend half a day exploring the panoramic Apennine foothills above Maranello and Spezzano with this circular itinerary, with sweeping views from some sections, on country paths with short sections on busy roads.
The route, perfect by bike or on foot for fitter visitors, can also be followed by car to reach the three points of interest.
The itinerary also passes through some of the less well-known scenic spots in the foothills. The 13th-century lookout and defensive tower known as the Torre della Strega (“Witch’s Tower”) dominates the view over the Spezzano valley and the plain and was once part of the system of hillside fortifications created by Countess Matilda of Tuscany, linking the ancient castrum of Spezzano Castle, now a Renaissance palazzo with fine frescoes, to Maranello Castle. Since these strongholds were very close together, a lantern signalling system could be used to ensure close control of the area.
The fortifications of Montegibbio and Maranello can be seen from several viewpoints along the route.
Exit Maranello towards the hills on Via Fogliano, which leads to the fascinating Torre della Strega (near Agriturismo Villa di Là). Proceed to Fogliano church and continue along Via Fogliano, then cross Via Nirano to join the Percorso Natura trail down the River Fossa/Spezzano, and take Via del Castello to Spezzano Castle. Via del Castello leads gently uphill from the car park behind the Castle walls to Via Fogliano, completing the circular route at the Torre della Strega.
This itinerary is quite long (about 15 km) on foot, but has no technical difficulties. Times are: 2h min (Bike); 4h 30 min (Walking)
Follow your route on Google to make sure you don’t get lost and find out what you are seeing in real time: 4 – Fogliano, Torre della Strega and Spezzano Castle