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 ancient 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 charming lowlands of the Po-river!
09:00 am – Meet the guide at our PDO Parmigiano-Reggiano dairy and enjoy a thorough visit of the plant from the live production area to the drying and salting room and the ageing cellar, aka “the bank” or “the cathedral” for the thousands cheese wheels piled up to reach the ceiling. Tasting at the end.
10:30 am – Head on to the first castle
10:45 am – Guided visit of the elegant Rocca Meli Lupi in Soragna, still inhabited by Prince Diofebo Meli Lupi (descendant of an aristocratic family of medieval origins directly linked to the Austrian emperors) and bearing perfect witness of the power, gentility and cultural awareness of the local signori who settled down in this very strategic strip of land between central and southern Europe.
12:45 pm – Head on to the second foodie stop.
01:00 pm – Guided visit of a small ageing cellar of PDO Culatello di Zibello nearby: you will be surprised to know that this utmost artisanal cured meat obtained from the same pork leg destined to the Prosciutto production is one of the top-notch gourmet foods selected by all Michelin guides and many famous chefs all over Europe!
02:30 pm – Head on to the second castle.
03:00 pm – Guided visit of the picturesque Rocca Sanvitale in Fontanellato: owned by the homonymous high-lineage Counts until 1948 and still surrounded by its original medieval moat, it is one of Italy’s most frequented touristic attractions thanks to local painter Parmigianino’s intriguing rendering of Diana and Acteon in one of the inner rooms.
04:00 pm – End of activities and back to hotel / head on to your next destination.
Extra ingredient to your day? Try not to get lost at Labirinto della Masone, the biggest maze of the world, completely made of bamboo canes and bejeweled by a state- of-the-art contemporary building looking like a pyramid and housing one of Parma’s richest collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures and inestimable ancient prints.