The tour was created, tried and recounted by Eliana Lazzareschi Belloni of gecotravels.com in the ambit of the project #destination YOU

There will be qualified and licensed guides who are experts in food and wine products of Parma; there will be an overnight stay in a vineyard resort; lunches and dinners will be paired with local wines; bike excursions and a local authorized countryside guide.
KINDLY NOTE:
This is a tour which can be purchased on line for weekends, but possible on other week days according to demand.  The tour is subject to change according to availability of the structures.


Parma (PR) - 3 days

Parma – day 1
On the first day there will be a bike tour that will take you to discover Parma culinary traditions and its wonderful historical center.
The tour includes a visit to a cheese factory to discover the making of Parmigiano Reggiano. You wil admire the ancient and slow ritual of the cheese makers, when they cut the cheese mass into two parts and wrapped in its typical cloth, the cheese is then placed in a mould which will give it its final shape.

The visit will include a tasting and the possibility to purchase products.
After the tasting you will ride along Via Garibaldi and will stop at Pasticceria Torino, a historic pastry shops in Parma. A discovery tour of the sweeter and irresistible side of the city, to taste sweet delicacies, such as “parigina”, a brioche filled with pastry cream.  
You will reach Piazza Duomo where you will see the extraordinary Baptistery of Benedetto Antelami, containing painted scenes and Parma Cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the the Assumption of the Virgin, decorating the dome, executed by a Renaissance painter, Antonio Allegri known as Correggio.  

The tour will continue through Parco Ducale and will end with a typical tasting lunch in one of the most popular delicatessens in the city.

Afternoon
In the afternoon there will be a guided tour at Ettore Guatelli Museum, which is a unique museum with a collection of over 60.000 objects from the local peasant tradition. Cups, corkscrews, clocks, tools, wooden wheels, shoes, home-made dolls are all arranged artfully and carefully along the walls with a wonderful aesthetically-pleasing installation. 

Then you will visit a wine company, Monte delle Vigne. Elena, the owner, will take you to the cellar for a wine tasting and will tell you the story of the vineyard and its wines. You will taste Lambrusco, a wine with a smooth taste of red fruit aromas. Highly recommended is Nabucco, the symbol of Monte delle Vigne.
Overnight at Monte delle Vigne. Nestled in the beautiful natural setting of 60 hectares of vineyards, there is Antico Casale delle Vigne, an elegant and refined resort.

Fontanellato and Torrechiara (PR) – day 2
Breakfast at Antico Casale delle Vigne.  
Departure for Fontanellato, recognised as one of the most beautiful Italian small towns. This town is a City of Art and Culture which received the accolade of Cittàslow (Slow City) in 2004 for the quality of urban life, hospitality and recognition of the excellence of local food culture.  You will walk through the medieval  streets to drink in the fascination of its perfectly intact historical centre. There will be a guided tour of the fortress, erected in XIV century by Sanvitale family.  The tour features a treasure of the high Renaissance, the small and fabulous room frescoed by Parmigianino with the myth of Diana and Atteone.

Transfer to Masone Museum and visit of Labyrinth of Franco Maria Ricci, the largest bamboo maze in the world.  A fascinating pathway along 3 kms of green corridors with a wide variety of bamboo species.
The labyrinth is a metaphor of human condition, that is lost in the junctures of life. So visitors will make a journey to the center of their deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding.
Free time for lunch.

In the afternoon you will visit Torrechiara castle, an elegant and evocative castle of XV century.  From the terrace the magnificent view embraces vineyards which cover the gentle Parma hills. 
Enjoy a delightful walk through the tiny hamlet of Torrechiara and visit the Cantina del Borgo where the owner, Giuseppe Vicari, will tell you the story of his vines as you taste his wines and will give you useful advice on pairings. His words and his eyes reveals his dedication and passion for his job. 
Dinner at Taverna del Castello, which is inside the village.  The chef will offer you refined recipes creating a perfect combination of originality and culinary tradition of this territory, all paired with Vicari’s wines.
Transfer back to Antico Casale delle Vigne for the overnight stay.

The Museums of Pasta and Tomatoes - Pallavicino Castle  (PR)  - day 3
Breakfast at Antico Casale delle Vigne.  
Transfer to Collecchio, near Taro river. You will visit the Museum of Pasta and Tomatoes to find out about the fascinating history and origins of these two important products of local food heritage. You can learn about the history, cultivation and transformation of the tomato and see the old fashioned machinery once used for pasta production, donated by Barilla.
The visit is divided in seven thematic sections starting with the history tale and ends up featuring photos, advertisings, recipes etc.
Both the museums have a seat at Corte di Giarola, the ancient and medieval farm with stalls.
Lunch will be at Corte di Giarola with a buffet with typical dishes and wines.
In the afternoon departure for the Pallavicino Castle of Varano de’ Melegari, where the ghost of the marchesa Beatrice Pallavicina has been seen.  Guided tour of the castle and hamlet to immerse yourself in local history and legends.
Return to Parma.

The experience includes:

2 nights Antico Casale delle Vigne in B & B (or similar),
1 private guide for half a day for the bike bike tour of the cheese factory and the historic center of Parma
Sweet tasting + tasting in the shop of the city
Tasting of Parmigiano Reggiano
Tasting of local wines at grower Wine Colli di Parma
Ticket and guided tour at the Sanvitale Fortress of Fontanellato
Entrance ticket to the Labyrinth of Masone
Admission to the Castle of Torrechiara
Set meal at the Castle Inn (subject to availability)
Ticket and guided tour of the Castle of Varano


The experience does not include:

  • Transport (if you did not choose the "transportation included" option)
  • Entrance tickets to Duomo and Baptistery and other monuments

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