by Walter Manni /// January 5, 2023 Estimated reading time: 3minutes
“A 75-mile slow journey on an age-old route with a spectacular start: 2.5 miles from Bologna to Mount Adone under the longest porticoed gallery in the world“
It’s called Way of the Gods, and it’s as old as the hills. In ancient times, this path was part of the Etruscan road network and was used to connect the Tuscan cities to northern Italy in order to reinforce Etruscan dominance. According to historians, it was originally laid out between the 7th and 4th centuries BC, although it was Roman engineers who then proceeded with the actual construction work.
In 187 BC, just a few years after the foundation of Bononia (Bologna), the Roman consul Caius Flaminius decided to expand the ancient Etruscan route for defensive purposes; the Flaminia Military Road (as it was known back then) served as a shortcut to move the Legions of the army quickly from the south to the north, without having to use the longer Via Flaminia.
With the fall of the Roman empire, the route, along with other imperial consular roads, fell into disrepair. It was reduced to a simple path, although it remained a convenient route between the cities of Florence and Bologna until modern roads took over. The Way of the Gods was rediscovered by a group of hiking enthusiasts in the 1980s, who then restored it and renamed it the “Way of the Gods“, after the places it passes through – Mount Adonis, Mount Venere (Venus) and Mount Giunone (Juno).
Today, the Way of the Gods is an extraordinary route that unwinds among breathtaking landscapes of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. Come spring, the Way of the Gods is the preferred destination for travelers who want to see the cities of Florence and Bologna while discovering the Apennines.Forget motorways, trains and cars and rediscover the good old slow ways amid these beautiful landscapes. The Way of the Gods will repay you with some amazing views and great memories.
Services and practical information
The Way of the Gods is signposted all the way through, with information about distances, walking times, and the places to visit along the road. The official website has also suggestions on where to eat and sleep.
The Way is usually divided into 5 stages, and the website has plenty of tips on the sights to look out for as you go.