The territory of Parma is a treasure of culinary traditions that have their roots in centuries of gastronomic history.
To know the richness of this heritage, an idea is to visit the Food Museums, a circuit of eight museums dedicated to the excellent food products of the Parma area.
The museums are ideal stops on a food and wine itinerary in that part of Emilia which has always been synonymous with culinary excellence and quality and offer a fascinating journey through the secrets of local cuisine.
The route can be easily traveled by car and/or camper and lends itself to various stops, such as parish churches and castles, art locations and natural parks.
> It is important to remember that the Food Museums are only open on Saturdays and Sundays, from March to the first weekend of December. Due to the limited opening times of the museum, visiting only some stops is recommended.
The route starts from Polesine Parmense, a small town located on the path of the Po River, where the Antica Corte Pallavicina houses the Culatello Museum.
Here we get to know the protagonists of the history of this delicious product, which was born in this part of the "Bassa Parma" where fog is such an important ingredient for the creation of this exquisite cured meat.
From here, the route continues to Soragna, a lovely town in the “Bassa” which you find about 16 km from Polesine and about 10 km from the nearby city of Fidenza. In Soragna, housed in the ancient nineteenth-century toll booth, the Parmigiano Reggiano Museum will take you into the world of processing this delicious product. A stone's throw from the museum, the splendid Rocca Meli Lupi is also worth a visit: a medieval manor, transformed in the seventeenth century into an elegant noble residence still inhabited today by the Princes Meli Lupi.
> In Soragna there is a rest area with around 15 spaces, with a well and drinking water. In Fontanellato, just about 10 km from Soragna, there is a larger camper parking area. It is located about 500 meters from the historic center and is open 24 hours a day, has 110 pitches and is characterized by high roofs of photovoltaic panels which guarantee excellent shading.
Fontanellato is a beautiful village in the Lower Parma area, and in its centre there is the Rocca Sanvitale surrounded by a large moat filled with water. Our advice is to pay a visit inside this complex to admire with your own eyes one of the masterpieces of Italian mannerism, the room painted by Parmigianino in 1524 with the myth of Diana and Atteone.
From Fontanellato taking the SS 9 (Via Emilia), in the direction of Ponte Taro you arrive in Collecchio at the Corte di Giarola where two food museums are housed: the Pasta Museum and the Tomato Museum.
Inside this complex, an ancient agricultural curtis, you can find the history of wheat, from cultivation to transformation and that of the tomato that arrived from the Americas to us. It is the ideal place to discover the traditions and techniques of producing fresh pasta. From tagliatelle to orecchiette, the museum offers practical demonstrations, allowing visitors to actively participate in the preparation of this culinary art.
From Corte di Giarola, in less than 15 minutes, you reach Sala Baganza where, inside the imposing Rocca Sanvitale, the Wine Museum is housed, which offers an immersion in the world of Emilia-Romagna wines, known all over the world for their quality.
Not far from the center of Sala Baganza, the Carrega Woods are a protected natural area in which to spend some time and take a walk in this beautiful corner of greenery.
> In Sala Baganza there is a camper parking area where from 3 to 8 parking spaces are available in the Sports Center car park, which has around 50 parking spaces available. A free unloading and loading area is available and 4 light points are available for a fee, working on a time limit with coins. Parking is free.
Not far from Sala Baganza (about 5 km), stands the Felino Salame Museum which offers an interesting documentary on the production of this sausage from the regional gastronomic tradition.
Not far from Felino (about 12 km), to the south, in Langhirano there is the Ham Museum. This institution offers a complete sensory experience, allowing visitors to follow the production process, from raising pigs to curing cured meats.
Video interactives, educational displays and guided tastings enrich the itinerary, providing an in-depth understanding of the craftsmanship behind one of Italy's most iconic foods.
Near the village, it is possible to complete the visit of the area with the visit of the castle of Torrechiara or reach the beautiful villa of the masterpieces of the Magnani Rocca Foundation in Mamiano di Traversetolo (12 km).
> The closest parking area is in Traversetolo in Piazzale Europa, located inside a public park. It can accommodate from two to a maximum of four vehicles. It has two columns for electricity, lighting, drinking water tank refill and a sewage outlet. Access to the pitches is free.
The last stop before concluding the route is the Mushroom Museum in Borgo Val di Taro, a small town located in the Parma Apennines about 70 km from the center of Langhirano.
In this centre, considered the capital of the upper Taro Valley, there is the Mushroom Museum, among the latest to be included in the network of Food Museums.
The structure presents the territory, the forest, the porcini mushroom and its varieties, the various habitats in which it grows, but also the tools for harvesting, the conservation and processing techniques, and in general the use of the mushroom in the local gastronomic culture.
In case you decide to stop in this area, not far from Borgo Val di Taro, in Albareto there is the second branch of the Mushroom Museum.
> Here, there is a camper parking area, in a beautiful green area; it is open from March to December and can accommodate up to 25 pitches. Give yourself time to calmly get to know this splendid area.