Scarpetta di Sant Ilario

The famous shoe of the Parma tradition

The famous traditional Parma shoe is that of Sant’Ilario di Poitiers and is celebrated every 13th January because it is the patron saint of Parma.

Tradition has it that we celebrate with the sweet shoes dedicated to him or shortcrust pastry cakes covered with sugar or chocolate decorations.

Who was Sant’Ilario di Poitiers and why the shoes?

Shoe Parma Tradition
Shoe Parma Tradition

A legend tells that a shoemaker, seeing the barefoot saint pass through Parma during a snowy day, took pity on him and gave him a pair of shoes. The next day, in the place where the shoes were donated, the shoemaker found a pair of gold shoes. This explains the reason why the shoes are created.

The fabulous little shoes have been on display for a few days in the city’s gastronomy and pastry shops, but what if you want to make them yourself?

Here is the recipe, and please, let us know how they came!


500 grams of flour
4 eggs
250 grams of sugar
150 gr of butter
vanillin, grated lemon zest
200 gr of powdered sugar
dye and colored sweet or sugar beads for decoration


Pour the flour on the pastry board, making a crater in the center in which to pour the ingredients for the dough.

Soften the butter at room temperature and knead 2 eggs and 2 yolks taking the flour from the edges and add the butter, the grated rind of the lemon and the vanillin.

When the mixture is compact, roll it out with a rolling pin until it reaches a thickness of 5 mm.

Cut the dough or use the special molds to form many shoes, like the one you see in the photos.

In a previously greased baking tray, lay the biscuits and bake them in the oven at medium temperature (160 °) until they have formed a golden crust (about 30 ‘/ 35’).

While the shoes are cooking, the icing is prepared by placing the icing sugar and a few teaspoons of water in a bowl, stirring with a wooden spatula.

When the mixture has reached the right consistency, add a few drops of pastry dye to taste.

Once the cookies have been removed from the oven, they are covered with icing and decorated with sweet beads or colored sugars as garnish.

A good wine in combination is the fresh sweet Malvasia.

Where to find the famous traditional shoe in Parma?

If you don’t want to try your hand at cooking or more simply you are in Parma and want to buy them, even later, (you can find them even after this period)? We give you some names of pastry shops where you can surely find them in these days:

  1. Sweet Surprise Pastry in Via Emilia Est 53 / c
  2. Pasticceria D’Azeglio via D’Azeglio 10
  3. Pastry shop San Biagio via Carlo Pisacane 14
  4. Battistini pastry shop via Montebello 84 / B
  5. Pastry shop Turin via G. Garibaldi 61

How to arrive by camper

To get to Parma we recommend the rest area and the comfortable bus will take you to the historic center, where you will find buses that will take you to the pastry shops and wherever you want.


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