LOCAL HISTORY: PIANORO


Pianoro lies along the main road to the Futa pass.

Castello di Pianoro is mentioned in an historical document dating back to 1009. The castle stands on a hill-top one kilometre south of Pianoro Vecchia to the right of the Savena river and served to defend the important road link between Bologna and Florence.



In 1377 the castle was razed to the ground by the Bolognese who accused the people of Pianoro of conspiring against them as they had offered hospitality to enemies plotting against the papal government.

One kilometre before Pianoro Vecchio, there is a tower, Torre dei Lu-pari, built in the fifteenth century.
The building has two stories and an inner courtyard enclosed on three sides with a beautiful fountain bearing the words: COMODITALI PUBLICAE PRECARIO, indicating the source in a powerful noble family of the time.
Rebuilt after the war, Torre dei Lupari is a round tower with a spiral staircase leading to the upper floors and a window at the top to protect the outside entrance.


At the foot of Monte delle Formiche stands another castle, Castello di Zena, named after the river flowing nearby. The castle was mentioned in an 1177 document and its present architecture recalls the style of the XIV and XVII centuries.
In 1270 Count Guido Selvatico di Dovadola was imprisoned there after falling into the hands of the counts of Loiano in a battle at San Lazzaro and then freed by the Bolognese. Also part of the castle is Torre dell’Erede, built higher up in the XIV century as a look-out tower.


 

Monte delle Formiche is located 15 km from Pianoro. On its hill-top rises a sanctuary, Chiesa di S. Maria di Zena known as Monte delle Formiche, the hill of the ants, a church of Romanesque origin but rebuilt in 1949.
The place is famous for an event occurring every year on 8th September, the Feast of Our Lady, when swarms of flying ants reach the top of the hill to die against the outside walls of the church where they are collected, blessed and distributed to the faithful.

Musiano is an ancient hamlet on the site of the Abbey of St. Bartholomew owned by the Bologna diocese.
In the grounds of the church is the Chapel of the Neri family where the world renowned neurologist Vincenzo Neri lies buried.
The present-day parish church of St. Bartholomew and adjacent abbey date back to 981 built with the help of Counts Adalbert and Bertilia. Many other donations were given to the church including a gift from Marquis Boniface of Tuscany, father of Matilda of Canossa.
Benedictine monks lived at the abbey in 1307 followed by the Celestine order in 1493 remaining at Musiano until 1652.
The church complex was destroyed during the last war and rebuilt in 1950.

As you enter the church, an urn is displayed, found intact among the ruins of the church. Popular legend has it that the vessel has the power to cure or prevent headaches by placing your head in its wide opening.

According to tradition, the urn may have been one of the jars containing water turned into wine by Jesus at the marriage of Cana and was taken to Musiano during the Crusades.


Another object of interest is the wooden statue of Saint Bartholomew dating back to the XIII century. An inscription in the arch of the Chapel reads: in the year 1701, building the chapel for the urn, the ancient statue of saint Bartholomew was found in the wall and is venerated here.

 

In the hills between the Reno and Savena rivers in the Bologna municipality on the border of Pianoro lies Castell’Arienti. The locality is mentioned in documents dating back to 1493 when the palace there was sold to Paleotti.
Drawings of the building show a single palace with a high portico on the front and two lower U-shaped wings.
Outside was a water tank placed in one of the columns forming the main entrance in the upper façade of the palace.

A separate building helda stable for horses and another two stables for cattle, a dovecote, a portico joined to the east and a deep well adjoining another stable. Alongside the palace was an Oratory built on the model of the Chruch of Our Lady in Loreto.
The building, already unstable in 1726, was carefully restored in 1939 only to be bombed in the last war.
 

 

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