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Garibaldi's "Trafila"

Following the itinerary of the great leader

Itinerary: Montegrimano (0 km), San Marino (20 km), Torriana (29 km), San Giovanni in Galilea (41 km), Roncofreddo (57 km), Longiano (66 km), Gatteo (79 km), Cesenatico (96 km), Lido delle Nazioni (173 km), Porto Garibaldi (184 km), Comacchio (191 km), Mandriole (240 km), Ravenna (265 km), Classe (272 km), Forlì (302 km), Terra del Sole (314 km), Dovadola (336 km), Modigliana (352 km), Marradi (386 km), Palazzuolo sul Senio (398 km), Coniale (418 km), Sasso San Zenobi (436 km), Passo della Raticosa (441 km), Filigare (446 km)


Duration: 72 hours
Total distance: km 546
Difficulty: easy
When: from April to October
Motorcycle: any



We are near Montegrimano, on the border between Romagna and Marche, and it was here that, on July 30th, 1849, after a battle, Garibaldi decided to continue on towards San Marino, where he disbanded the legion that, from the gates of Rome had followed him with the illusion of reaching Venice to continue defending, with the Republic, the very idea of Liberty. Having reached San Marino, it was during the night of July 31st that the escape began in great secrecy, descending towards Verucchio and then the Marecchia river. After crossing Borgo Maggiore and descending towards Acquaviva, we will bypass the impossibility of the Madonna di Saiano ford by crossing the river from Ponte Verucchio and then, going up towards Torriana, descending towards Uso and from Masrola we reach San Giovanni in Galilea. 


Our journey now continues in the direction of Sogliano and then, descending towards the course of the Rubicon River along a series of hairpin bends, we go up again in the direction of Roncofreddo and continue as far as Longiano. Posthumous biographies of this daring escape tell about the action and affection but also still tangible traces such as the memorial stones that recall its historic passage, such as those in Musano, Gatteo and finally Cesenatico, where at dawn on August 2nd the Hero of the Two Worlds embarked on 13 bragozzi (wooden sailing boats), seized for the need, in an attempt to reach Venice by sea. Fortune did not smile on the brave and the escape was interrupted at Punta di Goro when the Austrian brig "Oreste" intercepted the navigation of the 13 bragozzi, capturing eight of them.


It is on the national highway that now, by land, we can reach the place that today is called Lido delle Nazioni, a few km from Porto Garibaldi which at the time still bore the name of Magnavacca. At Lido delle Nazioni, which still exists, there is the Capanno Cavalieri where Garibaldi, Anita, and "Leggero", the aide-de-camp, found their first shelter after the beaching of their boat. Luckily, help soon arrived from Comacchio and it was precisely the patriot Nino (Gioacchino) Bonnet who began to organize the escape in detail, thus starting what was to be told in history as the "Garibaldine Trafila". After having touched Porto Garibaldi and continuing towards Comacchio it is following the Agosta embankment road that, having crossed the canal on board a small ferry, we arrive at the course of the Reno near Sant'Alberto. Just beyond the Giuccioli farm, at Mandriole, where in the woods a few hundred meters from the farm, a marble slab stands in memory of Anita's first burial site, as she died here on the night of August 4th. 


Leaving Casalborsetti, the road now continues on along the provincial road to meet, near the modern industrial port of Ravenna, the Capanno del Pontaccio which still overlooks the lagoon of Piallassa Baiona, another of the key places of the escape towards Ravenna first and then Forlì. It was on a troubled journey that Garibaldi and "Leggero" arrived there during the night between August 14th and 15th guided by their guardian angels. We are in front of the monumental cemetery on the outskirts of the town, just like the protagonists of our story. We will have to go through the town to find ourselves, just a few kilometers further west, in Terra del Sole which, together with Revere, marked the border between the Papal States and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.


From Terra del Sole to Castrocaro, our journey also continues among the first Apennine peaks which, along their gentle curves and bends, we are able to fully enjoy the pleasure of riding a motorbike. It is shortly after Dovadola that we turn towards Monte Trebbio pass and Modigliana. It was here that Garibaldi met Don Giovanni Verità, the priest patriot who guided him along secondary routes through woods and fields, in the heart of the Apennines up to the border with Tuscany. And it is on this route that our journey now continues from valley to valley. Marradi, Popolano, to then reach, after Passo Carnevale, Palazzuolo sul Senio and then, after the Paretaio pass, up to Coniale, to continue on, crossing San Zenobi pass up to Raticosa and Filigare pass. And it is here that, on the ancient border between the State of the Church and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Romagna "Trafila" ends, and with it our journey following in the footsteps of Garibaldi.





Last update 28/08/2023