Berceto is a village in the Parma Apennines, between Val Taro and Val Baganza, located at m. 852. It is located along the Cisa state road that leads to La Spezia and a few kilometers from the Cisa motorway.
An important stopping and religious location, in the ancient village the Duomo shows its Romanesque imprint in its elaborate portal and architectural layout. The last stop on the Via Francigena before the Apennine pass, the ancient village retains the character and atmosphere typical of the Middle Ages, with stone houses, buildings from the XII-XVII centuries and the ruins of a castle. It is fascinating to get lost walking through its ancient alleys.
The best period to stay in Berceto is probably the summer, as it is an excellent starting point for horseback riding on the high Apennines, along the Taro and Ceno Valley Horse Trail and for excursions both on foot and by car to the nearby Apennine towns.
Cathedral of St. Moderanno
The church is an important example of Romanesque architecture. Next to the church the Museum of the Cathedral is housed in an ancient side chapel, and it preserves sacred furnishings and vestments, including the XII century Cape of San Moderanno. Furthermore, the remains of a castle can be seen.
Berceto is a stop on the Via Francigena, the pilgrimage route of early medieval Christianity towards Rome.
The typical dish here is a delicious dessert with a spicy flavor, the Spongata, but in Berceto you can taste the typical dishes of this territory, from Parmigiano Reggiano to the dishes based on Porcini mushrooms. In fact, this town is in an area also famous for the Porcino Mushroom PGI.
Passo della Cisa
From Berceto continuing towards La Spezia, along the Cisa state road, you will find the Passo della Cisa, at m. 1039, the ancient border between the Duchy of Parma and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Today you can admire the beautiful Cappella di Nostra Signora della Guardia, at the top of a staircase. The route followed by pilgrims along the trail on the Via Francigena through Emilia culminated with the difficult mountain path over the Cisa Pass. Nowadays, the pass retains evidence of the border between the Duchies of Parma and Piacenza and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany embedded in the walls of the old post station as well as the Chapel of Nostra Signora della Guardia built at the end of a steep flight of steps in 1921.
Goingn down the valley from the village of Berceto, a few kilometers away, is a small town called Corchia which preserves an ancient nucleus of stone houses, paved paths and arched underpasses. Hidden in a valley on the Appennines, Corchia still preserves its Medieval features. Houses made of stones, paved tiny streets, arches, tyipical barns called tagge make a visit to Corchia a journey back in time.
Since the rule of the Farnese family, the village economy could develop thanks to the iron and copper pits on nearby Mount Groppo Maggio, closed only in 1943.