74 – (ITA 26) – Cusercoli – Santa Sofia


Place of Departure


Place of Arrival


Length – KM


Nation of the route



Emilia Romagna

Uphill Gap


Downhill Gap


CAI (Diff. Escurs.)




File (.KMZ) to follow the way

blue line variation for bike

The Stage

CIVITELLA DI ROMAGNA – Originally the settlement of Cusercoli was enclosed within the precinct walls, and under the possessions of the Abbey of Sant Ellero (St. Hillary) of Galeata. The place-name appears first in the record in 996 when it was part of the Church of Ravenna. Afterwards it passed under the dominion of the Counts of Giaggiolo, after have been subject to dispute between various seignories. Civitella became part of the Papa State, and marked the border with the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. At the end of the 19th century this place produced two historical figures who played an important role in Italian history: the first was a Nicola Bombacci, who in 1921, together with others founded the Italian Communist Party, the other was Leandro Arpinati who, with Benito Mussolini, born in the neighboring valley, was among the founders of the Fascist Party. Cusercoli belongs to the municipality of Civitella and lies on the left bank of the river Bidente in a commanding position over the surrounding district, between Meldola and Civitella di Romagna.

CUSERCOLI – The history of the village is tied to that of its castle, which stands in a dominant position over the village. The castle was built on the ruins of a Roman stronghold, of which only a huge dry stone wall remains visible. The distinctive rocky crags upon which the castle and village stand, was an ideal vantage point for the control of the access to the Bidente Valley, and the river itself seems forced to bend around the obstacle.- This gave way to a legend that Hercules put the rock there, as the inhabitants have always told visitors. From this situation derives the name Clusum or Clausum Herculis thus Cusercoli. The earliest medieval keep dates back to the 12th century. In the 14th century a fortified palace was added as the residence of an feudal Lord. A second precinct of walls was built to enclose the whole village.

Things to see: The Suasia Sactuary, the Church of the Castle, the Oratory of St. Filippo, The keep of Civitella, the Castle of Cusercoli. The village of Cusercoli is still inhabited and can be visited on foot, whereas the castle is at present subject to conservative restorations and is not accessible. The church was rebuilt in the18th century on the foundations of an earlier medieval church.

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We begin our journey from the centre of Cusercoli: we are in the municipality of Civitella di Romagna, and we have left the plain of the Po valley behind for good. All around us are hills and woodland near the Bidente river that gradually disappears in the depths of its natural banks. We now begin to climb along the ancient road leading to the Castle and keep. Arriving at the first precinct of walls, we turn left and enter the southern gate, descending, on the right to the base of the cliff in Via Carini which we shall follow up to the last house. Turning right and then left, we shall walk along the dirt track throughout the fields for 200 m, then we turn right and left for a further 100 m to arrive at the tarmac road leading to the Mastarsò water mill, ancient but still working. We arrive at a gravel road which climbs next to a saw mill and go on for 1 km; then turning left to take a footpath that will take us through Mediterranean bushland. Leaving cultivated fields on our left, after a first rise we descend into a first torrent which we shall ford, then tackle a second rise and ditch which again we will ford and climb up to the top of a badland cliff overlooking the river below which we see through the vegetation. Now a steep slope and yet another ford. After a short climb we shall come in full view of Castagnolo, with its church turned into a hermitage, the cemetery is abandoned, and so are numerous vacant farmhouses flanking our road down to the bridge on the river. Having gone over the bridge we come to the State Highway 4 which we follow going right walking in the fields between vine rows for 200 m: we then cross the road and go up Via Ferruccio Parri which takes us to the centre of the village CIVITELLA DI ROMAGNA; we pass by the Rocca, turn left, we cross the square to the right and take Via Bruno Buozzi, and leave it after 200 m to turn right and go to the river which we shall cross after 600 m. We now follow the tarmac for 1 km avoiding two crossroads on the right; then 400m and we turn left and we descend  to river then  an Arabic horse farm. Passed the farm we climb again to cross the farm of an agricultural estate and arrive near the church of Pantano, built 1000 years ago. We turn left and after 2 km we shall be at Galeata through the archaeological excavations of “Theodoric’s Villa”. We enter the town by Via Matteotti, then Via IV Novembre. We continue with Via Zanetti, Via 1° Maggio and Via Castellucci(SP Highway 4). The town boasts an illustrious history, manifest in its archaeological remains: Mevaniola, Villa di Teodorico, Castello di Pianetto, the Monastery of St. Ellero, Palazzo Pretorio, Pianetto its architecture and history.

GALEATA – Its earliest inhabitants were the Umbrians 6th-4th century BC the founders of Mevaniola, so called in honor of the greater Umbrian city of Mevania (today Bevagna, twinned with Galeata) After the fall of the Western Roman Empire the town was moved to the present site. That was at the end of the 5th century, when traditionally two opposed communities arose: the community of Hillary the Hermit (Ilario) called Sant’Ellero in Italian, and that of the Goth King of Italy Theodoric (Teodorico). It was in this period that the Abbey grew powerful and wealthy. Near Galeata the remains of a great elegant villa were uncovered in recent years. The house had a private thermal bath and it has been dated to the times of Theodoric: 5th-6th century AD. On the site older structures of the Roman period have also been uncovered. Beneath the Roman still older remains have been dated to the proto-historic period, presumably also belonging to a country residence. Galeata, the Mambrini Museum, born out of the private collections of Monsignor Domenico Mambrini (1879-1944) grown over the years with relics collected during various local archaeological excavations (Mevaniola, Theodoric’s villa) and from the Abbey of St.Ellero. It contains remains spanning from prehistory to the present day. The museum has been moved from the old Court House of Galeata to the convent of the Padri Minori of Pianetto- (from Archeologia Forlivese)

Let us go up to Sant’Ellero, taking the spectacular Via delle Celline, to visit the Abbey, then we shall return to our route on highway 4. After 1 km we will be in Pianetto. Following the signs we shall be in front of the church, the only Florentine Renaissance monument in the Romagna. We shall turn right to start the climb to the Castle which we shall access from the left and walking along the  walls we shall exit from the south gate. We shall then follow the fence of a cattle farm, then descending along the ancient road and we cross  the highway 4, 170m to right, then we cross highway and then take to the right the gravel road, passed a second cattle farm, then past an excellent “agriturismo” at the far end of a vineyard. Crossed a group of abandoned farmhouses, we take a long seep road, at the top of which we shall enjoy a great panorama of Santa Sofia. Descending on the left along the edge of the field we shall come to the path that take us to the ford of the river below, which marks the municipal border between Galeata and Santa Sofia. Returning now to the tarmac, we descend on the left to cross the highway 4 which we shall walk using the left had side pavement up to the Air Force Monument. Here we turn left and after 100 m, on the right, we enter Santa Sofia from the main street. The town is an ideal place for a brief stay, for its hospitality and for its cultural attractions.

Things to see in S.Sofia: The open-air museum of sculptures, the Modern Art Gallery dedicated to Vero Stoppioni, which confers a national annual award for the figurative arts. In the center the new theater Mentore, the last work of Gae Aulenti, one of the contemporary greatest architects in the world. The nearby village of Corniolo also has a Romanesque church of St Peter with a Terracotta by one of the Della Robbia.

For the description of the route see the Guide of Simone Frignani
From airport (BOLOGNA, VENEZIA, MILANO-ORIO, VERONA) to Forlì FS Railway Station From Forlì FS Railway Station with START bus route – 40 km (www.startromagna.it)
TYPICAL DISHES = Emiliaromagnaturismo
Il Posto delle Briciole Piazzale Berlinguer,3 – 47012 CIVITELLA DI ROMAGNA FC 0543-989053 www.ilpostodellebriciole.com
Pizzeria Primula Rossa Piazza XXV Aprile,5 – 47012 CIVITELLA DI ROMAGNA FC 0543-983217
Agriturismo Campo Rosso Via Comunale per Buggiana,146 – 47012 CIVITELLA DI ROMAGNA FC 380-5142609 info@agriturismocamporosso.com www.agriturismocamporosso.com
Osteria di Via Zanetti Via Zanetti,2 – 47010 GALEATA FC 0543-981063
Chiosco Il Ritrovo – Piadineria Via Castellucci,28/a – 47010 GALEATA FC 338-8420649
Agriturismo La Barroccia Località Val Di Francia 42, 47010 GALEATA FC 0543 970633 / 334 9366013 / 334 9366362 info@agriturismolabarroccia.com www.agriturismolabarroccia.it
Ristorante La Contessa  Via Nefetti 5 , 47018 S.SOFIA  FC 0543 970137 rist.lacontessa@libero.it
Affittacamere, Ristorante, Bar Nocina
It is 3 km ca. further the centre of S.Sofia toward Bagno di Romagna
0543/970287 affittacamere.nocina@comunic.it
Chiosco Fattini Ivana SP4 – 47012 CIVITELLA DI ROMAGNA FC 329-1680451
Ristorante La Rupe Piazza Gramsci,1 – 47010 GALEATA FC 0543-981774 / 338-7788587 www.larupegaleata.it
Pizzeria Butterfly(chiuso il martedì) Piazza Garibaldi, 12/b – 47018 SANTA SOFIA FC 0543 970376
Conad Via IV Novembre,6 – 47010 GALEATA FC
Conad Via Andrea Costa,43 – 47012 CUSERCOLI CIVITELLA DI ROMAGNA FC
Conad Via Sandro Pertini,9 – 47012 CIVITELLA DI ROMAGNA FC
Eurospin Via Mazzini, 2 – 47010 GALEATA FC
 Bresciani Paolo  Via Rio Sasso 10 – 47018 SANTA SOFIA   348-9918608

Bold type for structures we already used
Red type for structures we have an arrangement (with Credential*)
(*) Prices might change for special situations: please book early and ask for confirmation
In some places it is difficult to find accommodation only for one night: we suggest you to take accommodation for more nights, using, for your movements, the comfortable and cheap local trains, route Brenner-Trento-Bassano del Grappa.




Santa Sofia