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ITALY

Population: 58.94 million (2022)

Surface area: 302,073 km

Specialities : pasta (spaghetti, tagliatelle, penne, macaroni, fusilli, fettuccine, farfalle, papardelle, linguine, gnocchi...), sauces (carbonara, al ragu, arrabiata, alle vongole, all'amatriciana, pesto), ravioli, lasagne, pizzas, risotto, bruschetta, focaccia, arancini, polenta, cheeses (ricotta, mascarpone, gorgonzola, parmesan, mozarella, pecorino, provolone), red wines (chiantis, barolo, montepulciano, valpolicella, bardolino), white wines, sparkling wines (prosecco), meats (carpaccio, Milanese cutlets, scaloppine al limon), Parma ham, fruit, olive oil. Desserts (tiramisu, panna cotta, canello, panettone). Soups (minestrone). Spirits (limoncello, Martini, Spritz, Campari). Chocolates (Toblerone, Nutella, Venchi, Caffarel...)

Sports clubs: National football team (Squadra Azzura, 4 world titles). National rugby team. Football clubs: Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, AS Roma, SSC Napoli, Torino, Fiorentina, Sampdoria Genoa, Atalanta Bergamo, Bologna, Parma, Udinese, Lecce. 

Competitions: Summer Olympic Games in Rome (1960). Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo (1956), Turin (2006) and Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo (2026). Football World Cups 1934 and 1990. European Football Cups. Six Nations Tournament. F1 Grand Prix at Monza and Imola.

Cycling: Giro d'Italia. Milan-San Remo. Tour of Lombardy. Tirreno-Adriatico. Strade Bianche. Legendary men riders - Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, Felice Gimondi, Marco Pantani, Vincenzo Nibali, Alfredo Binda, Francesco Moser, Mario Cippolini, Claudio Chiapucci, Florenzo Magni, Learco Guerra, Costante Giradengo, Ottovio Bottecchia. Legendary women riders – Maria Canins, Elisa Longo-Borghini, Giorgia Bronzini, Elisa Balsamo.   

Festivals: Venice Carnival (February), Palio in Siena (August), Venice Mostra (cinema), Verona Lyric Festival (June-September), Taormina Arte, San Remo Music Festival, I-Days Festival (Monza), Ypisgrock in Castelbuono, Lucca Summer Festival, Perugia Jazz Festival.

Economy: the world's eighth-largest economy. Luxury goods and textiles (Gucci, Armani, Prada, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Benetton, Ray-Ban, Bulgari, Calzedonia, Max Mara, Fendi, Cerruti, Geox, Tod's, Ferragamo, Sergio Tacchini, Ellesse, Lotto, Kappa, Diesel, Kiton, Alcantara). 40 pc of the world's luxury goods are made in Italy. Food (Ferrero, Parmalat, Perfetti Van Melle, Bolton Group, Buitoni, Barilla, Giovanni Rana, Campari, Galbani, Martini, Lavazza, Kimbo, Carapelli, De Cecco, Zanetti Segafredo). Automotive (Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Pagani, Maserati, Iveco; motorbikes Aprilia, Ducati, Cagiva and scooters Piaggio. Pirelli tyres). Industry: Leonardo (defence), Prysmian (cables), Italcementi and Buzzi Unicem (cement), steel industry (Tenaris, Riva, Marcegaglia, Lucchini RS and Groupe Beltrame), Beretta, Simmel Difesa, MBDA (weapons), Fincantieri and Ferretti (shipbuilding), Mapei Group (insulation), Candy, Indesit, De'Longhi, Smeg and Zanussi (domestic appliances), Olivetti (technology), Bormioli Rocco (glass), Marazzi Group (tiles), BTP Webuild, Gavio Group and TreviGroup (construction). Tourism (cruise operators). Pharmaceuticals, banking, media. Agriculture (8 pc of GDP).

Websites: www.italia.it, www.visititaly.com.    

PROVINCE OF RAVENNA

Province of Italy in Emilia-Romagna.

Capital: Ravenna

Population: 387,000 

Surface area: 1,859 km2

Main towns: Ravenna (158,000), Faenza (58,000), Lugo (32,000). 

Specialities: fish and seafood. Piadina romagnola. Cold meats (cured ham, Romagna salami, mortadella, green crackling and coppa di testa), squacquerone (cheese). Cappelletti romagnoli (pasta stuffed with cheese). Baked lasagne. Curzoli, spaghetti al ragu. Romagna wines (Trebbiano, Albana, Sangiovese, Cagnina, Centesimino, Famoso, Pagadebit).

Celebrities: Theodoric the Great (king of the Ostrogoths). Dante Aligheri (died in Ravenna). Davide Cassani, Roberto Conti (cycling). Andrea Gaudenzi (tennis).

Tourism: city of Ravenna (see Ravenna), ceramics museum in Faenza.

Economy: tourism, ceramics, agriculture.

Website: www.provincia.ra.it

Km 0.1

CERVIA (Pop: 28,900) 

In Roman times, Cervia was called Ficocle and was located around 4 km west of the present-day city, on the edge of the salt marshes of the Po delta. In 709, Ficocle was completely destroyed by Theodoric the Great and the inhabitants took refuge in the marshes, where they founded a new city, Cervia. Legend has it that Cervia takes its name from a deer that knelt before St Bassano, Bishop of Lodi, in order to escape the hunters. This legend inspired the town's emblem, a kneeling deer. The fate of the town has always been linked to that of the saltworks, which are thought to have been exploited since Etruscan times and were used as a currency of exchange. In the Middle Ages, the city came under the rule of the Malatesta family, lords of Rimini, and in 1493 was sold to the Republic of Venice, which wanted a monopoly on salt, essential for preserving foodstuffs. Like its neighbour Cesena, the city was owned by the Papal State until 1859. Pope Innocent XII didn't like the climate of the marshes, so he had the city demolished and rebuilt in its current location. A prestigious granfondo, the Salt Way (Via del Sale), has been held every April for the past 27 years, attracting almost 3,000 participants, including former riders. At the same time, the town hosts a cycle trade show.  

Saint Michael Tower (Torre San Michele)

Built: 1691

History: Count Michelangelo Maffei, who had already built the warehouse for storing salt, had this important building constructed to protect himself against pirate attacks. Treasurer of Romagna from 1682 to 1706, Maffei was more attentive to the needs of the people of Cervia than his predecessors. Defence was the tower's main function: at the top was the parade ground to warn of attacks by brigands and looters, and to protect the precious resource of salt, which was stored in the warehouse.

Characteristics: With a square plan, sides measuring 13.5 m, a height of 22.5 m and walls 3-m thick, the tower was a real fort with numerous openings, windows and loopholes equipped with short and long-range weapons. The guards lived there and were self-sufficient, with fireplaces, outdoor water tanks, showers, drainage and other facilities. The tower seems to have been inspired by a plan by Michelangelo Buonarroti, drawn up to defend the coastal areas of the Papal State and preserved in the archives of the Reverend Apostolic Chamber.

Current destination: the Tower is now home to the Tourist Information Office.  

Salt Museum It was created by the Civiltà Salinara cultural association, which wanted to preserve the memory of work in the salt marshes. It was inaugurated in its new form in 2004 and moved permanently to the Torre salt warehouse. The museum's mission is to safeguard, conserve and present to the public the objects, images and documents revealing the salt civilisation. The museum conserves some exceptional objects, such as the burchiella, an iron boat used to transport salt, which leaves the museum every year in September to follow the old river route from the salt marshes to the warehouse. This outing takes place as part of the annual festival dedicated to the history of the town: Salt Flavour.

Km 7.5

LIDO DI SAVIO

Lido di Savio is the most southerly beach on the Ravenna coastline. Situated between the mouth of the Savio and the Cervia pine forest, it boasts more than fifty hotels.

Km 10

LIDO DI CLASSE

It is the wildest of the nine beaches along the Ravenna coastline. Dante places the entrance to paradise in the Classe forest, a few kilometres from Ravenna.  

Basilica di Sant’Appolinare in Classe

Construction: 549

History: begun by Bishop Ursicinus, the church was inaugurated by Bishop Maximian. The term "in Classe" comes from the Roman city of Civitas Classis ("city of the fleet"), which had developed around Ravenna and which Augustus had strengthened for the defence of the Adriatic. The city was partly populated by Byzantines, including Apollinaris of Ravenna, who brought together the Christian community of Ravenna and was its first bishop. The basilica of Classe was built over his tomb, but in the mid-ninth century his bones were transferred to Saint Apollinaris the New, whose central position near the palace offered greater security.

Characteristics: the church's very simple exterior walls are made of flat red bricks (48 x 4 cm), typical of Julianus Argentarius' buildings. The cylindrical bell tower dates from the 10th century. The interior has three naves delimited by two rows of 12 Greek marble columns topped with Byzantine capitals.

Listed as: UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Km 14.4

SAVIO DI RAVENNA  

Mirabilandia theme park

Opened in 1992, Mirabilandia is the largest theme park in Italy. It has a total surface area of 750,000 m2, 300,000 of which is occupied by the theme park, 100,000 by the water park and the rest by car parks and expansion areas. The park is generally open from April to October. It is divided into six themed sections and features around forty attractions.

Km 24.7

RAVENNA (POP: 155,700)

The city is world-famous for its Byzantine-style monuments, which boast an incomparable collection of mosaics from the early Middle Ages. These early Christian monuments form a whole that is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The remarkably well-preserved mosaics provide exceptional iconographic documentation of the Byzantine world from Theodosius I to Justinian. The tomb of Theodoric the Amalus, known as the Great, king of the Ostrogoths, can also be seen here. This mausoleum, built around 520, is remarkable for its dome made from an Istrian monolith, one-metre thick, thirty-three-metres in circumference and weighing three hundred tonnes. Because of the presence of these mosaics, Ravenna specialised in their manufacture and is now considered the mosaic capital of the world. Italian poet Dante Alighieri died in Ravenna in 1321. His famous tomb lies between the square in front of the church of the Convent of San Francesco and its cloister, in the historic city centre. Ravenna has hosted the Giro on nine occasions and has notably crowned sprinters such as Alessandro Petacchi (2005) and Mark Cavendish (2011).  

Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

Construction: 430 to 450

Style: Byzantine

History: the construction of the mausoleum was decided by Empress Galla Placidia around 430. The complex that became the mausoleum was originally an oratory dedicated to Saint Lawrence, martyred by the Romans. The church of Santa Croce, to which this oratory was attached, has disappeared, and the mausoleum is the last trace of it. As for Galla Placidia, she died in Rome on 27 November 450 and was probably buried in the rotunda of Saint Petronilla adjacent to St Peter's Basilica in Rome and not in her mausoleum in Ravenna.

Characteristics: This monument is world-famous for its sumptuous mosaics, which are among the oldest preserved in the city and mark the beginning of the transition between Palaeochristian and Byzantine art. The mausoleum is a small, simple and modest building, measuring 12.75 x 10.25 m, built in the shape of a brick Latin cross. The refined exterior contrasts with an interior rich in exceptional mosaics. On the vault, the mosaic cross, accompanied by the chrism (Christ's monogram), shines against a starry sky, surrounded by the Tetramorph, the symbol of the four Evangelists. This cross is a sign of Emperor Constantine's victory, following which he converted to Christianity.

Listed as: UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

San Vitale Basilica

Construction: 526 to 547

Style: Roman and Byzantine

History: the building is said to have been erected on the site of the martyrdom of a Saint Vitalis, the identity of whom remains debated. Its construction was financed by a Greek banker, Julian the Argentier, about whom very little is known, apart from the fact that he also financed the construction of the basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, around the same time. The real benefactor may also have been the Byzantine emperor himself, who saw the founding of churches as a propaganda tool and a way of strengthening the ties of certain territories with the empire.

Characteristics: the building combines Roman architectural elements (the dome, the shape of the portals, the towers) with Byzantine elements (the polygonal apse, the capitals, the brickwork, etc.). The church is of major importance as it is the only one to survive from the Justinian period and to have undergone virtually no alterations. It was inspired by the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople, built in the same years, and was taken as a model for Charlemagne's Palatine Chapel in Aachen. Only one part of the church has retained its original decoration, the apse chapel, but this part of the monument is world-famous for its sumptuous mosaics.

Special features: two large side wall panels, facing each other, flank the mosaic in the apse. They bear what are probably the most famous mosaics in Byzantine art. They depict the processions presided over by the imperial couple, Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora.

Listed as: UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Km 44.9

RUSSI (POP: 12,300)

The town boasts a history dating back two millennia, as evidenced by the archaeological site where an important Roman villa is located. Traces of the ancient medieval castle can be found in the historic centre, while the seventeenth-century Palazzo di San Giacomo, or Delizia dei Rasponi, stands on the banks of the River Lamone. In addition to the archaeological complex of the Roman Villa, there is the Antiquarium of the Roman Villa and the Pinacoteca, housed inside the ancient castle, as well as an interesting private collection of bells. Russi is the birthplace of Luciano Pezzi, who took part in the Tour de France five times between 1949 and 1955, when he won a stage in Ax-les-Thermes. He also competed in the Giro on 11 occasions, finishing 8th in 1950.  

Km 58.8

FAENZA (POP: 58,000)

The town is world-famous for the industry to which it gave its name, faience. Faenza is a town of Roman origin, dating back to the second half of the first century. It was already renowned for the production of ceramics, terracotta and linen textiles. With the fall of the Roman Empire, it went through a long period of decline, which ended in the 8th century. At the turn of the millennium, under the authority of the bishops, it enjoyed a period of prosperity and expansion that continued under the rule of the Manfredi family. After a brief period under Venetian rule, Faenza became part of the Papal States, and remained so until Bonaparte conquered Italy in 1797. Home to the Minardi Formula 1 team from 1985 to 2005, Faenza has been home to the Toro Rosso team (renamed AlphaTauri in early 2020) since 2006, when the Austrian Red Bull group acquired Minardi. Faenza is the birthplace of Davide Cassani and his cousin Roberto Conti, both professionals in the 1980s and 1990s. Winner of two stages in the Giro d'Italia, Cassani went on to become a respected commentator in Italy (where he warned of the risks of mechanical doping) before becoming the coach of the national team. He took part in nine Tours de France between 1985 and 1995. Conti took part in the Tour 11 times and won the Alpe d'Huez stage in 1994, a year in which he finished 6th overall. He also took part in the Giro 16 times, finishing 9rh in 1992. The Giro stopped in Faenza on three occasions.

International ceramics museum

The International Ceramics Museum in Faenza, founded in 1908, is one of the most important museums of ceramic art in the world. It brings together works from Italian ceramics workshops from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century, from the ancient Near East, from the Mediterranean area to the Hellenistic, pre-Columbian and Islamic periods. A vast section is also dedicated to modern and contemporary ceramics. Every two years since 1963, the museum has organised an international artistic ceramics competition, which has enabled it to add works from all over the world to its collections.  

Km 72

BRISIGHELLA (POP: 7,200)

Brisighella is an ancient medieval spa town, awarded the Bandiera Arancione label by the Italian Touring Club for its landscape and environmental qualities. Embedded in the Vena del Gesso Romagnola Regional Park, the site boasts three peaks, on top of which stand the Manfredi fortress (14th century), the Monticino sanctuary (18th century) and the Clock Tower (19th century). Its origins date back to the 13th century, when Maghinardo Pagani da Susinana had a defensive tower built on the rocky hill where the clock tower now stands, in order to control traffic from the Romagna region towards Florence. In The Inferno, Dante denounced this lord "who changes sides from winter to summer". At the beginning of the 14th century, the territory passed into the hands of the Manfredi family from Faenza, who remained at the head of the town until the end of the 15th century. In 1500 Brisighella was conquered by Cesare Borgia, and between 1503 and 1509 it became part of the Venetian Republic. This is the birthplace of Aldo Ronconi, 4th in the 1947 Tour de France, in which he won a stage and wore the Yellow Jersey for two days. The rider from Romagna also contested the Giro six times, finishing 5th in 1946, the year in which he was also Italian road champion. He died in 2012 in Faenza, where he ran a cycle shop

Km 85.7

RIOLO TERME (POP: 5,760)

Until 1957, Rio Terme was known as Riolo dei Bagni (Riolo the Baths), in reference to the thermal baths that are its main tourist attraction. Two Riolo Terme natives took part in the Tour de France. Umberto Drei took part in the 1948 and 1953 Tours, but his greatest success was in the Vuelta, where he won four stages in the 1950 edition, finishing fifth overall. Elio Festa took part in the Giro three times and the 1985 Tour de France. The Giro d'Italia visited the town in 1963, with Nino Defilippis winning the stage.  

Riolo thermal baths

The Riolo thermal baths, built in 1870, are nestled in the hills of the Romagna region in a vast, centuries-old park. Its waters and fine mud have analgesic, relaxing, remineralising, anti-inflammatory and revitalising properties.  

METROPOLITAN CITY OF BOLOGNA

Replaced the province of Bologna in 2015

Capital: Bologna

Population: 1.1 million. 

Surface area: 3,703 km2.

Main towns: Bologna (390,000 h.), Imola (70,000 h.), Casalecchio di Reno (36,500 h.), San Lazzaro di Savena (32,500 h.)

Specialities: al ragu sauce, Bologna mortadella, tortellini in brodo, cotoletta alla bolognese, zuppa Inglese (dessert).  

Tourism: Bologna Trade Fair, National Music Museum. Arcades. Towers of Bologna. National Picture Gallery. Il Vecchione (31 December).  Bologna Children's Book Fair (spring). Bologna Jazz Festival (September). Bologna Design Week. Bilbolbul (comics). Unesco World Heritage Site for the Portici.

Economy: agriculture (vegetables, cereals), pig and cattle farming, SMEs in the food sector. Fruit and wine. Automotive sector with Lamborghini and motorcycling with Ducati. Foundries, heavy and precision engineering plants, small and medium-sized subcontracting, craft and electronics companies. Ceramic factories.

Website: www.cittametropolitana.bo.it

Km 98.7

IMOLA (69,000 INHABITANTS)

Imola, whose rich history is illustrated by the Sforza castle and its cathedral, is best known for the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit, a venue for the Formula 1 world championship. Imola also made its name in recent cycling history with the organisation of the 2020 Road World Championships, marked by Julian Alaphilippe's demonstration of strength ahead of Wout van Aert and Marc Hirschi, while Filippo Ganna took the time trial title. In the women’s competition, Anna van der Breggen won both titles. Imola has also hosted the Giro four times, most recently in 2018 when Sam Bennett won, and the Italian championship four times (Sonny Colbrelli won in 2021). Among the riders born in Imola, mention should be made of Diego Ronchini, who took part in two Tours de France, but above all shone in the Giro, finishing 3rd in 1959 and 5th in 1963 after wearing the pink jersey for ten days. Luigi Sarti took part in the Tour in 1962, while Roberto Pelliconi competed in the Giro and Vuelta on several occasions between 1990 and 1996. Marco Vergnani also took part in three editions of the Giro between 1996 and 2000.  

Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit

Opening: 1953

History: the circuit hosted an F1 race for the first time at the 1963 Grand Prix of the City of Imola, a non-World Championship round. F1 returned to Imola for the 1979 Dino Ferrari Grand Prix, organised as a test for the 51st edition of the Italian Grand Prix, which had been moved from Monza, which was then under construction. The success of the race, won by Nelson Piquet, prompted the FIA to create the San Marino Grand Prix in 1981, leaving Imola on the calendar. The circuit's history was then marked by several serious accidents, including those which led to the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger on the same weekend in 1994. Imola lost Moto GP in 1999 and F1 in 2006. Major works were carried out in the autumn of 2006 and F1 made its return to the circuit in 2020 with the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Characteristics: Imola, which is 4.9km long with 19 corners, is one of a minority of European circuits where you turn anticlockwise. Originally, it was a fast and demanding circuit: in 1985, several competitors ran out of petrol in the run-up to the finish.  

Sforza Castle

Built in the 13th century.

Style: Medieval and Renaissance.

History: the castle has been home to Nicolas Machiavelli, Catherine Sforza, Caesar Borgia and Leonardo da Vinci, among others. Built in the 13th century for the Sforza family, the fortress was used as a prison from 1524. It now houses a rich collection of medieval and Renaissance weapons and ceramics.

Characteristics: the fortress is a magnificent example of medieval and Renaissance art. The gateway with its lancet arch and the keep with its prisons, the magnificent ground floor rooms and terrace, as well as one of the old rectangular towers incorporated into the south-east corner tower, remain from the medieval period. Restored in the 15th century, the castle now has a square layout with four corner towers and a central tower.  

Km 108.2

DOZZA (POP: 6,560)

Dozza is typical for the many paintings that adorn the facades of its houses and give it a distinctive appearance. The Biennale of Painted Walls is one of Dozza's most important exhibitions, with famous national and international artists creating permanent works on the walls of the town's houses. Since ancient times, Dozza has also been known for its fertile soil and wines, and today the fortress showcases some of the most prestigious local wines. Dozza hosted the Giro in 1993.  

Dozza fortress

Construction: 14th century.

Style: Medieval and Renaissance.

History: the buildings underwent numerous modifications over the centuries. In the second half of the 15th century, Caterina Sforza rebuilt the fortress on the remains of a Bolognese castle dating back to 1250, transforming it into a Renaissance castle. Following Cesare Borgia's entry into Imola in 1499, the castle and the fiefdom of Dozza were ceded to Cardinal Nunzio Campeggi, who began extensive alterations to turn it into a place of diplomatic representation. In 1728, the feudal rights were transferred to the Malvezzi family, who lived in the fortress until 1960. Since then, the castle has been opened to the public and converted into a house museum.

Km 111.3

CASTEL SAN PIETRO TERME (POP. 20,740)

Castel San Pietro Terme lies on the border between Emilia and Romagna and is renowned for its spa, 18-hole golf course and racecourse. The town's name derives from its Roman basilica, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul in the early days of Christianity. The castle was built in 1199 by the municipality of Bologna, which at the same time erected several fortifications on its borders. In 1509, Bologna came under papal rule once and for all, and Castel San Pietro lost its military function. Thermal treatments at Castel San Pietro date back to 1337, although the first proper spa was built in 1870. The thermal baths at Castel San Pietro use sulphurous, sodium chloride, bromine and iodine waters. Every year, Castel San Pietro Terme plays host to one of the major events on the Italian amateur calendar, the Coppa Varignana.  

Cassero (castle)

Construction: 1199

Style: medieval.

History: the Cassero is the building that gave rise to Castel San Pietro, as a rampart to defend the territory of Bologna. Initially built of wood, it was transformed several times to suit the needs of its occupants until the early 1500s, when Bologna and Imola came under the authority of the Papal State and Castel San Pietro definitively lost its military function. Today, the Cassero (from the Arabic 'qasr', castle, Roman castrum) is a massive structure adorned with ghibelline battlements, the result of various interventions.

Current use: the château has been used as a theatre since the 18th century and was renovated in 1830. It was used as military quarters during the First World War, and was struck by lightning in 1916, necessitating further renovation. Another major renovation was carried out between 1970 and 1980, when a stepped metal structure was installed for the interior. The most recent restoration took place in 2007, when the theatre took on its current appearance.  

Km 123.6

OZZANO DELL'EMILIA (POP: 14,000)

This town on the outskirts of Bologna is built on the site of a Roman city founded in 187 BC on the Via Emilia and named Claternae, which was completely abandoned shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire. It is currently the subject of archaeological excavations and has been dubbed the "Pompeii of the north" due to the wealth of discoveries made there. There is a small museum to help you discover the site. Ozzano dell'Emilia is the birthplace of Italo Mazzacurati, who took part in the Tour de France three times between 1962 and 1965.

Km 129.2

SAN LAZARO DI SAVENA (POP: 32,630)

 

Between the 12th and 13th centuries, a lazaretto (from which the town takes part of its name) was built outside the town of Bologna to isolate the sick and limit the spread of epidemics. Urban development grew up around the hospital, and the town became independent during the Napoleonic era in 1810. Following the economic boom of the 1970s, San Lazzaro di Savena gradually became one of the most densely populated municipalities in the province of Bologna (doubling its population between 1961 and 1971), somewhere between a dormitory town in Bologna and an industrial town (La Cicogna industrial estate). San Lazzaro is the birthplace of one of the greatest Italian skiers of all time, Alberto Tomba, three-time Olympic champion (twice in the slalom and once in the giant), winner of the World Cup in 1995 and of the slalom and giant World Cups on four occasions. His 50 World Cup victories make him the fourth most prolific skier behind Ingemar Stenmark, Marcel Hirscher and Hermann Maier.  

Luigi Donini Prehistory Museum

Located in the heart of the city, the museum is housed in a former convent and houses a vast collection of artefacts from the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Ages. The museum is divided into three sections: the prehistory and archaeology section, the ethnology section and the natural sciences section.

Km 137.9

PIANORO (POP: 17,600)

The site's occupation by Etruscans and Celts is attested to by archaeological finds at the Monte Bibele (Monterenzio) site. Boniface II of Tuscany, who owned a large part of the territory in the 11th century, resided in the castle of Pianoro, which was destroyed by the Bolognese in 1377 on charges of conspiring against Bologna. During the Second World War, the steep nature of the terrain and its location just north of the Gothic Line meant that the Savena Valley was the scene of fierce fighting and intensive bombing, resulting in the destruction of almost the entire town. Born in Pianoro, Aldo Canazza took part in the Giro seven times and the 1932 Tour de France.

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