The countryside between the river Po in the North and the Apennines in the South is scattered with palaces and castles evoking ancient times. Each one offers great architecture, inspiring stories and the chance to taste some mouth-watering food specialties at a nearby local producer.
Castello di Torrechiara is a wonderfully situated fifteenth century fortress. You will discover various frescoed rooms and find out about a faraway love story. 18 km. south of Parma
Rocca Meli Lupi di Soragna is a princely residence in the Po valley. It was once a fortress and the princes Meli Lupi, who still live there, turned it into a richly decorated and furnished palace. 28 km. north of Parma
Rocca Sanvitale in Fontanellato is a charming moated fortress hiding a real gem: a small room frescoed in 1524 by Francesco Mazzola, known as Parmigianino.
Reggia di Colorno used to be the grand summer residence of the dukes of Parma; it was renovated in the eighteenth century in imitation of the French royal residence of Versailles and has an elegant French-style garden 12 km north of Parma.
Gourmet stopovers: in the area of Torrechiara you can visit a winery producing Vino dei colli or a Parma ham producer. Near Soragna and Fontanellato you can visit a dairy producing Parmigiano Reggiano or a producer of culatello, one of the most prized Italian cold cuts.
PERSONAL GUIDED TOUR DURATION: half day or full day tour. You’ll need a car for this tour.
In the Middle Ages pilgrims and merchants walked along a network of trails and paths leading from Canterbury to Rome through France. Their route, known as via Francigena, weaving across the territory of Parma and Piacenza can be retraced and, though the landscape has greatly changed, it’s still possible to visit off the beaten path spots of great beauty reminiscent of a lost world.
The tour can start in Fidenza with its magnificent cathedral and take you either towards the Apennine mountains through the villages of Fornovo and Berceto, or towards the river Po through the Cistercian abbey Chiaravalle della Colomba and the medieval village of Castell’Arquato.
Wherever you are heading you can include a gourmet stopover to taste mouth-watering traditional local food.
PERSONAL GUIDED TOUR DURATION: half-day or full-day tour. You’ll need a car for this tour.
This little city in the middle of the Po valley in Emilia is well-known all over the world because for Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti were born here and because of its gastronomy.
It also has architectural treasures which are a Unesco World Heritage Site: the magnificent Romanesque Cathedral, the Torre Ghirlandina (Ghirlandina Tower), the veritable symbol of Modena, and Piazza Grande, where the heart of the city beats.
Taking a stroll in the narrow streets you will discover more, for example Palazzo Comunale (Municipal Headquarters), Palazzo dei Musei with its art collections (among which the Galleria Estense and Biblioteca Estense the impressive collections of art, manuscripts and books once belonging to the Dukes of Modena) and Palazzo Ducale, the Ducal Palace which was once the residence of the Este family and now houses a prestigious Military Academy.
The tour can be combined with a tour in Parma or include a tasting of local specialities like Modena Balsamic Vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Lambrusco, the typical sparkling red wine.
PERSONAL GUIDED TOUR DURATION: half-day or full-day walking tour
Un percorso nel centro storico di Bologna, la bellissima città capoluogo dell’Emilia Romagna, per coglierne l’essenza, tra suggestive viuzze medievali, caratteristici portici ed eleganti facciate di palazzi signorili.
È d’obbligo iniziare da Piazza Maggiore, scenografico spazio su cui si affacciano i monumenti di maggior pregio storico-artistico, tra cui spiccano il Palazzo Comunale con la sua poderosa mole e l’altrettanto imponente Basilica di San Petronio, simbolo dell’orgoglio cittadino.
A pochi passi di distanza si trovano la celebre Fontana del Nettuno, capolavoro bronzeo del Giambologna, e il Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio, antica sede dell’Università, prima per fondazione in Italia e in Europa.
E ancora non si possono dimenticare le Due Torri, dal fortissimo impatto visivo, il quartiere universitario con il vecchio Ghetto Ebraico e la sorprendente presenza di alcuni canali che svelano un aspetto meno noto della città.
L’itinerario può essere esteso con la visita al Santuario di San Luca o abbinato alla visita di Modena.
Durata: mezza giornata o giornata intera con pausa pranzo.