In the collective imagination and in the perception as a tourist destination, Parma is associated with opera music, excellent cuisine and its agri-food products of absolute excellence. A “petite capitale”, in short, of good living.
And so it is. But there is more: in the Food Valley called Val Parma, in the 90 km that the stream marks from the Apennine ridge to the Po, values are added, flavors are discovered, always different landscapes overlap.
From the food and wine point of view, Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO, Prosciutto di Parma PDO, Salame di Felino PGI and Vini dei Colli are the tips of a many-sided diamond, where every valley, every village or hamlet preserves particular culinary traditions and sometimes rooted in the millennial history of these places.
And you can still breathe a lot of history in these valleys, dotted with beautiful castles, churches and churches, historic villages and ancient agricultural courts.
The link with the products is sealed by the presence in the Valley of five Food Museums: the Parma Ham Museum in Langhirano, the Tomato and Pasta Museums in Collecchio, the Salami Museum in Felino and the Wine Museum in Sala Baganza.
It is a precious place and precious things, you know, must be protected. Nature is protected on several levels. The National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines preserves the peaks of the ridge, the Regional Park of the Hundred Lakes the middle mountain, the Park Boschi di Carrega the lowland forests among the vestiges of the ducal past, the Taro Park the fragile ecosystem of the middle course of the river. Parks to live thanks to the many opportunities for use, from hiking to sports in nature.
A protected nature that puts us in network with the whole world thanks to the MAB Reserve (Man and Biosphere) UNESCO Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
Whether they are the rocky ridges or the glacial lakes of the ridge, the orderly agricultural landscape of the plain where it seems to still see the hand of Roman centuriation, the regular rows of vines that move the hills in waves of color, the scent of freshly cut hay, moss or mushrooms in the undergrowth, wood burning in the chimneys, the sound of a tractor or dry leaves under your feet.
Everything here invites us to stop, slow down, live.