At Castelnovo ne' Monti, the main hub and virtual nerve centre in the entire Apennine Mountains of Reggio Emilia, you will find several supermarkets, big fashionable shops, banks, very good restaurants, but above all a great feeling of hospitality and a true zest for life. Whilst providing all the amenities you will need, Castelnovo ne’ Monti has managed to remain a truly Italian town in one of the most stunning parts of the country and boasts now the title of Slow Town or City of good living.
The town has a good range of sports facilities from the Athletic Centre (CONI Centre) to the Wellness Centre (SPA) with indoor and outdoor pool, tennis courts. In addition, free climbing lovers will find with Pietra di Bismantova a natural rock ground in the Spring and Summer months.


The Pietra di Bismantova (1.047 meters a.s.l.) rises on the top of the imposing Apennine reliefs of Castelnovo Monti, and boasts breathtaking views over the underlying landscape. Celebrated by Dante as the Mountain of Purgatory, it is a fragment of a huge sandstone complex that has disappeared over the course of the centuries. Visitors will have the possibility to climb the plateau and then enjoy sweeping views of the entire Apennine system. The ultimate paradise for rock climbers from all over Italy, the Pietra di Bismantova is the most representative landmark of Reggio’s mountains, and its impressive profile makes it one of the most appreciated monoliths in the world.




Beneath the southeast face of the Pietra di Bismantova is a Benedictine Hermitage dating from before the 14th century, which developed around an existing chapel and came under the monastery of S. Giovanni di Parma. The set of the frescoes preserved in the church sanctuary is really remarkable and among these stands out a fine image of the Madonna and Child, by Emilian Masters.
The hermitage marks the start of an easy hike to the top of the rock , taking approx. 30 minutes. You can enjoy an amazing view from the top sweeping 360° over the entire Reggio Apennines, and part of the Modena and Parma areas.



To the south of Pietra di Bismantova, close to the Secchia river bank, you can admire spectacular outcrops of Triassic gypsum (among the oldest rocks in the Apennines, more than 200 million years old) with caves, swallow-holes, ravines and crystals in all shapes and sizes.





The Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park is a protected area of great natural and scenic value. Includes the main peaks of the Reggio Apennines and all the lakes, first of all Lake Monte Acuto and Lake Calamone.


Numerous are the marked paths to meet different demands from easy trekking to more difficult ones. It 'also available at our B & B broad descriptive and illustrative material to help our guests to plan in detail all kinds of excursions.


Among the many possible hiking routes, listed below are those considered to be among the most beautiful ones: Cascate del Lavacchiello and Prati di Sara, Monte Casarola and Alpe di Succiso, Monte Cavalbianco, Monte Cusna and Abetina Reale, Monte Ventasso and Lago Calamone, Sorgenti del Secchia and Passo di Pietratagliata.





The extraordinary fortification system of the Lands of Canossa revolves around the fascinating ruins of Canossa Castle, that was the residence of the Great Countess Matilda.


A small museum has recently been built next to the castle. The fortress is idyllically set amidst the first reliefs of the Emilian Apennines overlooking the Po Valley.


The sweet surrounding hills and gentle slopes are topped by further fascinating castles, such as the castles of Rossena, Bianello, Quattro Castella, Sarzano and Carpineti, that, together with the parish churches of Marola and Toano, represent the heart of Matilda’s impressive fortification system.


The Matilda way is a network of marked paths that links nature and historical spots. The 80 km of the Matilda way wind along mule tracks, dirt roads and paths, all of which can be followed on foot, on horseback or by mountain-bike.


They lead from the upper plain to the Apennine ridge. Along the route you will encounter the most important of Matilda's castles.


The entire network of paths presents no technical difficulties: the routes are easy to follow and suitable for everyone. Linking Canossa to Lucca, the itinerary is part of the system of the old pilgrim routes. Retracing the footsteps of numerous popes and emperors, the Matilda way leads, in seven different stages, from the rock of Canossa to San Pellegrino in Alpe, a natural balcony overlooking Garfagnana.


Mount Cusna

Lake Calamone



Rossena Castle

Carpineti Castle

Toano Parish Church


A MP3 palyer with audio guides  regarding both  Matilda of Canossa’s story and the territory is available for our guests.
Matilda of Canossa is an historical figure of particular cultural significance because of her contribution to the development of these Lands during the Medieval period.
Thanks to the audio guides it will be easier to understand the territory, discover the natural beauty, culture, gastronomy and crafts that characterize the landscape.



B&B da Viviana - Via Sparavalle, 48 - 42035 Castelnovo ne' Monti (RE)
Tel. (+)39 0522 810307 - (+)39 348 5321629 - E-mail: - Skype: bbviviana24