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Castenaso is a town in the Bologna Plain located along the ancient Via Salaria (now Via San Vitale), which connects Bologna to the salt flats of Cervia. The village is crossed by the Idice stream.

The first settlements date back to the ninth century and the Villanovan culture. Important finds from the Iron Age necropolis of Villanova are now collected at the Museo della civiltà Villanoviana (Villanovan Civilization Museum). With its finds, its temporary exhibitions and faithful reconstruction of a Villanovan hut, it is a fundamental stop for comprehending the evolution of Etruscan civilization.

In the locality of Madonna di Villanova, about 4 kilometres from Castenaso, stands the sanctuary called Madonna del Pilar. Inside the baroque sanctuary, the miraculous image of the Virgin by Giovanni Battista Bolognini is preserved. The wedding of the composer Gioacchino Rossini with the famous soprano Isabella Colbran was celebrated in this church. The Rossini couple lived in a house adjacent to the church for about ten years, where the Master composed works such as Semiramide and Guglielmo Tell.

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