Discovering San Giovanni in Persiceto, through murals and museums
In the heart of the Po Valley, not far from Bologna, lies the small town of San Giovanni in Persiceto, which is well worth discovering.
Bertoldo, a fictional character born right here from the pen of Giulio Cesare Croce, has become a central character in the town’s Carnival celebrations. There are also several museums for you to explore.
The medieval town
The historical centre of the town is medieval in origin with a concentric layout. On Piazza del Popolo, in the heart of the town, you will find the Collegiate Church of San Giovanni Battista, which houses valuable paintings by Guercino, Gandolfi, Guardassoni and Albani. The same square is also home to the town hall dating back to the 15th century and the 18th-century theatre.
Don’t miss Piazzetta Betlemme, also known as Piazzetta degli Inganni (Square of Deceptions) because of the trompe-l'œil murals created by set designer Gino Pellegrini. Bad weather? Take the opportunity to discover the local museums. Don’t miss the Museo del Cielo e della Terra, the Museo d’Arte Sacra and the Museo Archeologico Ambientale.
Sit down to enjoy local cuisine
The culinary traditions of Emilia-Romagna are in the spotlight in San Giovanni in Persiceto.
Stop at a trattoria or come to one of the food festivals to sample some local delicacies.
In San Matteo della Decima, on the Samoggia plain, a delicious melon is grown – the sweetest you will ever taste. Speaking of sweets, you simply must try africanetti – typical biscuits with an intense yellow colour.
Enjoy the outdoors
Feel like getting up and moving? The cycle route that passes through here is part of the larger route known as EuroVelo 7, which connects the North Cape of Norway to Malta: the Sun Cycle Route.
The Mirandola-Bologna section passes through here, crossing the plains amidst streams, fields and small churches.
San Giovanni in Persiceto Carnival
Persiceto Carnival is considered one of the largest and most interesting in Italy, particularly because of the tradition of the Spillo.
A visit to San Giovanni in Persiceto during this festive period will allow you to experience the spirit of Italian traditions. The floats parade through the town centre and stage a real transformation.
Watching shooting stars on the night of wishes
On the nights around 10 August, for the feast of San Lorenzo, people go out to watch for shooting stars with the help of the local stargazing group.
Make a date with the Perseids meteor shower in the gardens of the San Giovanni astronomical area, which is home to an astronomical observatory and planetarium.
Around San Giovanni
The area around the town is full of protected wetlands where you can walk, watch birds or cycle. The Bora natural area is home to the marsh tortoise, which breeds here.
The protected area of Manzolino-Tivoli is the place to be if you love birdwatching. Around the Samoggia stream, many animals find shelter. In 2010, 727 trees were planted here thanks to 20th Century Fox’s Avatar Home Tree initiative for the launch of the film Avatar.
Clelia Barbieri, the local saint
Not far from the town, in the hamlet of Le Budrie, lived the saint Clelia Barbieri, originally from Bologna. She founded the order of the Little Sisters of the Mother of Sorrows aged just 21 and died here in 1870.
Pope Saint John Paul II canonised her in 1989 and the Oratory of San Giuseppe houses her relics.