The history of these places, fascinating and mysterious at the same
time, is rich and characterized by captivating and significant aspects.
This territory, including the whole area surrounding Corno alle Scale,
has been settled by man since the Neolithic Age, as it is demonstrated
by the several objects and documents found. The mysterious inscriptions
on the rock and the microliths dating back to the Iron and Bronze Ages
are only some evidences.
The territory is rich not only in historical-architectural features, but also in minor aspects, like some ancient traditions which have partly survived till present days: the stone heads on the walls of the houses, with a good wishes purpose and locally called "mummies", the most important religious buildings (Madonna dell'Acero Sanctuary, San Rocco Oratory, Delubro di Lizzano), the production buildings (rural houses and mills, like for instance the Mill of Capo di Poggiolforato), and the civil buildings (ancient villages), are only some examples of how men have left a lasting sign of their passage.
Madonna dell'Acero Sanctuary, one of the most famous sanctuaries of Appennino bolognese, is one of the greatest expressions of popular religiosity animating these mountains in the past. The sacred building is situated at the edge of a large grassy plateau facing Dardagna Valley.
Further information (Italian text)
Five thousand hectares of Park for the highest summit of Appennino bolognese, a massif of almost two thousand meters characterized by well-evident sandstone strata (from which the name "Scale" derives) like the silhouette of a book leaning against the beech forest.>>>
Flock of sheep and herds of wild horses have grazed for centuries on the gentle western slopes of Corno, famous today for the winter sports and known in the past as Alpe di Rocca Corneta.>>>
Punta Sofia (1,939m), surmounted by a big metal cross, is the northernmost summit of Corno; you can reach the other two summits, Corno alle Scale (1,944m) and Punta Giorgina (1,927m) with no effort if you walk along the ridge. Towards the east, the slope is rather steep and characterized by the arenaceous stratifications (the so-called "scale" of Corno), almost orthogonally crossed by the narrow tracks going down the lines of maximum slope; these tracks are the first elements of the hydrographic network which, at the foot of Corno, conveys the waters towards the valley bottom, shortly covering a difference in height of approximately 1,000m from the summit to Segavecchia.>>>
Budiara meadows, almost reaching the end of the road climbing from Vidiciatico, were in the past important grazing lands for the cattle and were known as Alpe di Budiara.>>>
Cavone glacial cirque is the most evident example of the Park glacial morphologies. The cirque was shaped during the Würm age, the last glacial period of the Quaternary (between 70,000 and 10,000 years ago), by a glacier developing between Corno and Nuda, whose erosive action formed a marked basin.>>>
The stream springs from the large basin, partly shaped by ancient glaciers, set between Corno alle Scale and Mt. Spigolino, where the different water branches cross hilly and grassy slopes and then join immediately upstream the waterfalls, giving birth to a rich watercourse entering the thick beech wood.>>>
Mt. La Nuda raises itself in the north of Corno alle Scale, separated from the latter by Vallone Pass. Its bare summit is dominated by blueberry formations and stony grasslands where rare rocky species grow.>>>
The small artificial lake collects the waters of rio Piano coming from Cavone glacial cirque. It is surrounded by a beech wood, where you can find some picnic areas; among the beeches there are specimens of rowan, which can be easily recognized in summer for its showy groups of red-orange fruits, while the tributary area is dominated by willows and herbs usually growing in wet places, like common butterbur and cow parsley.>>>
Dardagna waterfalls and valley are among the most beautiful and characteristic places of the Park: surrounded by beech trees, they house several rare herbaceous and fungal species, as well as wildlife species typical of the Apennines. The first fall is easily accessible from Madonna dell'Acero, following the trail mainly developing along a forest road.>>>
Before the current asphalt road was built, the 16th century sanctuary was surrounded by woodlands along the trail leading to the high-mountain grazing lands and Strofinatoio Pass; it was a place of worship not only for shepherds and woodsmen, but also for the several pilgrims who used to come from the nearby valleys to worship the Lady of the Maple Tree, known for her miracles, as witnessed by the several ex-voto preserved inside the church.>>>
The slopes of this mountain are characterized by the blueberry heath broken by grassland stretches or by the ski slopes. The blueberry formations are more evident in autumn, when the blueberry leaves color large stretches of the basin red.>>>
Mt. Pizzo is the last stretch of the long chain which from the main ridge, near Strofinatoio Pass, develops northwards and includes Corno alle Scale, La Nuda, Mt. Grande, and Le Tese.>>>
The spectacular ridge of Riva Mountains marks for a long stretch the border between Corno alle Scale and Alto Appennino Modenese Regional Parks and has been for centuries a border area and a theater of disputes and military actions. Today, after several struggles, the beautiful mountain spur has become a peaceful place, destination of pleasant hikes offering several points of geological and naturalistic interest and beautiful views.>>>
The pass, known in the past as Calanca Pass, was one of the busiest medieval ways of communication; the current place name began to be used at the end of the 18th century, when the pass became the contact point between the territories of the Papal State, the House of Este, and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.>>>
Often concealed among the big clouds coming from Tuscany, the pass, marked by another boundary stone, was called in the past "dei Mandromini", because it delimited the grazing lands of the Grand Duchy cattle.>>>
The place name Poggiolforato (meaning "pierced mountain"), together with a gravestone in the town and a few traces scattered throughout the territory, is what remains of daring waterworks, whose description can be found in some historical documents of the Senate of Bologna.>>>
The pass, that has represented for centuries the border between Papal State and Grand Duchy of Tuscany, was also used by the exiles of the struggles between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines and by smugglers of salt and other products which at that time were subject to customs duties (according to the tradition, this would be the origin of the strange place name).>>>
The saddle, surrounded by large conifer reforestation areas and dominated by a huge beech tree, is the crossroads of many trails. The ancient dirt road crossing it, leading from Segavecchia to Pian d'Ivo, is also known as "Via dei Signori", whose name probably derives from the foreigners who used to go along it in the Middle Ages to reach Tuscany.>>>