Pennabilli - Upper Valmarecchia nature trail. "Childhood of the world" is a path dedicated to Tonino Guerra.

"Childhood of the world" is a path dedicated to Tonino Guerra.

Departure: Associazione Culturale Tonino Guerra (Tonino Guerra Cultural Association)
Arrival: Orto dei Frutti Dimenticati (Garden of Forgotten Fruits)
Difference in altitude: 150 m
Length of route: 9.5 km
Journey time: about 3 hours.
It was realized by the Municipality of Pennabilli with the contribution of the Upper Valmarecchia Mountain Community and the Emilia Romagna Region.

1. Tonino Guerra Cultural Association
2. La roccia di Tonino (Tonino’s rock)
3. Il Santuario dei pensieri (The Sanctuary of Thoughts)
4. L’Angelo coi baffi (The Angel with the mustache)
5. The Nature Museum of the Sasso Simone and Simoncello Park
6. Ca 'Gaudia
7. The Canaiolo
8. Villa Maindi
9. Ca' Fanchi
10. Molino Donati (The Donati Mill)
11. The Torrigino
12. L’orto dei frutti dimenticati (The garden of forgotten fruits) 

1.    Associazione Culturale Tonino Guerra (Tonino Guerra Cultural Association)

This is a place that is particularly full of charm which captures your attention and leaves you breathless, a museum devoted to the works of the poet and screenwriter Tonino Guerra, born in Santarcangelo di Romagna but who lived in Pennabilli for over twenty years and where he now rests. Paintings, objects, sculptures, ceramics, furniture, indeed “bad furniture” as the poet called it, sketches of fountains, photographs, films, documentaries and much, much more make up "The world of Tonino Guerra" as the title chosen by him states. A museum space that finds hospitality in the basement of the fourteenth-century Oratory of Santa Maria della Misericordia, and which goes beyond the very idea of a museum since it is a lively place where there are meetings, discussions, where people work, and where the Cultural Association which bears his name is based.

2.    La roccia di Tonino (Tonino’s rock)

Set in the stone of the Roccione, the last home of the poet and screenwriter Tonino Guerra is located on a splendid terrace in the garden of the "Casa dei mandorli" (the House of Almonds), where the Maestro lived with Lora for the last years of his life. Before "passing into the other room", the Maestro chose Pennabilli and this beautiful panoramic point from which you can admire the valley and the Canaiolo, a magical place that for the poet represented "the childhood of the world".

3.    Il Santuario dei pensieri (The Sanctuary of Thoughts)

Located among the walls of the ancient castle of Penna that gave birth to the Malatesta family, it is a very picturesque oriental garden that houses seven enigmatic stone sculptures, which arouse echoes in the heart, mind, and soul of the visitor and that Tonino Guerra describes as “seven mysterious stones, seven opaque mirrors of the mind, seven mute confessors waiting for your beautiful words and your ugly words”.

4.    L’Angelo coi baffi (The Angel with the Moustache)

  This is an unusual and curious multimedia installation located in the Chiesetta dei Caduti that originates from a poem of the same name by Tonino Guerra dedicated to an angel "who was unable to do anything" and instead of flying into Paradise, the angel descended into the Marecchia to feed stuffed birds, which one day spread their wings and took flight.

5.    The Nature Museum of the Sasso Simone and Simoncello Park

Inaugurated in 2004, the Nature Museum hosts a scenographic permanent exhibition of dioramas, which represent the main animal species of the park in their natural environment, faithfully reconstructed. There are numerous stuffed animals on display, which include various species of local avifauna, including birds of prey such as the owl, the barn owl, the long-eared owl as well as the display case containing an Apennine wolf. 

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6.    Ca' Gaudia

In addition to the arrangement of the paths, with regional funds, two small rest areas have been created at Gaudia and Villa Maindi with benches, tables and a fountain, made available to hikers.

7.    The Canaiolo

When Tonino Guerra spoke of Canaiolo, he described it as the place where one can touch the childhood of the World with one's hands. The water is transparent and cool even when the air around is scorching and vibrates from the heat. "If Romagna, according to Pascoli, looks at the 'blue vision of San Marino', here, from Pennabilli, I look at the Boulders of Simone and Simoncello, where the breath of the dinosaurs still resists. I have gone close to them once or twice. I know that they are part of the Montefeltro Park, this wide sheet of ravines and peaks of landscapes that enchant the eyes. Two crevices with leaping shreds of water are part of this world that have now been stamped onto my mind. They are the Canaiolo and the Storena stream. These are crevices that were created by ancient streams where large boulders fell during the childhood of the world. For me, touching those stones creates memory games that take me back to a part of a primitive life that I think I have not lived. This load of years on one’s shoulders might be the most mysterious discovery that visitors to this Park can receive, a park that is so rich in magical places”. (Tonino Guerra 2009)

8.    Villa Maindi

A few houses perched along a ridge of Monte Canale, closely hugging the small church, the village of Villa Maindi has centuries of history to tell. An ancient post station along the road that connected the Adriatic to the Tyrrhenian Sea, saw pilgrims, migrants, soldiers and smugglers pass by. The small church, dedicated to the Our Lady of the Oak, to whom oral tradition attributes a miraculous event, was formerly dedicated to Saint Martin, the protector of soldiers, hosts and merchants; the date 1619 is engraved on the monolithic sandstone portal. The most ancient nucleus, almost completely restored, is what remains of a convent; under the arcade, a beautiful decorated portal has been preserved.

9.    Ca’ Fanchi

The hamlet was born in a place already colonized by the Romans, as evidenced by the clay finds that emerged during the plowing. Later it became “Villa Caseorun”, a name that referred to cheese and hence Villa Casciari di Fanchi. The Fanchi, witnesses of a great Christian faith, built a chapel for their devotions around 1614; in 1786 from the ruins of the old Chapel a piece of wall was recovered with the image of the Madonna and Child which was put in the new Oratory dedicated precisely to the Blessed Virgin of the Nativity. Semi-round in shape, its architectural line is harmonious and elegant, and the pagoda roof is supported by a crown of cantilevered bricks; as a whole it is a unique construction, one of its kind. In 1842, the Oratory belonging to the Fanchis was restored and enriched with paintings and stuccos.

10.    Donati mill

Already present around the middle of the seventeenth century with the name of Mulino Olivieri, it was a group of houses and three mills, arranged one above the other and very close to each other, so that the water could make three jumps passing its driving force from mill to mill. The water for the millpond was taken directly from the Messa stream, a tributary of the Marecchia river.

11.    The Torrigino

South of Roccione, where the high cliff fades away into the countryside and where a stone quarry was active in the past, the cylindrical shape of the Torrigino Dori, with a flat roof, stands proud and slender on the rock (one of the many "stones" floating on the clay background), transformed in the last century into a pigeon house. If you compare it with the smaller one of Ca' Romano you will discover that, apart from its dimensions, it seems to have been designed and built by the same person. Due to the daring position in which it is located, it evokes the memory of the Renaissance military architecture scattered throughout our territory.

12.    The garden of forgotten fruits

Located in the ancient garden of the convent of the Frati Missionari del Preziosissimo Sangue (The Missionary Friars of the Precious Blood), the Garden of Forgotten Fruits was the first intervention in Pennabilli desired by Tonino Guerra, after he decided to reside in this town. "I thought that a museum of flavors was necessary in order not to forget the taste of those plants that were close to the old peasant houses and which have now disappeared, such as the prunus armeniaca or the azerole (Mediterranean medlar). The Garden of Forgotten Fruits is a small museum of flavors so that we can touch the past". This garden, more than an exhibition of fruit plants, is intended to be a "poetic" indication to invite man to go back to loving the land. In addition to having ancient flavors of forgotten fruits in the Garden, there are also sculptures and works by contemporary artists and by Tonino Guerra himself, some of which are dedicated to the memory of great masters and to his collaborators, such as Federico Fellini and Andrej Tarkovskij.