Riolo Terme: the “City of Waters” of the Romagna hinterland
In the province of Ravenna, in the spectacular setting of a centuries-old park, lies a municipality with valuable natural resources: Riolo Terme. The medicinal waters and a mud spring, unique in the entire region of Romagna, make it a magical holiday destination.
Surrounded by the fertile hills of the Senio Valley, you can visit a historic village, enjoy state-of-the-art spa treatments and keep fit thanks to beautiful walking itineraries.
Thermal waters, a mud spring and health benefits
In the Vena del Gesso Romagnola Regional Park, the water for the Terme di Riolo spa springs from an 80-metre-deep aquifer rich in mineral salts, known for its therapeutic effects since Roman times.
In this beautiful Art Nouveau-style spa, mineral water is used for drinking in internal hydrotherapy, for immersion in balneotherapy, and for inhalation for ENT and pulmonary treatments.
Not to be outdone is the only mud spring in Emilia Romagna: its remarkable ability to retain heat provides incredible pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
At the Riolo Terme complex, you can enjoy truly pioneering cures, as well as aesthetic and rehabilitation treatments, all within one majestic Park, brought to life by gardens and tree-lined avenues.
The historic town and its attractions
Other main attractions of Riolo include the 14th-century historic village, enclosed by sturdy walls.
As you walk through the historic centre, your attention will immediately be caught by the imposing Rocca di Riolo, a Sforza stronghold built at the end of the 14th century by the city of Bologna.
This building with its square design and three towers, now home to the town museum, is a fascinating example of a military fortification. It also hosts numerous historical, cultural, and food and drink events.
Nearby, you will find the Parish Church, which houses a work by Sante Ghinassi, a colourful ceramic panel made of 900 majolica tiles. The Hall of the same name, used today to host conferences, is also dedicated to this artist.
If you head towards the Parco Museo, you will find a series of bronze sculptures by artist Giovanni Bertozzi, set against the beautiful and peaceful backdrop of the surrounding hills.
If you visit Riolo Terme in summer, be sure to stop at Piazza Mazzanti, from which you can access the Rocca, which is particularly impressive at night.
At the Torrino Wine & Bar (nestled in an ancient tower of the Ponte Levatoio) you can enjoy delicious aperitifs, cold cuts and homemade bakes, while sipping glasses of local wine. Speaking of bubbles, we recommend taking the Sangiovese wine tour between the municipalities of Faenza, Brisighella and Casola Valsenio.
Food, exercise and lots of fun
Riolo is also the home of the Scalogno di Romagna PGI shallot, the star of a festival in July and, throughout the year, an irreplaceable ingredient on local tables.
You can enjoy its aroma, similar in characteristics and taste to onions, garlic and leeks, and eat the bulb raw, pickled or as a seasoning for pasta.
There is also room for fun at Acqualand. This water park, just 500 metres from the town centre, offers 25,000 square metres of slides, whirlpools and water attractions, catering to all age groups.
The sportier visitors will find no shortage of opportunities to exercise: there are plenty of routes that you can travel on foot, by mountain bike and even by horse.
Each one takes you to stunning sites, such as the one near Monte Mauro, in the heart of the Vena del Gesso Romagnola Regional Park, of particular natural interest, or the Grotta di Re Tiberio cave, a true speleological gem.
Two city events in particular are not to be missed.
The first is Halloween Night, a festival held on 31 October that brings the streets of Riolo Terme to life with fantastic figures before a large bonfire is lit, amid dancing and fireworks.
There are also food and drink stands brimming with traditional local dishes and festive sweet treats.
Another unmissable event is the Agriculture Fair, with an exhibition of machinery, vintage tractor parades and fantastic musical entertainment.
Finally, 12 kilometres from Riolo Terme, you can enjoy the Festa del Marrone (Chestnut Festival) and the Festa dei Frutti Dimenticati (Festival of Forgotten Fruits), in Casola Valsenio, the Land of Forgotten Herbs and Fruits, on the border with Tuscany.
Historical, environmental and food and drink treasures make Riolo Terme the perfect place to stay for a holiday packed with wellness and sport. Visit from spring to late autumn for a truly charming experience.