From a viewpoint higher up the hills, the PPietra di Bismantova near Castelnovo nè Monti, appears isolated and imposing, dramatically standing guard in front of the ridge of the Apennines in the background. Dante compared the Pietra to the mount of the Purgatory. It is actually all of what remains of a much larger sandstone bank that broke up over thousands of years due to the less hard-wearing marls and clays it stood on. The walk to the top of the Pietra is easy and pleasant: once at the top, walkers are rewarded with an incomparable panorama across the arc of the Apennines. Rock climbers will probably already know that the Pietra is one of the most popular destinations in Italy for those taking their first steps in rock climbing, and is also an excellent place for bouldering because of the many large boulders scattered around the mountain.