Landmarks and P.O.I.
A trail is not just a way to reach a destination. But it's a path that crosses thousands of big small worlds that alternate within it, creating an unforgettable experience as a whole. For this reason, the Via della Lana e della Seta will give you a journey within a journey: a (re)discovery of ancient traditions, landscapes, stories and more.
Whether you decide to walk the path from Bologna to Prato or from Prato to Bologna, the trail will have a lot to show you. From its wild nature, to the most recent history linked to the Second World War, from the world of sacred art to impressive evidences related to industrial archaeology... and much, much more!
Here are our suggestions of the places you shouldn't miss:
Bologna & surroundings
Piazza Maggiore - Bologna
Welcome to the heart of Bologna! Piazza Maggiore dates back to 1200, when the Municipality began to acquire houses and land to build a square to highlight the importance of the institution and to bring together the various city activities (exchanges, trade and services of various kind). From the sixteenth century it took its current name, to then be called "Vittorio Emanuele II" after the expulsion of the Austrians in 1944. From 1945 onwards, the square and the surrounding area returned to their original name: Piazza Maggiore!
Sasso Marconi & surroundings
Ponte di Vizzano - Sasso Marconi
Locals like to say this is their "Brooklyn Bridge" and we like that definition!
Its origins could date back to the Romans: it is assumed that the road that connected Rome and Florence to Bologna passed through here. Due to wars and vicissitudes the bridge was destroyed several times until it was rebuilt in 1949 to allow the inhabitants of the area to cross the river and the children to go to school easily!
Grizzana Morandi & surroundings
Casa Morandi was built in the late 1950s and became a museum when Maria Teresa Morandi, the younger sister, donated it to the Municipality of Grizzana as long as it was kept in the same state in which it was, and that it was made available to visitors. Today it is a small museum where everything has remained as it was left, including objects and family memories, devotional images on the walls, the clothes in the wardrobes, the bunches of postcards including one sent by Sandro Pertini in 1960, the brushes, the tubes of paint, the jugs and the jars
Castiglione dei Pepoli & surroundings
The border lands
Originally part of the feudal lordship of the Counts Alberti of Prato and Mangone, for a whole series of vicissitudes it was given to a Bolognese family: the Pepoli.
With them Castiglione acquired its current name and also its appearance changed, with fortifications and infrastructures aimed at territorial control.
During the nineteenth century, Castiglione dei Pepoli developed and prospered. Also thanks to improved roads and the large flow of trade between Bologna and Prato.
Tuscany & Val di Bisenzio
Rocca di Cerbaia and the Middle Ages
Probably built at the beginning of the 12th century to guard the "Lombardy road" and home of the Alberti Counts, La Rocca is one of the symbols of the valley.
In 1361 Niccolò Aghinolfo degli Alberti was the last count of Cerbaia and in that year the manor was sold to Florence, which first fortified it and immediately afterwards set up a military garrison, demobilized during the fifteenth century.
It is said that Dante Alighieri, on his way to Bologna, arrived at the fortress seeking for refuge. However, Count Alberti refused and the legend tells that Dante was hosted by a shepherd in a house now in ruins, located at the foot of the fortress.
Prato & surroundings
The Cavalciotto represents one of the most important examples of industrial archeology in the Prato area.
Its consolidation over the centuries meant that, as well as for drainage, irrigation and defense purposes, it was used as a source of hydraulic energy capable of running from the initial 58 mills to many other productive activities, such as metallurgy, paper, and above all textiles.
Along with the Chiusa di Casalecchio it closes the circle of the path of water and industrial archeology, the fascinating recurring theme of the trail!