The small world of Giovannino Guareschi

Roccabianca (PR)


Itinerary: Fontanelle, Colorno, Brescello
How: by car or bycicle
When: all year long
Time required: 2 days

Take a journey into the small world of Guareschi through an itinerary of a weekend to spend in the Bassa Parmense, on the Po river, by car or bycicle.
Discover the places of the famous writer and those of his characters Don Camillo and Peppone.

Reach Fontanelle, the hometown of Giovannino Guareschi. By car you can exit from the motorway in Fidenza or Parma. If you exit in Fidenza take the direction to Busseto/Roncole Verdi, stop in Roncole starting from the end, that is the cemetery where the writer is resting. Here, you can visit the anthological exhibition in Guareschi’s house in Roncole Verdi, set up by Guareschi’s children with the Club of 23. Don’t miss a visit to the birthplace and museum of Giuseppe Verdi. After that, take direction Soragna/San Secondo then Fontanelle: in Diolo you can visit the
Boscaccio Centre in Diolo.

If you arrive from Parma, follow the directions to Piacenza then to San Secondo and Fontanelle.
From Fontanelle take the direction to Sissa then Colorno, where is the fabulous Reggia .
From here, pass the border with the land of Reggio Emilia, taking the directions to Mezzani and Brescello, the heart of the adventures with Don Camillo and Peppone narrated in the novels by Guareschi and in the beautiful movies taken from the books.

In Brescello, in a 50 meters distance area, you find the Museum of Peppone and Don Camillo and the museum Brescello and Guareschi the territory and cinema.
All the information can be found on the website

If you decide to discover the land of Guareschi by bycicle, you can reach Brescello from Parma by train, you’ll arrive at the station of Brescello, that is exactly how it was in the movies of Don Camillo, from there the itinerary can go towards Colorno, passing Coltaro, Gramignazzo and Fontanelle, until Roncole Verdi, always on bycicle routes that touch the banks of the big river, you can also rent a bike in one of the villages of the area.

Writer and journalist, born in Fonntanelle of Roccabianca in 1908, Giovannino Guareschi began his career as a political cartoonist, then he got famous as author of humoristic stories, above all the series dedicated to Don Camillo, the anti Communist priest from the lowland area near the river Po, who has an antagonist and friend in Peppone, the Communist mayor of the town.
The Bassa (lowland) is the homeland of Guareschi, this is the backdrop for his Mondo piccolo (Small world), his collection of vigorous, real life stories set in “that slice of land between the Po and the Appennines”.
If you wish to learn more about this extraordinary character, you can visit the anthological exhibition in Roncole Verdi, set up by Guareschi’s children with the Club of 23, the Boscaccio Centre in Diolo, his birthplace in Fontanelle.