Piacenza, Parma and Reggio Emilia: land of fast cars today as in the past

Follow the stages that mark the past and the future of the land of motors

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What is important is not so much the destination but the journey. And perhaps, when it comes to Emilia, even more important is the means of transport.

What awaits fans of two and four wheels is a dip in the cult of engines that enlivens the territory between Parma, Piacenza and Reggio Emilia.

A real full-throttle journey that starts from the prestigious car collections to get to know the historic cars and that concentration of technology and design that are modern racing cars.

  • Length
    48 hours
  • Interests
    Motor Valley
  • Target
  • First stop Piacenza

    The itinerary starts in Piacenza, with a visit to the Carriage Museum, one of the most prestigious collections of carriages in Italy, not only for its variety but also for the richness of the pieces housed in the suggestive basement of Palazzo Farnese.

    In a perfect state of conservation, there are real "racing cars" of a time gone by, which go chronologically from 1700 until the advent of motor transport.

    Among the examples on display: gala sedans, travel sedans, stages, landau, carriages, a splendid Sicilian cart and a fire-fighter cart but also wheelchairs and prams for children of the XVIII-XIX centuries.

  • Second stop Varano de' Melegari

    At the gates of Varano de 'Melegari (PR), the roar of the automotive and sports affair of Giampaolo Dallara, a revolving symbol of the Motor Valley destined to leave a mark also thanks to the Dallara Academy, an exhibition space for the cars that materialize his genius, but also a place of knowledge for the new generations.

    The connecting area between the two floors that house the workshops for schools, the auditorium and the classrooms dedicated to university education, is the beating and visual heart of the structure.

    It is a place always open to visitors, who can breathe and touch with their own hands the vehicles that have marked the engineer's professional history: from the Lamborghini Miura to the Fiat X1 / 9, from the Sportscars designed and built for the Lancia in the early 80s to the Formula Indycar single-seaters that run in the United States, from the prototypes of Le Mans up to the series like Formula 3 and Formula E, to get to the most recent creation "Dallara Stradale".

  • Third stop Varano de' Melegari

    The Riccardo Paletti circuit is located a few hundred meters from the Dallara headquarters. Built in 1968 and subsequently expanded on several occasions, today's track measures 2350 meters, is active 300 days a year and hosts international events such as Formula SAE - during which universities around the world challenge each other by putting their most innovative and futuristic projects in the form of racing cars to the test on the track- and the ASI Motoshow, a weekend of worship for collectors with two wheels in their hearts.

    Its asphalt has been consumed by Formula 3 cars and by championships such as the Italian Tourism and Supermotard championship but it is also the home of the International Safe Driving Centre, set up thanks to Andrea de Adamich, in collaboration with Alfa Romeo.

    Abarth, Maserati and Ferrari are just some of the names of the houses that participate in a program aimed at improving the car's control skills in critical situations, with days dedicated specifically to sporty, evolved and advanced driving.

  • Fourth stop San Martino in Rio

    The Automobile Museum of San Martino in Rio seems almost a simple workshop in comparison to the futuristic appearance of the Dallara Academy. Which is actually perfectly consistent with the soul of the collection, born from the passion and the desire to get dirty with engine oil, in order to gather real masterpieces of the art of four wheels.

    The arrival of the first specimens dates back to 1956, when a "Queen of Africa" - the 634 Fiat trailer truck used for the colonization of Abyssinia - stops at the gates of San Martino in Rio, with three vehicles on board.

    But what visitors find in front of them today is the result of the obstinacy of Emilio Storchi Fermi, called Barighin, patron of the San Martino stable and the true soul of an original museum that only in 1981, 6 years after his death, found a final home.

    Classic car enthusiasts can thus feast their eyes on exceptional and incredibly fascinating models, ranging from the Fiat 501 of 1925 to the Lancia Augusta of 1936, up to several Fiat Balilla and the Mercedes 170 of 1948.

  • Fifth stop Bagnolo in Piano

    The Salsapariglia Museum of Bagnolo in Piano (RE) collects 150 vintage motorcycles produced since 1900, together with 100 Agricultural and Industrial Engines, 100 Gramophones and Phonographs and Radios, Lesa tractors and motorized harvesters, antique bicycles and Sabart chainsaws.

    Obsessed with mechanics, Nello Salsapariglia has put together a collection that occupies three floors capable of evoking the adventure of a lifetime, which began on the fields and continued driven by wit and a sense of functionality typical of those suffering from the fever of doing.

    Of great interest - in addition to the sections dedicated to transmission groups and stationary engines - also the room reserved for gramophones, radios and projectors, witnesses of distant but always fascinating eras. 

    To find out more about restaurants, producers, accommodations, and other services, please visit the food and wine network at the website of Emilia Tourism Destination.

Last update 30/08/2023

For more information

Editorial board DT Emilia

Information offices

IAT R Piacenza
Piazza Cavalli, 7 - Piacenza (PC)
+ 39 0523 492001 iat@comune.piacenza.it Opening: all year round
IAT Fornovo
Via Monsignor Malpeli, 2 - Fornovo di Taro (PR)
+ 39 0525 2599 fornovoditaroiat@gmail.com

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