Visiting this area is all about taking a fascinating voyage through the flora, fauna and morphology of the Regional Park of the Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell’Abbadessa. Our farm is located in the heart of the Park and, accordingly, is afforded the maximum level of protection.
Situated very close to Bologna, the Park extends across the hillsides just outside the city, which are made up of Messinian chalk belonging to the geological formation referred to as the ‘Gessoso Solfifera’. At its eastern edge, the Park reaches the ravines of the Badessa Pass.
The entire area is very rich not only in the typical animal species found in hilly areas but also in rarer types of fauna, whose presence is partially the result of the specific local geomorphology. Some of the more easily spotted mammals include: the porcupine, the roe deer, the boar, the hare, the wolf, the badger and the weasel. Less easy to spot species include the Etruscan shrew (Suncus Etruscus), an insectivore that weighs a mere 2.5g and is Europe’s smallest mammal. Also worthy of note are the myriad birds that fill the air with their ‘chit-chat’: the wren, the whitethroat, the turtledove, the skylark, the green woodpecker and the Eurasian nuthatch, amongst many other delightful species. If you’re particularly lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the rare horned owl, a small nocturnal bird of prey whose presence is more prevalent in the summer.
The damp, concealed habitats in the area, such as the blind valleys and dolines – where light rarely penetrates and the temperature remains constant – have given rise to the presence of cave fauna, including numerous species of bats.
The entire area is embellished by a wealth of flora: the spring is characterised by wild orchids, prunus alba (sloe, which is used to make an excellent liqueur), and rosa canina (dog rose, which is used to make medicinal infusions). Wherever you look, there are thick oak woods, rich in plant life and vegetation.
It is our pleasure to invite you to visit this place of inestimable natural value – a land that we love and that demands the greatest of respect in order to ensure that it remains intact for the benefit of everyone.