This majestic mountain is one of the most unique mountains of Reggiano Appennins and it is over 1000 meters high. The Bismantova Rock is located in the village of Castelnuovo ne’ Monti, less than half an hour drive from our inn and it looks like a plateau with steep sides and a flat top. Because of its small size and its location in the hills of Reggio Emilia, separated from other mountains, the rock has acquired a growing reputation attracting the attention of tourists and becoming a Site of Community Interest.
The Bismantova Rock has been, over the years, a sacred place and the base of a Byzantine military structure, but it still is not clear where its name came from. If was mentioned for the first time in a document from 1062 in which is called “Petra de Bismanto “, but the current name will be mentioned by none other than Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy Purgatory.
This characteristic mountain is about 15 million years old, and it grows to a length of 1 km, a width of 240 meters and a height of 300 meters. Given its structure, the stone houses different types of vegetation: from wooded areas to areas only covered by shrubs, up to debris areas. It is this variety which, along with its unique shape, make Bismantova so interesting for hikers or less experienced walkers.
Various EU funds have made possible the realization of a project called “SHINING Mountains”, which stands for “Sport and Health as an Innovative Initiative for the Growth of Mountains”. This made it possible to realize and classify 6 trails around and on the stone, which allow you to enjoy beautiful views and observe the stone from different angles. All routes are accessible to families and without special equipment.
On all sides, the Bismantova is dotted with interesting points to be discovered, as the large boulders of the south eastern side used for the sport of bouldering, or the 1 km long landslide on the north eastern side with the appearance of a stony, or the field of Pianelli which has given hospitality to pre-historical camps dated even 2500 years ago. You can also visit the 1617 church, with frescoes dating from the fifteenth century among which we find the Madonna di Bismantova, while in the northern edge you can find the remains of the Castrum Bismantum from the Byzantine era.
[Sources: Wikipedia, Parcoappennino.it, Bismantova.it]