Bridge of Hercules. In the Modena Apennines there is an extraordinary natural bridge of over 30 meters, a rock shaped by the millennial work of the weather and linked since prehistoric times to the cult of the water before and then to the Marian.
It is a monolith of sandstone that over the millennia has taken the form of a bridge, walkable or cycling. This beauty of nature is surrounded by history and legends, is located in the territories of Frignano between the municipalities of Lama Mocogno, Polignano and Pavullo. This area has many beauties to discover.
Its length is 33 meters, its width is 3 meters and it is 3 meters high. The bridge can be walked. The site is reachable through some paths on foot or by mountain bike.
These are simple paths inside the forest that allow you to reach the destination in about thirty minutes. The Frignano Park is a protected regional area that extends over 15000 hectares and also includes Mount Cimone.
History and legend of the bridge of Hercules
The area surrounding this natural bridge has returned remains of great archaeological interest. Thanks to these it has been possible to date its attendance from protohistory to the medieval era.
The area was frequented since ancient times for the presence of the bridge and water springs. Like many other sites of interest in the Apennines, the bridge of Hercules is full of stories and legends.
According to legend, a farmer who lived in the lower part of the mountain had to make a long tour to cross the river. So he asked the devil to build him a bridge in exchange for his soul. The devil began to build the bridge by taking the monolith downstream. At one point he was distracted by the presence of 7 dancing witches.
He watched them for several hours, not noticing the dawn. He was then forced to flee and left the bridge in the position he is in today. According to legend, the devil took the soul of a passing bird instead of that of the farmer who was saved.
In the bridge there are holes that according to another popular legend hide a great danger. According to the narration, if you stick your head in one of these holes, the devil will appear and cut it.
What to do near the bridge of Hercules?
This area of Italy offers many opportunities for recreation for nature lovers who can make wonderful walks in the woods of Modena. The landscape of the Modena Apennines is perfect for excursions due to the presence of lakes.
One of these is Lake Santo which is of mixed glacial origin and due to a landslide. Nature is characterized by the presence of beeches, chestnuts and conifers. Another interesting place to visit always inside the Frignano Park is Sestola. Located at 1020 meters is dominated by Monte Cimone which is one of the most famous winter resorts in Emilia-Romagna.
Another interesting village in the area is that of Pievepelago which is located in a basin surrounded by woods and waterways. The castle of Montecuccolo is also worth a visit. This building of medieval origin is still surrounded by walls and the ancient village.
Modena Apennines: traditional dishes of these territories
The territory of the Modena Apennines is an area where the traditional cuisine of Emilia Romagna finds one of its greatest expressions. It is not by chance that the province of Modena is the second in the region for the number of PDO and PGI products.
A fundamental ingredient of Modena’s cuisine is the world famous balsamic vinegar of Modena. The typical products of Modena are very appreciated by many tourists who stay in these areas. Among the most famous delicacies we remember the crescentine, also called tigelle holes from Modena.
It is a type of bread typical of this area that is prepared with flour, yeast, water and salt. These are then served with meats and cheeses typical of these places. Another famous recipe of Modena is the fried dumpling, which is served accompanied by local products.
The province of Modena is also the quintessential area of filled fresh pasta such as tortelli and tortellini and lambrusco wine for all meals to drink as always in moderation.