1st STAGE: Bologna – Rocca di Badolo (25 km)
On this first stage we pass through several natural and cultural sights, starting in Bologna, with Piazza Maggiore and Europe’s longest portico, which we walk under its 666 arches, to the Basilica of San Luca. Along the way (with a small detour) we come across Palazzo De’ Rossi, the Roman Bridge of Vizzano, and other scenic ‘pearls’ such as the Rocca di Badolo, the stage arrival.
The first stage is the least technical, has some major climbs, however, almost all of them are smooth, and has no difficult descents. However, it provides for an uphill elevation gain of more than 800 meters, many of which are also on challenging dirt road. So good training is still necessary. It’s only about 20 kilometers, so having a day, anyone can travel it, perhaps making many stops.
Length: 25 km
Height difference in ascent: 1025 m
Downhill elevation gain: 720 m
Highest point: 427 m
Lowest point: 50 m
Type of surface: mixed
There are some quite steep uphill passages, so it is best to tackle them slowly, especially if you are not very trained. In hot weather it is necessary to bring a good supply of water, because especially after Sasso Marconi there are several sections in the middle of the forest without access to water.
Municipality of departure: Bologna
Place of departure: Bologna
Municipality of arrival: Sasso Marconi
Finish location: Badolo
For temperatures May and June, however in case of bad weather – even prior to departure – you may encounter many stretches in the mud (this does not apply to the first stage which is usually well traveled)
Where to park:
In Piazza Maggiore you cannot arrive by car. Since the return trip will be by train, it is best to park near the Bologna train station and go to the square directly by walking
The Via degli Dei is a very fascinating route, retracing long stretches of the ancient Roman Via Flaminia Militare, connecting the cities of Bologna and Florence along the Apennines.
It has become one of the main tourist attractions of theTuscan-Emilian Apennines: numerous trekking and mountain biking enthusiasts retrace this piece of history while fully enjoying the unspoiled beauty of these places. The name of the trail is most likely derived from some of the localities encountered along the way, such as Monte Adone, Monzuno (Mons Iovis, Mount of Jupiter), Mount Venus, and Mount Luario (Lua was the Roman goddess of atonement).
There are many possible variants: this is the one that through a multi-day trek travels the Way in its standard route, tested by our editorial staff.
In general, the entire itinerary is challenging. Even the version proposed here, which divides it into 5 stages (as per the official route), is recommended for those who already have good training and physical fitness. It does not have overly technical passages and never becomes ironclad; there are steep sections both downhill and uphill (sometimes slippery, especially in rainy periods), however, it is still passable by everyone, even families, as long as you are already accustomed to challenging trails.