LAGONI-ASFODELI ROCK CLIMBING AREA | EMILIA ROMAGNA REGION
The Asfodeli rock climbing area is located south of the city of Parma and near the bouldering area of Lagoni. The climbing site is located in an area not well know for climbing since there are not a lot of cliffs. The wall has a little over 25+ routes on a sandstone wall. Sitting in a tranquil location it is a nice break from the more popular climbing areas and a great stop over point as you travel from Liguria to the northern regions.
PIETRA DI BISMANTOVA ROCK CLIMBING AREA | EMILIA ROMAGNA REGION
Bismantova is located in the hills south of Reggio Emilia and is a large sandstone mesa that dominates the area. I first climbed here in the 90's, the quality of the sandstone was surprising. However, I found out quickly that it was not an area to climb at when the sun is overhead. Luckly there are plenty of sectors all the way around this unique rock formation, facing each cardinal direction, that can be climbed based on weather and time of day. The routes tend to technical and the holds very demanding on the fingers. The better routes are polished and you will need idea conditions to climb at the grade listed if you are trying to onsight.
The Hills of the local area are beautiful and there are several off the beaten path tourist attractions, that make this a nice two to three day climbing location. Also, nearby is the bouldering area of Ceriolo. The Pietra di Bismantova is mentioned by Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy (Purgatory, IV, 25-30).
Separating the north and south of Italy is the Emilia Romagna Region. The region has are many major cultural centers with their own history and traditions and has a strong economy and market base, it is ashamed it is such an overlooked region. Rich with the history of Parma, Modena, Bologna, plus the towns of the Ravenna, Forli, Cesena, and Ferrara that will stun you with the amount of art and history to see.
The Emilia Romagna is one of the most fertile and productive regions of Italy. Thanks to the rich soil deposits from the many rivers crossing the region to reach the with the Adriatic Sea and the mild coastal climate. The diversity between the mountains and sea offers visitors to Emilia Romagna breathtaking views and a vibrate sub culture of music, cinema and art appreciated nationally and internationally.
WHAT TO SEE IN THE EMILIA ROMAGNA REGION
Many who love the combination of sun, sea and entertainment choose the Romagna Riviera. It possesses the longest beach in Europe, and is where visitors flock to enjoy its sport offerings and leisure facilities. Towns such as Rimini, Riccione and Cattolica are well outfitted for touristic reception, emphasizing relaxation and fun. Furtherfrom the coast, the beautiful landscape of the Apennines makes the region ideal for bike touring, off-road running, or trekking. In the area between Parma and Piacenza make a visit to the splendid parks and wonderful nature reserves.
Both culinary and artistic methods found themselves on the fertile soil of this land, and their roots run deep.
This is the land of Verdi’s novels and Giovanni Pascoli’s poetry, as well as Fellini’s unmistakable cinema - a director who became a legend through his many masterpieces that come to life in this, his native region. In Emilia Romagna, one can enjoy amazing views anywhere, and the list of places to choose from is endless.
The Maiolo bouldering area is a small group of sandstone bloc's that sit in the hills southwest of the Republic of San Marino, in the Emilia Romagna Region. The boulder problems are marked by name, and most are single problems with one obvious solution, not eliminators. The landing area is safe, but in the warmer months the site tends to get overgrown, so keep an eye out for snakes and ticks. There are 50 blocs listed by the locals but during my visit I found almost 20 good sized blocs with solid problems. The rest of the blocs are small and "if I have nothing better to climb" type of blocs. If you are visiting the Republic of San Marino or Rimini, and like to do a few problems, Maiolo Bouldering area is worth the visit. As well if you passing near Rimini and need a rest stop this is a great visit off the main tourist trek with lots of extras to visit.
GETTING TO THE MAIOLO BOULDERING AREA
The town to head toward is Rimini. Then link up with the A-14 autostrada section running between Bologna and Rimini. You will want to take the Nord Rimini exit and follow SP-49 south to San Martino di Mulini. From here turn south on SS- 249 (also marked as SP-14 in some sections) to the town of Ca' di Vento. Just after Ca di Vento turn following the signs to Maiolo (SP Montefeltrese) passing through the small community of Maiolo and then turning left to Boscara. You will park at the intersection of via Poggio and walk to the bouldering site.
Rimini is a very lively and popular coastal town and seaside resort on the Adriatic sea to the east of the Emilia-Romagna region of central Italy. Rimini is known as a beach and seaside holiday destination. More than 15 kilometres of beautifully maintained sandy beaches are close to hand and Rimini is said to be the largest beach resort anywhere in Europe. This is something of a transformation over the last 100 years since Rimini first became popular because it was such a small and traditional seaside town!
It is not just during the summer that Rimini is crowded - even out of season you will find a lot of people travel from afar for the famous nightlife in the town, and in the summer it is more or less a 24 hour party and beach town. A substantial part of the coast is lined with hotels, restaurants and nightclubs catering to pretty much any type of late night activity you can think of - and probably a few you haven't yet thought of!
Despite the general liveliness, Rimini is still popular with families just as much as the 18-30 type crowd. The resort is especially popular with Italian holidaymakers, but you will hear many other nationalities as you walk along the seafront. Note that many parts of the beach do charge for access and you can easily pay 20 euros a day for a space with two loungers and an umbrella. There are also plenty of related amusements along the coast, especially amusement parks and aquariums, wildlife and water parks. This all means that the town and coast is very crowded during the summer holidays, and pretty quiet the rest of the time.
Rimini was almost destroyed during the Second World War. It does however retain an attractive old town centre with a few notable sights that is well worth exploring as a break from the hedonism along the seafront. In particular explore the narrow, cobbled streets around the two main squares - Piazza Cavour and Piazza Tre Martiri - to see the best of the original buildings, including some Roman remains - the Arch of Augustus and the bridge, Ponte Tiberio - and the grand townhouses around Piazza Cavour.
The most interesting building in Rimini, and the one with the most fascinating history, is the Tempio Malatestiano. Originally a church, it was transformed in the 15th century into a monument to Sigismondo Malatesta. The converted monument is finely decorated, especially with the intertwined initials of Sigismondo and his fourth wife, and exotic pictures of elephants. Pope Pius II didn't take kindly to all this, since Malestata was best know as a particularly despicable person - incest, rape, murder, adultery and pillaging were his specialities - and promptly burned an effigy of him and consigned him to hell. The temple contains some fine artwork, including a fresco of Malestata himself.
The town of Rimini is known as a "good time place", a sunny seaside resort (probably the most popular one in Europe) with a touch of charm. It's famous for its 15 km long (nearly 9.5 miles) sandy beaches which offer 230 lidos. These are organized like tourist villages and every year provide novelties for guests. There are also over 1,000 hotels, ranging from the fairytale Grand Hotel to small family run B&Bs and 11 theme parks. But deep inside, Rimini is still Roman Ariminum, an art town with a history of over 22 centuries. Within walking distance from the restaurants on the beach and the "street bars" in front of which people dance all night, you will find absolutely fascinating art masterpieces.
During the morning, the best place to be is on a beach in Riccione or Cattolica.
Afternoons are perfect for a driving or cycling tour of the castles in the foothills, such as Verucchio, Torriana, or Montebello.
The evening adds charm to the alleyways and vaults of the local medieval towns with a view over the sea, for instance Monteﬁore Conca, Mondaino, or Santarcangelo.
Varied as the landscape around Rimini Province may be, ranging from sandy beaches to beautiful hills topped by picturesque art towns, it shares the same history: it was the heart of the ﬁefdom of the Malatesta family.
Let's start with Cattolica: its beaches are crowded with tourists coming from all over Europe, but few of them know that it also has an important museum, the Museo della Regina, appreciated by children as well as adults. It contains an archaeological section and a maritime collection including several scale models, from tiny reproductions to huge maquettes representing all kinds of vessels, from Renaissance barges to Sigismondo Malatesta's cog, down to the motor trawlers of our time. Cattolica is also home to one of the few theatres built after World War II: it's the Teatro della Regina on central Piazzadella Repubblica (the local meeting point), designed by Pierluigi Cervellati.
The most popular spot in Riccione is the legendary Viale Ceccarini. A few steps away there is the Museo del Territorio (admission free, closed Sun). It is an archaeological museum holding interesting relics excavated from Riccione and its surroundings and dating from prehistory to the Roman era. Speaking of museums, must-sees are the Museo di Saludecio e del Beato Amato (in Saludecio) and the Museo della Civiltà Contadina in Valliano, part of the municipality of Montescudo.
Saludecio is about 15 km or 9,3 miles inland from Cattolica. In the 13th century, this small village of aristocratic palaces and one-storey houses was home to the Blessed Amato Ronconi, venerated like a saint. The sanctuary and the museum of religious art (Museo d'arte sacra) dedicated to him are housed in the local parish church, which looks more like a cathedral given its size and artistic content.
Montescudo is 18 km (or about 11 miles) from Rimini, strategically situated over the Valconca valley. This village, whose origins date back to the time of the Celts and Etruscans, features a medieval tower and a well-arranged collection of folk traditions.
Just outside Cattolica you will find San Giovanni in Marignano, locally known as the place where witches would meet on their sabbath nights. Its Teatro Comunale Massari is a small but elegant 19th-century theatre with lovely decorations, which hosts several plays and shows.
It is impossible to give a full list of the castles, fortresses and manors around Rimini. Some of them are haunted by ghosts, like that of Azzurrina in Montebello. Others, such as the castle of Mondaino, are full of conduits. Must-sees are the two imposing fortresses built by the Malatesta family in Monteﬁ ore Conca and Verucchio. The first holds extraordinary frescoes, while the second is perched on a rock spur, which grants a breathtaking view over the valley below and down to the sea.