Imagine finding yourself in front of a colorful giant bench over two meters high and located in a unique panoramic point.
Imagine sitting and stopping for a while to admire what surrounds you listening only to the voice of the wind and to the buzz of insects.
Welcome to Monte Pedrazzo, at an altitude of 870 meters, in Prignano sulla Secchia where it is located the Big Bench in Modena.
But what are Big Benches and how could you reach the one situated in the Modena?
In this article I’ll tell you everything!
Not a long time ago I come across an article about the incredible “Big Bench Project”!
Very colorful giant benches, more than 2 meters high, located around Italy (especially the North) but also in the world, in the most scenic and panoramic points.
So, when I discovered that one of these benches was located in Modena, I planned my visit!
The idea of sitting on a Big Bench immediately intrigued me as the origin of these particular installations did.
Let me tell you a little more about them!
How the idea of the Big Bench was born, who created them and where they are located
The idea is of Chris Bangle, an American designer who lives with his wife in the province of Cuneo since 2009.
Become a symbolic attractions of the Alta Langa, the Italian area where everything began, these oversized benches have the specific purpose of supporting and promoting local communities, tourism and artisan excellence of the countries in which they are located.
The non-profit initiative, born almost by chance from a group of friends and neighbors, won the hearts of many people and turned into the BIG BENCH COMMUNITY PROJECT (BBCP), ready to offer “both technical support to those who wants to build a new official Big Bench and collaboration with local craftsmanship excellences to create products inspired by them, which can make a small contribution to the local economy and tourism, in the sign of the positive spirit that the Big Benches bring to this area”.
The first Big Bench was built in 2010 on the land of the Borgata in Clavesana, where the designer lives, but over the years many others have been built near and outside Piedmont.
Today there are 168 Big Benches but the number doesn’t stop.
Impressive, isn’t it?
Here you can find where they are: https://bigbenchcommunityproject.org/
If tomorrow you feel like making one, you can read on the website how to do it and what are the requirements that the place chosen to located the bench must have:
- a point with a panoramic and contemplative view
- freely accessible to the public at all times
- in an isolated position surrounded by nature
Yes, because each of us can decide to realized a Big Bench but only through private funds and voluntary labor.
This is a stimulating project, which combines the poetry of the result with a truly noble purpose!
You have to think that there is also a Big Bench Passport that gives you the opportunity to collect stamps as proof of the Big Benches you visited!
The Big Bench in Modena: where it is and how to reach it
The Big Bench in Modena is located in Prignano sulla Secchia and was inaugurated on 8 August 2020.
It was positioned on Mount Pedrazzo, at an altitude of 870 meters, and offers visitors a wonderful view of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
From here you can enjoy a unique scenery that goes from Mount Cimone to Cusna.
It can be reached along the path called the ring of Prignano of about 5 km in total: the bench is located on the third ring, after 45 minutes of easy walking.
The alternative is to drive to the center of Prignano sulla Secchia and take via del Monte.
Go uphill until you find an asphalted space/park where you can leave your car.
Via del Monte continues on the right and is paved but the roadway becomes very narrow at the top and is usually used only by residents to reach their houses.
Unfortunately by going up you will no longer find convenient parking spaces but only private areas.
Obviously in this way the walk gets longer but it is definitely safer and more reasonable to decide to park your car further downstream, especially if there are more visitors.
Going up you will find different signs to reach the Big Bench.
The route is easy and suitable for everyone.
Also for children who can walk independently or who can be carried in a baby carrier.
Actually I went there with my daughter of almost two years in a stroller… and I must tell you that you can do it if you want 😉
From where you have parked the car the walk takes about 30 minutes.
Climbing up here, stopping to contemplate the view is truly stimulating and soothing at the same time.
Big Benches, often known through the photos taken by those who visit them (if you look in Instagram you will get many images!), are also able to convey unique sensations even once you sit on them.
It almost seems to become a little child again 🙂
And that is the exactly way how I feel, sometimes.