Environment: the territory of Sestola stretches from an altitude of 321 metres to 2165 metres, from the valley of the river Scoltenna, to the summit of Mount Cimone. The area downhill from the village is home to chestnut trees and oak; vines, wheat and other cereals are cultivated. This area, spreading out along the valley of the river Vesale, is the area of most historical and environmental interest; it has undergone the fewest changes and has always been worked and cultivated by the local population. It was once crossed by the oldest road linking Modena to Tuscany, from the rebuilt bridge of Val di Sasso to Trentino of Fanano � here the road climbs to the Pass of Croce Arcana on the ridge. The area uphill from Sestola, including the ski areas of Pian del Falco and Passo del Lupo, culminates in the peak of Mount Cimone, with its typical Apennine flora; this is the kingdom of the beech and fir and high altitude pasture grounds. This area, uninhabited until a few centuries ago, has undergone the most environmental changes. Centuries-old beech woods were cut down to make way firstly for pasture grounds and later to feed the coal industry. Near the picturesque Lago della Ninfa (the nymph�s lake), at a height of 1500 metres, the Giardino Esperia (Esperia Gardens), with its collection of indigenous Apennine flora and introduced Alpine flora, is open to the public from May to September. Culture: past traditions are kept alive in the many religious and gastronomic festivals held in Sestola.
Sestola: Awarded the �Orange Flag� by the Touring Club Italiano. History: the old part of the village of Sestola rises on a rocky outcrop, spreading out under its ancient fortress. The fortress was rebuilt in the second half of the 16th century but its strategic importance, located as it is in the very heart of the area of Frignano, watching over the valleys of the Scoltenna and Leo, leads us to believe that the origins of the castle go much further back in time. Indeed, the very name �Sestola�, of Roman origins, is linked to a certain �Sextus�, to whom the territory was entrusted. The first written records date to its conquest at the hands of the Longobards; it is mentioned in the �Diploma di Astolfo� (753 A.D.), with which the king of the Longobards donated the �Castellum Sextule� and the surrounding territories to his brother-in-law, Anselmo, founder of the Abbey of Nonantola. During the period of the medieval �Comuni� or city-states, Sestola was part of the �Comune Federale del Frignano�; it was later to be the object of bitter territorial fighting between the cities of Modena and Bologna until the 14th century, when Sestola and the rest of the area of Frignano came under the rule of the d�Este family. Sestola was then to become the capital of the province of Frignano until the beginning of the 19th century. Sestola�s important role went into decline following the restoration, as the town was cut out of the commercial development begun at the beginning of the 18th century with the opening of the Via Giardini (now the s.s. 12 Brennero); the fortress was consequently converted into a prison, in use until 1866. Towards the end of the 20th century, while the town was enjoying a new, stable economic identity with the birth of tourism, the fortress was once again transformed to house a meteorological observatory and a children�s summer camp. With the advent of trekking, the development of forestry and the development of the town into a summer resort, it was during the 19th century that Sestola was to become the popular destination that it is to this day. During the 20th century, tourism was to have a prime role in the economic growth of the town; Sestola is now among the top resorts of the Apennines.