Parco Storico di Monte Sole
The Parco Storico di Monte Sole combines a beautiful wooded area and a major archaeological site, the Etruscan city of Kainua (formerly known as Misa, the name given it by the first archaeologists). Kainua was founded (according to legend by a certain Ocnus, son of Aulestes, the founder of Perugia) in the 6th century BC in the Reno river valley, along the main route between Etruscan Felsina (Bologna) with the Etruscan Tuscany.
Original Etruscan settlers lived in simple thatched huts, but by the early 5th century, Kainua was laid out as a proper city with a plan that looks ahead to the classic Roman colony, with 15m wide main north-south and east-west streets, with residential areas neatly laid out in the 'suburbs'. Here the foundations of the tile-roofed houses, with their courtyards, remain; the presence of kilns showed the many doubled as workshops.
Kainua's hilltop acropolis stood to the northwest and has the foundations and bits of roofs from its temples. Another religious area, a fountain sanctuary, stood just northeast of the centre. On the far north and east edges the Etruscans buried their dead cemeteries of squarish rock tombs, made of travertine plates and marked by onion shaped rocks, or columns.
The Etruscans abandoned Kainua in the mid 4th century BC, when the Gauls invaded the Po Valley. The invaders briefly moved in, but soon abandoned the site, leaving a uniquely intact Etruscan town (the famous Etruscan cities of Tuscany and Lazio have left only tombs behind).
The best of the finds have been taken off to Bologna’s Museo Civico Archeologico, but the site's Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Marzobotto has some fine bits: bronzes (at which the Etruscans excelled) Greek urns and Etruscan copies, and the reconstruction of part of the fountain sanctuary with its painted terracotta decoration.
Via Porretana Sud 13. Bus No. 706 ( Bologna-Sasso Marconi-Marzabotto-Vergato)
Hours Archaeological site: daily Apr-Oct 8am-7pm, Nov-Mar 8am-5.30pm. Museum: Apr-Oct Tues-Sun 9am-6.30pm; Nov-Mar Tues-Sun 9am-5.30pm.
Adm €3, €1.50 ages 18-25. EU citizens under 18 free (includes museum and the archaeological site).
+39 051 932353