Route C3 leads through the green surroundings of the Romagna hills, immaculately tended thanks to their fertile soil and abundant water. When the route turns onto via Sonsa the vegetation suddenly changes, becoming wilder.
The route follows the Rio Salso, a small stream that reveals all this area’s special character, with its abundance of sulphur, chalk, limestone and fossil-rich sandstones. The 7 precious types of spa water used in the refurbished Fratta Terme Spa Centre, a gem of rationalist architecture, also flow from this land.
Reaching the Colle Pallareto ridge, the gaze can range over wonderful views of the distinctive Romagna landscape with its signature clay cliffs.
Also along the route is the Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace, Casticciano) which dates from 1619.
Just off the route is Polenta with the ancient Pieve di San Donato (Church of San Donato), which features in a poem by Carducci that recalls how the exiled Dante Alighieri was given refuge by his friend Guido Da Polenta and doubtless stopped to pray in this church.