Running across the hills surrounding Parma, crossed by the rivers Parma and Baganza, this itinerary offers the chance to taste different and famous typical products, such as Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham), Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Colli di Parma Wine, the Black Truffle from Fragno and the Salami Felino. All matched with the traditional delicious gastronomy.
The itinerary, about 40 kms long, starts from Parma and crosses Collecchio, Sala Baganza, Felino, Calestano, Torrechiara, Lesignano, Langhirano, Neviano, Traversetolo and Montechiarugolo villages.
Located 11 kms south west of Parma and once a stopping-place along the Romea Road, Collecchio is nowadays an important industrial centre, sorrounded by two natural reserves: Regional Park of Taro and Boschi di Carrega.
Turning left to Sala Baganza the road crosses Talignano, where in 13th century was built the Pieve dedicated to St Biagio, a shelter for pilgrims following the Via Francigena.
Sala Baganza, is an old village whose history is bound to the Rocca, built in 1477.
The itinerary goes on towards Felino, renowned for its delicious salame and for the Parma Ham. On the crest on the right stands the Castle.
Next stop is the medieval village of Calestano, where every year between October and November the National Fair of the Truffle of Fragno takes place.
Back to Felino, follow signs to Torrechiara, where is still towering the majestic
Castle, one of the biggest and well preserved of this land.
By reaching Lesignano de’ Bagni, one of the centres of Parma Ham production, you can visit St. Michael parish church, preserving some of its original Romanesque features, just like the Vallombrosa Abbey, built in 1111 by St. Bernardo degli Uberti, bishop of Parma from 1106 to 1133.
Not far from Lesignano, on the other side of Parma river, lies the village of Langhirano, the main centre of Parma Ham production. It is here that every first week of September, the Prosciutto di Parma Festival takes place, where visitors can taste all typical dishes of this land and visit the factories where ham is made.
Next stop is the little village of Neviano degli Arduini, with its romanesque parish churches: Santa Maria, built by Matilde di Canossa between 1080 and 1090, the Pieve of Scurano and the Pieve of Bazzano with its ancient octagonal baptismal font.
Near Scurano you can also spend some relaxing hours in the Oasi Biologica del Monte Fuso, a natural reserve and one of the main centres of production of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
The itinerary crosses then Traversetolo, an important agricoltural centre, where you can visit the Renato Brozzi Museum, an artist appreciated by Gabriele D’Annunzio, and the Magnani Rocca Foundation displaying paintings by Goya, Van Dyck and Giorgio Morandi.
Going back to Parma, the last stop is Montechiarugolo, with its Castle built in 15th century by theTorelli family, which would later become the country residence of the Farnese family.