Path from Ferrara to Cento - about 42 km.
From the Este Castle, go along Via Bologna, then left in via Putinati, through the Borgo San Luca, and you enter a rich and intensely cultivated countryside, which once was a swampland.
At Torre Fossa, where there was a fort guarding the inland waterway (now disappeared), turn towards San Martino, go beyond the elegant eighteenth-century parish church, and then you come to a fork: turn right, cross the main road S.S.255, continue by via Navigazione.
On the right it is clearly visible, through the orchards and farmhouses, the thirteenth-century Torre dell'Uccellino, guarding the ancient border between Ferrara and Bologna. Then turn right into Via Imperiale, a very long and almost straight road that follows a border: it was established at the beginning of the sixteenth century thanks to an agreement signed between the Senate of Bologna and Duke Ercole I d'Este; then, you will soon reach Poggio Renatico.
The main square is dominated by the neo-Gothic church of San Michele, built in 1907. Nearby there is the Lambertini Castle (sec. XV - XVII), which belonged to the local landowners, and now used as Town Hall.
Towards San Carlo you cross countryside dotted with farmhouses made “in the style of Bologna": a square map with porticoed barns.
On the left there is the green wall of the Reno River, a few hundred meters far from the road. After a few kilometres, turn left towards Chiesa Nuova and then right towards Sant’Agostino.
Those who are interested can go on for a few hundred meters to the river bank, from which you see a neatly cultivated countryside on one side, and on the other riverside areas rich in forests. The embankment is not equipped for the bike trail, so you may notice some little difficulties: we recommend it for those who have the right equipment.
The town of Sant’Agostino is dominated by the bell tower of the church, where time is marked both by a clock and a sundial.Not far away you find the large green area of Panfilia Wood famous for the growth of the white truffle.
In the nearby town of Dosso car lovers can visit the Multi-purpose Centre "Ferruccio Lamborghini", which displays cars of the famous brand.
Continuing towards Buonacompra and Cento, you get into those territories which remained bound to the name of Lucrezia Borgia, as they were brought as a dowry by the princess to her third husband, Alfonso d'Este, Crown Prince of the Duchy of Ferrara. Towards Pilastrello, you go through the countryside on the border between Ferrara and Modena.Passed on the right the complex called Torre Spada, an ancient house now in ruin, you reach the main road near Corporeno, whose church of San Giorgio preserves valuable works.
From here you reach Cento, an important historical centre on the border of three provinces. Towards the end of the twelfth century the city was domain of the Bishop of Bologna, from which, however, was widely autonomous.
The “Partecipanza” (an ancient form of common ownership) witnesses this freedom: a dividing system of partition of the land in rotation, born in the Middle Ages and still surviving today. In 1502 Pope Alexander VI Borgia, during the negotiations for the marriage of his daughter Lucrezia and Alfonso d'Este, did not hesitate to tear Cento and the nearby parish church from Bologna to deliver them to the Este family. In Cento Giovan Francesco Barbieri was born, known as "Il Guercino", one of seventeenth-century masters of Italian painting.