The ancient medieval village of Riolunato (Ardondlà, in local dialect), situated in the Apennines and known as the ‘May village’, is also a renowned winter tourist resort located 65 km from Modena.

The village and its outlying hamlets are part of the Regional Park of the Upper Modena Apennines.


You can experience living in harmony with nature, the environment, culture and local traditions in Riolunato either on a solo or family holiday.

The area offers not only cultural and architectural attractions but also a rich and diversified natural landscape: within the protected area of the Frignano Regional Park you can discover untouched nature in all its simplicity, or, throughout the wider area, spectacular lakes and streams. Various events dedicated to culture, art, sport and free time feature prominently throughout the year.


Riolunato, with “Le Polle” ski resort, is part of the larger Mount Cimone ski area, the most important winter resort in the region of Emilia Romagna. In the winter season, Riolunato and Mount Cimone prove to be a paradise for lovers of all snow-related sports: skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing.

During the rest of the year, sports enthusiasts have the chance to discover a variety of different disciplines: trekking, orienteering, Nordic walking, horse riding, hang-gliding, paragliding, canoeing, tennis.

There are many dedicated mountain-bike and E-Bike trails.

Riolunato is also the ideal destination to spend free time enjoying cultural events and traditions, and relaxing in the green Apennine mountains. Places of interest worth visiting include churches and oratories, hamlets and manor houses, bridges and pathways, and, in particular, the historic centre, in many parts still dating largely to the Medieval and Renaissance periods; it is here that the cultural association responsible for the Riolunato May Festival is located.

Not to be missed

You cannot leave Riolunato without seeing the impressive ‘Pollina waterfalls’ on the Rio Monio mountain stream, and without tasting the craft beer made by the Castellino master brewers. The route up to the waterfalls runs alongside the Rio Monio, starting out from the Scoltenna stream, and passing by small waterfalls and rock faces, as far as the beautiful green waterfall near the Pollina watermill. From here you can continue to Castellino, where the craft brewery is located in the old manor house called “Casa Gigli”.

What to eat

From crescentine (traditional flatbreads) to burlenghi (local pancakes), from zuccherini (traditional biscuits) to ciacci (chestnut pancakes), as well as blueberries and raspberries, mushrooms, chestnuts and typical local products including cheeses such as Parmiggiano Reggiano, Pecorino, Caciotta and more: the Modena Apennines offer a culinary repertoire waiting to be discovered.

Mountain culinary traditions bring together a unique blend of timeless recipes; all these products can be purchased at local shops or directly from the producers.

Entertainment and leisure

The many typical restaurants and eating places in and around the village offer a warm welcome and a rich culinary variety.

The children’s play area and recreational fishing lake at Le Polle provide amusement for adults and children in a natural setting, giving the whole family, from the oldest to the youngest, the chance to have some fun.

Keeping fit

In addition to a wide range of sports facilities, visitors can pamper both body and soul in the various wellness centres to be found in the area, as well as along the many trekking and mountain bike trails set in the splendid landscape of the Apennines.


The ‘Luna Rio Fest’ is an important annual event which takes place in the village on the first weekend of July; it is the only event of its kind in the Apennines, and combines entertainment, art, culture and solidarity. It is defined as the summer New Year’s Eve of the Apennines, and the funds raised are donated to important AESOP projects. Every three years, the tradition of the “Girls’ May” is held in Riolunato on the night of 30th April and the second Sunday in May. This is a unique event which needs to be experienced at least once in a lifetime.

Surrounding Area

Not to be missed is a walk along the Via Vandelli (the ducal road linking Modena to Massa, in Tuscany), on the stretch connecting Cento Croci to Sant’Andrea Pelago, with a visit to the charming Lago Cavo along the way.

Riolunato comprises 8 outlying hamlets: Castellino, Castello di Riolunato, Cento Croci, Frassineto, Roncombrellaro, Serpiano nel Frignano, Groppo and Le Polle.