1h 30′

4,3 km

Difficulty rating: E

The Matilda Trail (SM) starts from the railway station of Ciano d’Enza, the main town in the municipality of Canossa. Follow the red and white trail north along Via Val d’Enza (SP 513) and smaller streets until you reach the junction at Vico with path 640 that leads to the nearby archaeological site of the Roman Luceria, the castle of San Polo d’Enza and the Monastery of Montefalcone.

Past the village of Vico, with its seventeenth-century tower-house, and the town’s sports centre (with campervan area), continue on the SM through the Rio Vico valley that rises from the natural amphitheatre formed by the gullies below the castle of Canossa.

Proceed along the dirt road that runs past fields cultivated with forage crops and small woods. After crossing two small fords, the trail leaves path 646 C that continues along the valley bottom directly to Canossa, to follow a wide trail that rises up to a long ridge reaching the village and castle of Rossena, atop lava rocks.

The view stretches out over clay hills and the Po Valley, taking in the castles of Guardasone, Rossena and Canossa. The trail continues through the village of Rossena with its castle, past the Rossenella tower and a rest area with a water-fountain, tables, public toilet facilities and food outlets. Ignore path 640 on the right that leads to Selvapiana (where there is a small temple dedicated to the poet Petrarch) and path 650 for Braglie, and follow the SM along the provincial road SP 54 and continue until shortly before Casalecchio where the trail goes down to the left and returns to the Rio Vico valley.

Once crossed the small Vico river and path 646 C, the route rises back towards the village of Riverzana, joining the Ducati Trail.


campotreraThe “Rupe di Campotrera” Regional Reserve, which is part of a Site of Community Importance of the Natura 2000 network, is characterized by lava rock. It can be reached from Rossena by taking the SP 54 towards Ciano, then taking path 662 that forms a loop. If you take path B 662 you can close the loop by going down to the village of Cerezzola then taking the cycle path built along the seventeenth-century Ducal Canal to Ciano.
The Ducati Trail goes from Quattro Castella to the Passo del Lagastrello and from there to  Luni. In the territory of the Reggio Emilia province it runs up the Enza river valley, the former border between the duchies of Modena and Parma. This area features  several mills, some of which are still working, as well as interesting villages such as those in the Tassaro valley, linked to the Da Palude family that were vassals of the Canossa Counts.