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Interesting points inside the Sassoguidano Reserve

Contact Environmental office c/o Municipality
Address Via Giardini, 192 41026 Pavullo nel Frignano MO
Telephone 0536/ 29933
Fax 0536/ 20125

Last update 13/09/2014 (ref.3282)
by the local editorial office of PAVULLO nel FRIGNANO
presso Ufficio Informazione Turistica del Comune di Pavullo nel Frignano
Via Giardini, 3 - 41026 - Pavullo nel Frignano (MO)
Telefono: 053629964 - Fax: 053629025

From the bottom of Lerna valley, at 360 m. above sea level, one goes up to the Cinghio di Malvarone,( 722 m. above the sea level), whose rock walls, covered with a sporadic vegetation, exceed an hundred meters. The steep and inaccessible walls present the colours of the Miocenic limestones: the less altered parts are light brown - yellow, while those more exposed to the atmospheric agents, are dark gray. The thick network of fissures, crossing the outcrops, gives origin to ledges, protuberant dihedrons and indentations, favouring the detachment of rocky blocks, which accumulate at the foot of the wall, forming thick detritial layers. These fissures (called also faults) are the discontinuities, along which the karst disintegration works, widened them progressively. On the walls and in the heaps of detritus, at their foot, the red valerian and the "stellina purpurea" grow, at the end of May. Evident guano flows, coming from the most sheltered niches on the walls, show the presence of birds of prey's nests. - At the bottom of a small grassy sinkhole, bordered by small chestnut and oak woods, the Sassomassiccio pond lies. On the branches of the old white willows, growing along the shores and in the water, one can recognize the yellow patina of the Xanthoria spp. and other lichens, the showy groups of fungus, and the marks of the woodpeckers, looking for some larva. In April - May, appear the first white, rosy flowers of Hottonia palustris, whose leaves form a thick floating carpet where, on the arrival of some tourists, the frogs hide, breaking off, for a while, their croaking. - The Sassomassiccio oratory dates back to the XI-XIII centuries. From 1690, the monk Antonio Francesco (that is Vincenzo Muzzarelli, the head of the Estensi militia, who entered the monastery at the age of 49) dwelled here for about thirty years. The Franciscan friar, who is buried inside the oratory, mended it, and settled there to pray and to repent of his sins, living on the charity of the villagers, who visited him. The dirt road, leading to this building, is lined with old chestnuts. Below the panoramic plateau, overlooking the Panaro valley, one can find some swallow-holes, hidden in the oak woods, covering the versant. - In the neighborhood of the stream, the bleak landscape of the clayey slopes makes room for a more luxuriant vegetation, which hides stony houses, abandoned for some time. One of these ancient rural compounds, can be met on the bank of the stream, surrounded by hazelnuts, cherries, and hygrophile vegetation. High, on the right, one can see the Sassoguidano small church, overlooking the below wall, where the rocky outcrops alternate with oak woods. Westwards, one can admire the Cinghio di Malvarone (also the birds who nest there can be seen). In the background, one can enjoy the suggestive view of the near gorge. - The Sassoguidano church, dedicated to S. Paolo, was built in the XIII century, probably over the ruins of an old castle. This simple building presents a bell tower with square basement, and a beautiful portal in sandstone, surmounted by a triangular architrave, engraved with old inscriptions. From the churchyard, one can enjoy the wide panorama of the Panaro valley, and southwards, where the Appenine chain rises, on clear days, one can even distinguish the Monte Cimone. Two big Turkey oaks stand on the border of the churchyard, while on the rock at the base of the building, broom shrubs, erpine pads, and plants of "vescicaria maggiore" grow. - From one side of the Sassoguidano bell tower, looking at the foot of the rocky wall covered with a thin oak wood, minor maples and flowering ashes, one can distinguish the "Torre", one of the best preserved rural compounds of the zone. Its structure, characterized by a courtyard, was settled during the XVIII century, but a part of its buildings already existed, such as the tower, from which the toponym comes from. This rural compound includes a small oratory,