Itinerary: Parma, Fontanellato, San Secondo, Soragna, Busseto, Polesine Parmense, Zibello, Roccabianca, Sissa, Colorno
How: by car
When: all year long
Time required: about 80 km, it requires a whole day or a weekend
The Road of Culatello runs through the villages along the river Po, renowned for the production of Culatello as well as many other typical gastronomic products such as Spalla cotta (shoulder of ham) from San Secondo, the sweet wine Fortana, the Spongata of Busseto cake and last but not least the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
While discovering this incredible variety of tastes, you can also enjoy a trip by boat on the river Po or byke on the cycling routes linking the castles to the land of Giuseppe Verdi.
Leaving from Parma, follow the Via Emilia towards Fontanellato, with its majestic Rocca, a fortress built in 15th century by the Pallavicino noble family. On the third Sunday of every month one of the biggest antiques market of the province takes place in the streets around the castle.
The road continue towards San Secondo, a very old agricoltural centre, first mentioned in a document of the year 894. There stand the Rocca, built by Pier Maria Rossi in 1450-60. Here, on the last Sunday of August, takes place a fair dedicated to two of the most famous products of this land: Fortana wine and Spalla ham.
In Soragna, next stop on the road, you can visit the superb
Rocca Meli Lupi, where is still living, according to old traditions, a ghost, the Synagogue and the Parmigiano-Reggiano Museum.
Go on to Roncole di Busseto, the village where Giuseppe Verdi was born and where you can still visit his Native House.
Getting to Busseto, you might stop for a visit at the Theatre and Villa Pallavicino, nowadays a Civic Museum.
Along the route you will find Polesine Parmense and then Zibello, little village famous for the production of Culatello.
In Roccabianca visitors can appreciate the Rocca, built in 15th century by Pier Maria Rossi for his beloved Bianca Pellegrini.
8 km further, along the Taro river, you will cross the little village Sissa, where, in the main square stands the Rocca built in 14th century, distroyed by Venetians in 1410, built again in 1440 and now the Town Hall.
Last stop of this itinerary is Colorno, with its majestic Reggia and the annexed Parco.
From Colorno, you can return to Parma following the State road 343.Along this itinerary you can taste and buy all the delicious products of this land. For more detailed information, visit the above mentioned official site.