Things to see & do when you are here


  • Parmesan cheese
  • making pasta
  • tasting wine in the cantina
Emilia Romagna is known as the gastronomic capital of Italy with many famous food and wines. 
Parmesan cheese, Parma ham, Balsamic vinegar, Lambrusco, truffles, porcini mushrooms are all local produce. 

We can arrange a tour of a parmesan cheese 'latteria' or perhaps you can visit the balsamic vinegar showroom in Modena.  You can also visit one of the local 'cantina's' to sample local wines or perhaps arrange to make some local Italian dish with one of our restaraunts.

You can visit the local market (Thursdays) or shops for the freshest home made produce.

Italian Immersion

If you are learning the Italian language there are plenty of opportunities for you to practice. Talking to the neighbours, visiting the shops and market, going to the gelateria or bars.... everyone is very friendly.

Enjoying the Beauty

castle tower

There are rivers and rock-pools where you can paint, or have a refreshing dip on a hot summer's day.   You can walk through the fields of wild Apine flowers, admire the grapevines, paint the orchards, meander through the marvelous meadows, or sit in silence to watch the animals.  There are castles and old rustic buildings, churches and sheds... 


woman on top of Bismantova

We can organise walks as part of your holiday.   There are many beautiful walks from the house, and there are many other way-marked routes to explore. Some offer dramatic mountain views and others along routes of geological interest, botanical interest or even to places of historical interest.   We can go as a little group or else we can give you maps and guidebooks if you prefer to explore on your own.

Horse riding

Three people horse trekking in a field

We can thoroughly recommend going horse trekking with a local stables.
They will take you around the glorious countryside on their beautiful horses.

Appennino horse trekking

Farm animals

  • two cows munching hay
  • goats
  • girl feeding a horse
  • three donkeys
  • free hens
  • happy pigs
  • two beautiful horses
We can visit a nearby 'farm'.  Well it is more of a passion really!  The owners keep animals such as goats, cows, hens, horses, donkeys and pigs in a very natural and caring environment.   It is just as if it was 100 years ago!

You have the opportunity to see how healthy and well the animals are when properly cared for.  You can use the opportunity to sketch or take photos to paint.  If you want to learn how to draw and paint animals it is ideal.  (You can see where famous illustrators and writers found inspiration for animal characters!)

You can see how the cows are milked by hand.  The cheese is made.  The horses can pull a traditional wooden carraige for a special occasion, and the donkeys are being trained to carry rucksacks so they can accompany walkers.

This is a very special place.  

Monte Cusna

  • view from Monte Cusna
  • Two men ready to get off the chair lift

The little ski resort of Febbio is 20 minutes away, and from there you can take the chair lift up to Monte Cusna .  At 2121m you are main on the ridge of the Appennino with stunning views over Tuscany in one direction and Emilia Romagna in the other.

Febbio 2000

Rock pools and waterfall

  • Waterfall.  Cascada di Golferone
  • Cascata di Golferone.  Waterfall
  • Rock pool, Secchiello
  • Interesting geology
  • Woman with Bisantova rock in the background

Not far from the house there are a series of rock pools and the 15 m "Cascada di Golfarone" waterfall.

This is an idyllic location to sketch have a cool dip in a summers' day. 

Cascate Lavacchiello


  • Man climbing
  • four people with 'zyper Y' equipment

For the more adventurous perhaps.....The Bismantova mountain has a dramatic south facing rock face

with over 200 bolted routes which offers climbers an amazing 'playground' with wonderful views.
There are also a few 'Via Ferrata' nearby and we have equipment if you wish to try these.

There is a local company with Engslish speaking guides which can take you to try climbing, the Via Ferrata or gorge walking.


Italian Cookery

  • three people making pasta
  • Two women making pasta

Our neighbour Manuela, who lives in the 'house in the woods' offers Italian cookery extravaganzas. They are more than just lessons. They are a unique Italian culinary cultural experience.

City Day Trips

  • Pisa, the field of miracles
  • Florence
  • Porto Venere

We can organise day trips to Florence, Pisa, Parma, Bologna, Modena, Mantova or other famous Italian cities within driving distance.

National Park of the Giant

Mountains in autumn

This national Park is one of the greatest successes in Italy, having protected the environment so that there is an abundance of natural flora and fauna. Man and nature live in sympathy with each other. The orchards, vegetable gardens, fields and vineyards are carefully husbanded. Woods are coppiced and there are many wild animals and birds to be seen. Deer, wild boar, wolves, roe, butterflies, dragonflies, fireflies in June, and many types of birds. There is also an abundance of wild flowers virtually all year round. It is a nature lover's paradise!

Villa Minozzo

Pool at Villa Minozzo

Villa Minozzo is a  market town is only 10 minutes walk from Casa Appennino. The amenities are first class and it has everything you could want from an Italian town, especially on market day which is Thursday. There are bars and supermarkets, restaurants, and a beautiful open air swimming pool, and a sports centre. There are many festa's here, all summer long, from choirs to impromptu singing evenings, food festivals, dancing, and so on. There is always something you can join in with the local Italians.

Villa Minozzo also has many murals throughout the town which makes it very 'arty'. 

Villa Minozzo is famous for having kept alive the tradition of 'Maggio' a particular form of dramatic folk art spoken and sung in a local dialect (July and August).

World War 2

  • War Memorial
  • War memorial

During the war this area was particularly strong with the Partisan resistance to the Nazi's - and the locals still tell tales of those times. There is a museum in Villa Minozzo which chronicles the events of WW2 and there are many monuments to the bravery of the partisans and the locals who were killed in reprisals.

The Bismantova Rock


This is a spectacular limestone rock which rises about 1,000m above sea level and dominates the landscape. It is spectacularly beautiful and you can climb to the top in 20 minutes. The top is flat, about 1 km square with 360' views of the surrounding landscape . Mentioned by Dante and with an ancient little church built into the rock it is a 'must see' when you are here.


  • Musicians, one violinist, one accordianist
  • parade

There are festa's every weekend from Spring through to Autumn, and then regularly through the Winter too. Music, Dancing, the Fiat 500 rally, and always, always, food and wines!

Pampering & Yoga

  • woman doing yoga
  • Shiatsu massage

Mariapaula is our personal 'pampering person'. An Italian masseuse and beautician who will come to the house to give a massage, manicure, pedicure, or whatever you wish, to have that all-round holiday experience. There are also extensive spa facilities at a 'country house' just a short walk away.

Food and Wine

Rose prosecco

Emilia Romagna is known as the gastronomic capital of Italy with so many famous food and wines. Parmesan cheese, Parma ham, Lambrusco, truffles, porcini mushrooms and so on. There are plenty of 'food experiences' from visiting the local 'latteria' or 'cantina' to seeing the parmesan being made, to joining in the weekend festas.


Carpineti Castle

You might be interested in exploring some of the many castles of Matilda Di Canossa. Her story is fascinating in that she was a famous female ruler of vast lands in the 16th century (check). She fought with her armies on behalf of the then Pope Gregory. She and Pope Gregory VII instigated great changes for the Catholic and church, and she is remembered with a large sculpture in St Peters in The Vatican.

Matilde di Canossa

Children & Cycling

  • purple aliums
  • Boy and girl on cycles

Apart from all the natural playground such as rivers and mountains, trees, fruits to pick, nuts to gather etc. there is also the local open air pool which has a toddler pool too. A good day out for children is Cerwood adventure park.


Winter sports

chair lift over snow

'Settimana Bianca' (Snow Week) is the name of the traditional Italian winter holiday. We have often gone on a 'ski holiday' in which not everyone skis, so we really like the idea of 'snow week'. You can ski, snow-board, cross-country ski, sledge, build snow-men, go on snow shoes, walk, take beautiful photos, or just chill out in front of the wood burning stove with a good book and a glass of wine.


snow scene

The first full moon of January offers a magical experience when we go on a 'Ciaspolata'. A snow shoe walk under the full moon and stars. A truly amazing experience.

Shooting Stars

shooting stars

In August the clear nights and unpolluted skies make it easy to see the shooting stars of the Perseid at night. They are called the 'Tears of Saint Lawrence' here in Italy, and the frequency of sightings increases until the 10 -12th August when you can see (almost) one per minute .