What’s a Cool Retreat?
Sustainability & Eco Awareness
Quara is the nearest village (3km). Here you will find a café, restaurant, butcher, bakery and mini market.
Toano (7km) is a nice little town with shops, bars, a hotel, an ice-cream parlour and banks (cashpoints) as well as one of the best preserved Roman churches in the Apennines. It also has a lovely outdoor swimming pool, which is open during the school holidays (early June to early September).
Farneta (7km) also has a selection of shops and a very good restaurant.
Cavola is a nice village (about 15 min drive) with a couple of bars (and even a disco!), a bank/cashpoint, and a Sunday market. There’s also a nice playground for young children.
Montefiorino (12km) was the seat of the partisan republic in 1944 and was the focus of some intense wartime resistance activity. It is a pleasant village with a 12th century fortress (La Rocca), which has been totally restored in recent years. It is now the seat of the council, and it also houses a library, and a (very small) museum, the Museo della Repubblica Partigiana. If you can get access to the top of the tower, the views alone make it worth the visit! Montefiorino also has an outdoor pool, open June-Aug, a good restaurant and pizzeria etc.
Cerredolo (16km) has a nice bakery and butcher, a supermarket and a Saturday morning market. It also has a great wine shop, which also holds tastings, food & wine evenings etc.
Felina (35 min) has a nice Conad supermarket with a very good meat counter.
Castelnovo ne’ Monti (40 min) is a relatively big town. It’s not particularly beautiful in itself but it has decent shops, a couple of nice restaurants and a particularly nice gelateria! There’s a market held in the main car park on a Monday, which is very well attended by locals. It’s a useful stop-off before or after walking up Bismantova if you need sustenance or ice cream!
Sassuolo (50 min) is a big industrial town (ceramics). The outskirts leave little to be desired but it does have a historic centre with a market (Tues and Fri) and some lovely shops and cafés. The Baroque Ducal Palace of Sassuolo is known for its highly decorated internal frescoes; open Fri-Sun.