The Route of the Gods is a very charming itinerary, which covers long stretches of the ancient Roman Via Flaminia Militare, connecting the cities of Bologna and Florence along the Apennines.
It's one of the main tourist attractions of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine: many trekking and mountain biking lovers trace this piece of history fully enjoying the pristine beauty of these places. The name probably derives from some locations that are encountered along the way, such as Mount Adone, Monzuno (Mons Jovis, the mount of Jupiter), Mount Venere, Mount Luario (Lua was the roman Goddess of Atonement).
There are many possible variations: this is the one that runs standard by Mtb, tested by our editorial staff.
In general the entire route is challenging. Also this version, which is divided into 5 stages (as provided by the official route), is recommended for trained bikers with good technical and athletic preparation.
2nd STAGE: Badolo - Madonna dei Fornelli (26 km)
Technical description: The second stage is more oriented to the central part of the path that becomes increasingly steep and goes into the woods.
The departure from Badolo includes a first part of climbs that alternate between roads and trails up to Monzuno - through Brento and Mount Adone - where then begins the most wooded part that alternates between dirt roads and single tracks in the woods with really beautiful views. This part is still sufficiently doable, even with challenging climbs.
The climb towards the Poggio Mount Venere is quite challenging but still doable by bike. Stage finish in the village of Madonna dei Fornelli.
In general, this stage begins to have some more technical climbs, and some more challenging single track through the woods, although there aren’t very difficult stretches. The more important climbs are still doable riding for those who are fit. The path provides a difference in height of 1300 meters, some of which are on challenging dirt roads, so you need a good preparation.
It is only 26 km long, so having a day anyone can do it, but doing a few stops.
Technical tips: There are some fairly steep climbs, so you should deal with them slowly, especially if you are not well-trained. In hot weather it is necessary to take a good supply of water, especially after Monzuno because there are several sections in the woods with no access to water.
Recommended period: For temperatures, in May and June, but in bad weather - also prior to departure - you will meet many traits in the mud (this does not apply to the second stage which is usually in good conditions).
The Pliocene Spur is the set of rocky cliffs made of sandstone that winds for about 15 kilometers, as a natural rampart, between the valleys of Setta, Reno, Savena, Zena and Idice rivers, in the province of Bologna, in the municipalities of Monzuno, Pianoro and Sasso Marconi. The Spurs rocks are the result of sand and gravel sedimentation transported by the Apennine streams within a marine gulf that, in the Pliocene (between 5 and 2 million years ago), interested a large part of the actual Bolognas Apennines. Due to the raising and lowering of the sea level (due to glaciations and deglaciations), there were several sedimentation cycles in centuries. Therefore, today, all these rocks are rich in marine fossils, in particular shells, but also mollusks, fishes, and marine mammals.
Located in the Bologna Apennines, in the extreme southeastern part of the municipality of Sasso Marconi, the mountain rises to 654 meters in a panoramic an extraordinary setting. Its summit, reachable from Brento, presents some significant natural attractions, such as the Caves of the Fairies, Grotticella and Cunicolo Pozzo. The mountain is cut by a long train tunnel - actually called Mount Adone Gallery - about 7 km long, which joins the Savena valley and the Setta valley.
The small massif of Mount Venere (Venus) is located in the middle-high Bolognas Apennine, on the watershed of the Savena and Sambro streams valley. Fully included in the municipality of Monzuno, a village built on its slopes, the mountain has two summits: Mount Venere (965 m) and Poggio Mount Venere (822 m), a little more northward.
City of departure: Sasso Marconi
City of arrival: San Benedetto Val di Sambro
Arrival: Madonna dei Fornelli
Length (Km): 26
Type of Itinerary: Half Day
Difference in height (m): 1609
Difference in downhill (m): 1154
Highest point (m): 936
Lowest point (m): 375
Duration (h.): 5