Besides being a UNESCO city for Creative Gastronomy and the administrative capital of the Food Valley, Parma also belongs to a touristic network comprising more than 30 castles with peculiar architectural patterns according to where they were built one thousand years ago: come discover the magic combination of these two ingredients – art and food – in the green highlands stretching out toward the seaside of Liguria!
09:30 am – Meet your private licensed guide and enjoy the visit of the breathtaking Castello di Torrechiara overlooking the Food Valley from a sweetly sloping hill surrounded by fruitful farming lots, small vineyards and the first Apennine offshoots: often popping out on the covers of the tour guides of Italy and used as a natural set for movies and documentaries, the castle is the perfect testimony of the key-role played by Parma along the trade route connecting the rich regions of the North with the Ligurian ports, as well as the switch from the troubled Middles Ages to the flourishing and peaceful times of the Renaissance. Indeed, the precious frescoes embellishing the main tower’s inner walls tell the visitors about the courtly love of its founder, Sir Pier Maria Rossi, for Lady Bianca Pellegrini at the time when chivalry was leaving an indelible trace in literature, poetry and lifestyle.
10:45 am – Head on to your foodie stop.
11:15 am – Guided visit of a family-run Prosciutto di Parma factory: from the fresh meat trimming area to the drying rooms exposed to natural airflow upstairs and the ageing cellars for the hams’ magic transformation into the dream-food we all know about, you will catch the reason why it can only be produced in this very specific land stripe!
01:00 pm – Typical full lunch based on cured meats, a pasta dish, homemade dessert and 2 glassed of different local sparkling wines Malvasia and Lambrusco.
02:30 pm – Head on to the second castle.
03:00 pm – Guided visit of Rocca Sanvitale in Sala Baganza: used as a fresh and gorgeous summer residence by both the Farnese Dukes and the beloved Marie Louise of Habsburg, the manor still bears precious fresco traces from the 1500s and the1700s. And you could even take a short walk in the gracious Italian-style garden-orchard, from where the signori used to take the freshest ingredients for their gargantuan meals!
04:30 pm – End of activities and back to hotel / head on to your next destination.