The Castle of Torrechiara is one of the most important attractions in the proviince of Parma, and this itinerary will help you explore it in an unsual way. We will tell you how to discover the castle from the viewpoint of someone who regularly walks the hills and accompanies visitors to the town.
The route is recommdnded by Andrea Pellacini, Environmental Excursionist Guide, AIGAE and the Pro Val Parma association.
A jewel of yesteryear, well-preserved into modern times. Taking strada Langhirano from Parma, the castle appears on your right, on top of one of the first hills we find in the Parma river valley. Even from a distance, its beauty is clear, but as you get closer, you start to notice more and more details, that make it truly magnificent, the same adjective used to describe the man who had it built Pier Maria Rossi “the magnificent”.
To see the castle of Torrechiara, or as it was called once Torclaria, and its surroundings from different angles all you need to do is leave from the historical town square, piazza Leoni, and work your way up to the base of the castle.
As you arrive at the base of the Castle, make your way along the mill road until you reach a junction with a splendid view of the plain beneath you. Here turn left, towards Casatico, a small town of vineyards and cellars. The view of the castle and the Valley is breathtaking: on clear days, you can even see the Alps beyond the Padana Plain.
The hills around the Castle are full of vineyards, which invite visitors to stop and have a glass of wine in one of the many wine cellars in the area.
From Casatico, follow a CAI path that runs alongside a long sequence of vines and that leads to another path lined with vines and the castle that arises in front of you. A route to the Castle full of genuine Mediterranean smells and tastes.
Between the wall rocks, you can still see the Italian elicris growing in summer, which catatpults you into a strongly-Mediterranean context thanks to its gold-yellow flowers and sweet smell. Passing under the first imposing tower of the Castle, you enter the town which is perfect for a romantic evening stroll, before stopping to enjoy the view from the lower walls in front of the ancient church of San Lorenzo.
From here, but also from many other points, you see alongside the Parma river, the Badia di Santa Maria della Neve and its belltower. The frescoes rooms of the castle of Torrechiara are open to visitors, particularly the Sala della Camera d’Oro (which tells of the beautiful but adulterous love affair between Pier Maria Rossi and Bianca Pellegrini). This love story has made the castle famous throughout the world.
From the castle, go left down the tarmac road or right down the forest path to go back towards piazza Leoni.
Campers can use the carpark at the base of the Castle, before you reach the slope up to the building itself.
For more information, please visit the aperture Official site of the Castles of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza