Itinerary: Albareto, Bedonia, Berceto, Borgo Val Taro, Compiano, Parma, Tornolo
How: by car
When: all year long, preferibly in Autumn
Duration: 180 km in a day or in a weekend
The road runs on the hills of the valleys crossed by the Taro, Baganza and Ceno rivers, offering charming landscapes marked by a mix of nature, history, castles and ancient churches. On these mountains the Porcino Mushroom from Borgotaro is the protagonist of an old tradition, made of a rich gastronomy and village fairs.
Detailed itinerary by car: Parma, Berceto, Borgo Val Taro, Albareto, Compiano, Bedonia, Tornolo, Parma.
Leave from Parma towards Berceto, a typical medieval village and an important stopping-place for pilgrims along the Via Francigena, because of its Cathedral.
Following the road towards west, you will reach the heart of the Taro valley. Borgotaro is a nice small town with ancient and elegant palaces, an interesting Baroque style church and, a few kms away, in Porcigatone, the natural reserve Oasi WWF dei Ghirardi.
The Fair of Mushroom of Borgotaro takes place here in September, with several gastronomic and cultural events.
The state road SS 523, leads to Albareto, sorrounded by beautiful paths for trekking lovers and a real paradise for mushrooms pickers. Every second week-end of September, here too takes place the Fair of Porcino Mushroom, with side events attracting thousands of people.
Next stop of this itinerary is Compiano, a defensive outpost in the days of Charlemagne in 9th century and still encircled by its original walls. At the top end of the town rises the majestic Castle of the Landi, built in 15th century.
Along the Taro river, at the foot of Pelpi Mount, stands the village of Bedonia. Under the influence of nearby Liguria, its buildings boast brilliant colours, an unusual feature for Parma Appennines. Here you can visit the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Marco, next to the Seminary, playing host to the Natural History Museum, the Planetarium and the Pinacoteca Parmigiani, a picture gallery displaying important 17th and 18th-century paintings by the Emilian and Bologna schools. The Fiera dei Saperi e dei Sapori dell’Appennino (Fair of learning and tastes of Appennines), promoting all typical products, takes place in April.
Going on you will get to Tornolo, where you can make interesting excursions and go mushrooming. A renowned resort, it offers the greatest number of hotels in the area.
From Tornolo you can go back to Parma by following the same road.
Along the Road of the Porcino Mushroom you can taste and buy this good-smelling product. For detailed information, visit the official site.