A different Italy: hiking Emilia-Romagna’s Ducati trail

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This new route follows ancient paths across the Apennines, with stops for castles built by a kick-ass medieval countess, and the best balsamic vinegar

“The Ducati trail?” My husband was suddenly excited. “Do we get to ride motorbikes?”

I had to explain that the “Ducati” in Sentiero dei Ducati, a new hiking route being promoted by Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, refers not to the high-performance bikes made nearby, but to the medieval duchies that once ruled north and central Italy. And far from eating up miles on a sleek machine, we’d be trekking along centuries-old footpaths that once linked ducal territories in this hilly land rising to the high Apennines.

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