On the way from Milan to Parma, Modena or Bologna? Enjoy a food&art day among some of those elegant manors known as Castles of the Duchy which were strategically placed along the river valleys of western Emilia between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance!
Strongholds, fortresses and palaces here are the best storytellers… and a gourmet lunch paired with the high quality wines is the cherry on top!
09:45 am – Arrival at the charming medieval village of Rivalta, built on the left side of that river Trebbia that E. Hemingway described as one of the most beautiful places he’d ever seen. One of the resident guides will first meet&greet you in the English-style garden and then lead you into the noble courtyard, where you will be the guests of Count Orazio Zanardi Landi, whose ancestors have owned Castello di Rivalta since the 1300s. The guided visit will include all the rooms where both the ancient and the current-day family members used to spend their private as well as their official moments, like the bedroom rented to Margareth of England, regular summer guest at the manor’s until the 1980s!
10:45 am – Head on the second castle
11:30 am – The owner themselves will welcome you to their beloved Castello di Gropparello, perfect summary of the architectural patterns used to build defensive strongholds to control the most strategic pathways of the area. Nestled on a spur of green serpentine and surrounded by a breathtaking river valley where sea fossils are incredibly still to be found, this manor will teach you how the passion of its owners can keep a thousand- year old dwelling safe, sound and lively over time.
01:00 pm – Full lunch with a farm-to-table typical menu at the Castle’s Inn: the 3 local PDO cured meats (Coppa, Pancetta, Salame), a plate of fresh stuffed pasta, a tasty dessert and two different glasses among the 21 Piacenza wines with Denomination of Controlled Origin: cheers!
02:30 pm –
03:30 pm – Arrival in Vigoleno, a truly spectacular medieval ensemble comprising both a small borgo in country-chic style and its guarding fortress within an imposing curtain of walls. Enjoy some free time walking along the cobbled alleys and indulge in a glass of the local Vin Santo: beside being quite rare, it is said to bring a very good luck!
04:30 pm – End of activities and back to hotel / head on to your next destination.