Brisighella, pop 8,000, is a town in the foothills of the northern Apennines close to Faenza. If you drove from Faenza to Brisighella and kept going you would cross the mountains and end up in Florence.
It’s a town we needed to go back to because our trip last year was cut short by a phone call saying the Volvo was ready for collection and the thought of another couple of days in the loaned Fiat 500 was enough for us to leave immediately to pick up the repaired car.
In temperatures lower than 36C and without the humidity the town offers a good deal of hill climbing treasure with interesting buildings perched on three hilltops around the town. Without the climbing the town is still a nice one to wander through. The tourbook highlight is the “donkey road” which is an old path at first floor level that was used as a safe passage for supplies as well as for defense as you could attack those in the street below from the arches above.
The town was busy with numerous live events in the streets, musicians and market stalls, and there was a steady stream on traffic coming up from Faenza. We enjoyed an ice cream at a large outdoor cafe in a corner of the Parco Ugonia before wandering the town and returning to the park for dinner at Trattoria la Casetta. The food was good but this is a restaurant that has grown too big. It is huge, it was full and there was a queue of people waiting for tables. That meant slightly confusing and slow service, things arriving at not quite the right time and generally the feeling that it would better if half the size. It was also hot as hell when sitting outside as we were, even at ten in the evening. We returned to the cafe for a coffee before heading back home.
The journey from Roncofreddo is about an hour using the autostrada or 90 minutes using the non-toll highway. We took the scenic route there and the autostrada back. The toll of €3.30 is worth paying.
Our satnav lady gives three choices of route – fast, easy or short. You choose short if you want a bit of excitement as I’m sure she just tries to find the nearest roads to a straight line no matter how crappy they are. An example of a “short” road is seen below.
Zosia is telling me I need to get in the pool so, goodbye for now!