Castelnovo and the iconic Bismantova Rock await Appenninica

Focus on the stage venues – The town in the province of Reggio Emilia and the beautiful “Rock” in the background are set to host Appenninica MTB Parmigiano Reggiano Stage Race again on September 30th and October 1st

The discovery journey through Appenninica Parmigiano Reggiano Stage 2020’s stage venues, scheduled from September 27th to October 3rd, continues. After Porretta Terme (Bologna) and Fanano (Modena), Castelnovo ne’ Monti also decided to replicate the 2019 experience, welcoming the Appenninica family once more. The town of the Reggio Emilia province will host two stages this year, and the start of a third one that will lead the riders to the province of Parma.

On Wednesday, September 30th, Castelnovo ne’ Monti and the “Don Bosco” oratory will be the finish area of the long-awaited Queen Stage, whose 105 km and 4300 m of total elevation gain will prove crucial for the final classification of the stage race.

Bikers will face the Passo del Saltello, Passo di San Pellegrino in Alpe, Passo delle Radici, Passo del Giovarello and Passo della Cisa before heading towards the medieval town of Sologno, from where the Bismantova Rock, an authentic symbol of Appenninica, starts to appear. The riders will continue on a technical trail from the city taking them down to the Secchia river. Once they have crossed the river, a series of switchbacks on asphalt will lead them back to the “Don Bosco” oratory to take the well-deserved rest.

But it will be especially on the following day, Thursday October 1st, when Castelnovo ne’ Monti will be in the spotlights, as stage 5 starts and finishes in the central Piazza Peretti. The first part of the route follows – in the opposite direction – a stretch of the first edition: after the first kilometers on paved road, a sequence of fast forest roads and uphill trails rise towards the Montemiscoso mountain village. A 5-km paved climb leads to the beautiful setting of the glacial-origin Lake Calamone, and from there, a long and pleasant downhill trail leads back to Cervarezza and another uphill forest road. Back to the top of the mountain, there is a short and fun downhill that anticipates some “ups and downs” on fast roads until reaching the base of the majestic Bismantova Rock, framing the last part of the course until the finish in Piazza Peretti.

The “Don Bosco” oratory will then launch the riders towards the Parma province and outside the Apennine massif on Friday, October 2nd, in the stage that will end in Collecchio. “In recent years, the practice of MTB has grown exponentially, and the territory and the ridge of the mid-Apennines offer routes appreciated by bikers from all over Italy and beyond – the Mayor of Castelnovo ne’ Monti, Enrico Bini, explained -. In Castelnovo, we are lucky enough to have extraordinary landscapes, such as the Bismantova Rock, and comfortable accommodation facilities for the bikers. The fact that Appenninica partners with Parmigiano Reggiano, the leading agri-food product of our area and excellence recognized worldwide, is another excellent vehicle for promoting the town and its agricultural sector. We look forward to welcoming the Appenninica family”.

CASTELNOVO NE’ MONTI: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Nestled in the green of three conifers, Castelnovo ne’ Monti boasts a central geographical position between the valleys of Secchia and Enza, Reggio Emilia and the Passo del Cerreto. For this reason, it is considered the capital of the Reggio Emilia mountains. The heart of the entire landscape is the Bismantova Rock, a majestic grey sandstone rocky emergency that stretches on the top of a plateau. The “Rock” is the icon of a territory that also encloses the area of the Triassic Chalks, ancient rocks that date back to the period called “Trias” (200 million years ago), and the archaeological site of Campo Pianelli.

In addition to offering an evocative scenery for trekking or jogging lovers, the territory provides a network of well-equipped trails for those who wish to pursue well being through the outdoor activity. The tracks for horses and bikes around the Bismantova Rock are also very appreciated as it is the climbing in the Rock, point of excellence of this discipline.

There’s plenty to enjoy also for the food lovers, such as the “salame fiorettino” and the mountain “zuccotto”; the first stands out for the tasty “lardelli” cut by hand while the Bismantova “zuccotto” is a typical Christmas dessert. The mountain “erbazzone” is another can’t-miss treat: a savory cake stuffed with spinach, Parmigiano Reggiano and other local specialties.

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