September is known as the month of mushrooms: we think that its beauty is to go up to the mountains to enjoy a beautiful day in the woods in search of this magnificent and tasty product of the undergrowth and, in the meantime, go to the discovery of a village in a camper to enjoy it.
With these excuses we want to offer you a visit to the discovery of a Borgo in a camper that of all records the most important festival dedicated to Porcini Mushroom in Emilia: Borgo Val di Taro.
Borgo Val di Taro, where is it?
The valley is that of the Taro in the province of Parma in the heart of the Parma Apennines. (By the way, know that we call it Borgotaro.)
You are a few kilometers from the border with the regions of Tuscany and Liguria. From the ridges, as from the Passo della Cappelletta which can also be accessed by camper with attention to the narrow road, on clear days the gaze comes to see the sea of Chiavari.
Going to the discovery of a village in a camper van can also be the pleasant interval of a fairly long journey or a busy highway route; in our case Borgotaro is located on the Parma-La Spezia axis on the A15 and exiting the toll booth, taking the Fondovalle in 20 kilometers you will arrive right at the village.
Where to stop with the camper
It is possible to park the camper in one of the car parks indicated on our site, but if you are looking for a rest area where you can then safely spend the night, the closest is the Tarolli Area. Often during the holidays it is possible to take advantage of a convenient shuttle service by agreeing with the manager.
We begin our journey to discover a village in a camper, telling you briefly where we are, with the help of a guide who accompanied us around the country
Borgotaro is a mountain village reminiscent of a city in the Emilian plain, due to its straightforward orthogonal urban planning, it seems, in the Middle Ages by the powerful free municipality of Piacenza, but also for the rapid succession of noble palaces that from the 18th century onwards dominated the architectural scene of the village.
The old walls of the fortified village and the defenses of the fifteenth-century castle have almost completely disappeared, the peaceful and tiny town hides a past made up of strenuous struggles in defense of its identity.
Dukes, princes and noble families fought for centuries for control of one of the most strategic locations in the Emilian Apennines, a crossroads for pilgrims and businesses that united Emilia with Liguria, Tuscany and central Italy …
(Cit. Giacomo Galli from “The Unusual Visits”)
What to see in Borgotaro
… The walk through the center is therefore a continuous discovery of churches, palaces and portals sculpted by stone workers, who in masterfully carving the local stone have recovered the use of ancient symbols that bring good luck.
The lesser known corners of the country are able to tell even more hidden legends and stories through small elements of material culture.
Examples are: the small niche used in the past to place uncomfortable unborn babies left in silence in the orphanages in the “wheel”. The old wooden plaque marked with the number 3, which marked the place where the morgue of the ancient hospital of Palazzo Tardiani was once located, located right in the square next to S. Antonino and hosting sick people and travelers from all over the world for centuries. . (Cit. Giacomo Galli from “The Unusual Visits”)
As you stroll through the cobbled streets of the historic center, look up and while you look around you will see
- Palazzo Boveri: enriched in its front by stucco friezes bearing the coats of arms of Borgotaro dei Borbone, of the Farnese and others. In fact, the Queen of Spain, Elisabetta Farnese, stopped here during a trip in 1744
- Palazzo Tardiani: this building was the site of the former hospital and has held this important function for the town over the centuries. It was managed by the Confraternita dei Disciplinati until the first half of 1900 when it was annexed to the Parish of S. Antonino.
- Church of S. Antonino: built in 1226 during the annexation of Borgo Val di Taro to Bobbio, it was rebuilt several times. Inside it contains a relic of the saint who is not in Piacenza where S. Antonino is patron saint. For this reason the saint also became the patron saint of Borgo Val di Taro. There are numerous paintings of great value inside, but everything is dominated by the sumptuous organ, a 13th-century Serassi.
- Church of San Domenico: it was restored in 1674 and inside it contains some important paintings including the Massacre of the Innocents and the wooden statue of the Madonna del Rosario from 1500 which is carried in procession every year during the Feast of the Madonna del Rosario.
- Palazzo Manara: it is recognized for its distinctly red color and is located towards the end of the historic center near the church of S. Antonino. This noble family of Piacenza origins moved to Borgotaro and built the palace here in 1711, as shown above the entrance arch. The peculiarity of this building lies in the decorations on the doors and windows in “Bugnato” in the double row diamond point. Very fashionable at the time it indicated the economic importance of the family.
- Palazzo Bertucci: an important palace of the second half of the 1700s, it is on five levels, and dominates the part of the village that overlooks the Taro. One could almost say that the Bertucci family, by building their own palace there, wanted to welcome those who arrived at the Borgo, with the magnificence of the role of their nobility.
But our journey to discover a village in a camper continues with gastronomy.
Borgotaro and gastronomy
If you plan Borgotaro in September, you must certainly do it in conjunction with the most important festival in the valley: The Porcino Mushroom Fair of Borgotaro PGI.
Two weekends full of events, activities and tastings, attract tourists both from the area and beyond. Many foreigners come here to stop in September and taste the excellent traditional dishes based on mushrooms.
In addition to the mushroom you can also take a taste tour through the streets of the town. We tell you about:
- Pasticceria Steckli a story that comes from far away: from Switzerland where wonderful desserts were created. Mr. Steckli in the 1920s, like others, decided to emigrate from the homeland of Engadin pastry chefs and grocers and landed in Borgotaro. Here in a laboratory he began to produce a Swiss dessert, Amor with its soft, delicate and delicious cream, which seems to escape every bite. Two thin sheets of Swiss wafer and in the middle a cream made with milk, eggs, sugar, starch and other ingredients depending on the taste you want to give, and to which expertly whipped butter is added.
- Il Chisolino a little place where you can taste this particular product, the chisolino in fact, made with various doughs. And don’t be wrong to call it pizza! Here they have an eye on celiacs.
We thank Giacomo Galli of “The Unusual Visits” of which we have published an excerpt of his report for the precious contribution and for the guided tour.
Our personal conclusions
We always think that it takes very little to choose a weekend, those 250/300 km but also a few more to switch off and find a place just like Borgo Val di Taro that offers a lot: good dishes, a quiet place and some peculiarities to to visit.
We have created this article with this in mind. We hope you enjoy how we create it. Have a good trip… with taste!