Monghidoro — Comune — Comune di Monghidoro
Coat of arms
Coordinates: Country Italy Region Emilia-Romagna Province Bologna (BO) Frazioni see list Government - Mayor Alessandro 'Ronny' Ferretti Area - Total 48.2 km2 (18.6 sq mi) Elevation 841 m (2,759 ft) Population (30 June 2010) - Total 3,891 - Density 80.7/km2 (209.1/sq mi) Demonym Monghidoresi Time zone CET (UTC+1) - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2) Postal code 40063 Dialing code 051 Website Official website
The main town sits on a ridge of the Apennines, between two river valleys, Savena and Idice. The main fareway, joining Bologna to Florence, is the SS65. Traces of a roman road, joining Florentia with Felsina can still be found at the very top of Mount Oggioli.
The territory surrounding the comune is, for the largest part, mountainous with elevations ranging between a minimum of 400 meters above sea level to the north-east to a maximum of 1,290 meters above sea level on its southern flank.
The name of Monghidoro is thought to be dating back to the times the Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Longobards, who were pillaging and looting at will up and down the Italian "boot" around the 8th, 9th century BC. It is believed that a Gothic settlement lasted long enough to give its name to the locality of Mons Gothorum (Goths' Mountain), but another theory links the name to "Mungi d'oro" (Golden Milking, in Italian), perhaps connected to the many green pastures that abound in the surrounding area.
The town, in its current form, originated in 1264 when the commune of Bologna created a vanguard here to counter the expansion of the Republic of Florence and in 1246, as a result of the complex politics of Italian city states of that period, the village was fortified to counter the continued border skirmishes and was given the nickname of “Scaricalasino” which literally translates as “unload the donkey”; this because the village sits at the top of a harsh ascent, which takes the traveller from 598 m to 841 m and it was indispensable to rest the bests of burden before attempting the climb. In 1528 the Olivetan Order of Benedictin monks (Olivetans) built a monastery which was to become a very important religious, administrative, political and social centre in the area for almost three centuries and around which the town grew.
Throughout the early to mid 20th century, following a national trend, the town witnessed a slow decline with large parts of Monghidoro's inhabitants either moving to larger cities or emigrating abroad, looking for work or a better way of life, reaching an all time low, in 1978, of only 2,450 people (against the 6,000 of the previous century). It has recently grown back to some 3,800, due, mainly, to people returning to spend their retirement in their native surroundings, elderly people wanting a quieter way of life away from the hustle and bustle of city life or foreign immigrants looking for a cheaper alternative to living in the city.
- Chiostro della Cisterna, the only remains of the Olivetans monastery.
- L'Alpe, an area of natural interest, lies on the border with Tuscany
- Public park in the frazione La Martina (430-770 m), with camping facilities.
A number of mills used to provide an important source of income to the local area: an activity which lasted well into the 1950s was connected to the natural resources afforded by the proximity of the two rivers. Few mills survive to this day; few have been carefully restored to a workable condition, allowing a suggestive insight into a bygone way of life, but, as this is often the case, the vast majority were converted to residential homes and little was done to protect and preserve any resemblance or character of their former "life".
Today's local economy is largely based on commerce with tourism being common in the summer months; this is augmented by the very scenic Highway 65 thoroughfare, between Bologna and Florence, which attracts many foreign visitors. There are some small industrial activities, mainly of an artisan nature (carpenters, builders, blacksmiths). Agriculture, pastoral and raising of livestock is also present, although, due to the nature of the territory, this is a minor occupation. A large proportion of the workforce commutes daily to areas where industry is prevalent.
Ca' dei Brescandoli, Ca' del Costa, Ca' di Fiore, Ca' di Francia, Ca' del Gappa, Ca' dei Marchi, Ca' di Pallerino, Campeggio, Ceragne, Frassineta, La Ca', La Costa, La Fossa, La Lastra, La Martina, La Piazza, Lamazze di Qua, Madonna dei Boschi, Malalbergo, Molino della Pergola, Pallerano, Pergoloso, Piamaggio, Pian dei Grilli, Sant'Andrea di Savena, Sumbilla, Vasellara Bassa, Vergiano, Villa di Mezzo
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