You could use Google Earth to make this trip, but it’s better to imagine doing it by flying: slowly descending the Parma ridge to meet the producers of the Alta Val Parma, keepers of an itinerary of the tastes and flavors of the Apennines.
Imagine, the gaze would run over long ridges, beautiful mountains, many small lakes nestled between woods and high altitude grasslands.
And then again woods as far as the eye can see, pastures, valleys crossed by clear streams, cultivated fields and vegetable gardens, and still villages and towns with an ancient atmosphere, where you can stop with a camper and go to discover them.
And just coming back down to earth, the attentive and curious eye of the tourist would thus discover that mountain products are born from this landscape: delicacies such as mushrooms, truffles, chestnuts, Cornigliese sheep, Parmigiano Reggiano, salami .
It is a mountainous landscape where the camper can get to know hospitable and inventive people: here you can also find honey, apple cider, snails, wild fruits and herbs, and black pigs. And in the ovens of the villages you will find a delicious dessert that we often tell you about: the spongata
They are ideal places for slow tourism, in a splendid environment surrounded by the many flavors of the Parma mountains.
Here you can really meet an area full of genuineness and special people who live with passion. On the other hand, you too live a unique passion: traveling by camper.
So here we want to introduce you to these valleys and the small producers who live in these areas of the Parma Apennines and produce unique products. An itinerary of taste among the Producers in Alta Val Parma.
At some companies, a vehicle, such as our campers, cannot arrive, but you can still get to know and taste the excellent products they produce in the shops and restaurants that we will suggest along the journey.
If, on the other hand, you travel by camper equipped with a scooter or are a bicycle lover, then you will certainly be able to visit their companies and get to know those who create a unique product with such passion, a true excellence of this part of the Apennines. Our only suggestion that we would like to give you: take note of who you want to visit and advise of your arrival perhaps the day before. They are producers engaged in markets, events or other activities and are not always on the farm.
Our Producers in Alta Val Parma: an itinerary through taste
This itinerary along the Val Parma starts from Langhirano, the homeland of the sweet Prosciutto di Parma DOP, with the 5-pointed crown.
If you want you can decide to leave your camper at Salumificio Cav. Ilari, and if you have our card, take advantage of discounts on purchases and tastings, and start your scooter itinerary from there.
We therefore present below the producers in Alta Val Parma, the ones you cannot miss: for companies where the camper cannot be parked, we give you information about the nearby car park.
Odorizzi Cinzia’s Ilio, Agricultural company
Starting from the hills at Langhirano, we would like to mention Snails, Lavander, Bee products, vegetables, and cosmetics. These are the products made by agricultural company Ilio run by Cinzia Odorizzi. The company is in the hills above Langhirano, in a MAB-UNESCO area where biodiversity is managed and protected, and the land is managed in a sustainable manner.
Their main activity is snail production (the Helix Aspersa Maxima and Helix Aspersa Muller), bred with passion, and from which the company makes Cosmetic products. The presence of bees in this area is essential, and therefore Apiculture has become an important activity for the company, with the production of Thousand Flower Honey.
Learning about a company of this type, that respects the environment and stands against the large industrial producers, is a unique experience. You can park your camper in the ground, but please contact owner Cinzia first.
Contact details: Cinzia Odorizzi’s Ilio agricultural company
Tre Rii agricultural company
Now we go up the main road to Corniglio towards Beduzzo, to reach the Tre Rii area where you can find a cider-factory, at the Tre Rii agricultural company.
But isn’t it strange to talk about cider in the middle of the province of Parma? Well, yes, usually in fact this refreshing fizzy slightly-alcoholic drink is associated with areas very different to this one,
but actually here in the Val Baganza and Val Parma there were no grapes and so apples became the base for household drinks. From the 1950s onwards, homemade “apple wine” (“al ven ed pom“ in the local dialect) was very common in all the Emilia high valleys.
There is also apple vinegar, made from the abundant wild apples easily found in the Val Baganza and Val Parma.
As Filippo Valla, owner of the Tre Rii, says on his website:
“I made a warehouse out of the old stables and hayloft, plus a cellar, to produce Cider; in the garden I planted some pink melo apples…. while there is a B&B in the tower for visitors who want to come and see the Cider factory.”
You can park your camper in the grounds, but please call Filippo first.
Ca’ Mezzadri agricultural company
From Beduzzo we proceed and go up the Val Parma: the hilly landscape gives way to the crests of the Apennines which frame the whole ridge, one of the most beautiful in the province of Parma. Among the oak and holm oak woods interrupted by gullies, the road proceeds in the direction of Vestana, a small hamlet where you will meet another producer in Alta Val Parma among the symbols of this area.
Silvano Gerbella originally from the lowland area where culatello are produced and son of butchers moved to the municipality of Corniglio to create the Ca’ Mezzadri farm, which rears black pigs in the wild and produces cured meats.
In this company Silvano who promotes and breeds this native breed of Parma respecting its physicality and the need for space. In the pens the pigs live free for about three years protected by shepherd dogs. Both adult animals and sows with puppies.
The cured meats that are obtained from it are excellent and melt in the mouth when tasted and we invite you to go as far as Vestana to find out for yourself.
For all the info, we refer you to our profile on the site.
If you follow the itinerary on Google Maps you will see that you are now at the gates of the Parco dei Cento Laghi and at this point we invite you to stop and visit Corniglio, a wonderful village in the Alta Val Parma dominated by the imposing Castle, where the seat of the Municipality and where the Ostello di Corniglio is located.
In addition to the rooms that host numerous groups of kids and tourists all year round who love this wonderful part of the Parma Apennines, trekking and MTB, the hostel also has a shop. The Bottega dei 100 Sapori where you will certainly be able to taste and purchase some companies that we have indicated to you.
Here you can also find all the information for hiking with environmental hiking guides or independently; find the maps of the 100 Lakes Park and the maps for your excursions.
You can park your camper in the big parking of XXIV May Street other near swimming pool in Andrea Borri Street. Between without services.
Let’s now talk about another valley parallel to Val Parma and which until a few years ago could be reached simply through a pass: Val Cedra. Descending from Passo del Ticchiano which climbs from Corniglio towards Casarola, birthplace of Bertolucci Attilio first and then Bernardo, we arrived at Monchio delle Corti.
Now instead we have to go back down to Pastorello to go up towards Monchio delle Corti. In Monchio delle Corti you can comfortably park your camper in the parking area just above the town. See: https://www.incampercongusto.it/monchio-corti/
And on your journey among the small producers of the Alta Val Parma who passionately preserve the uniqueness of this area, you will find:
Giustrela Agricultural Company
A few metres on foot or MTB if you prefer take you to Via dell’Artigianato where you can find the Giustrela Agricultural Company. And by the way, do you know what it means in the mountain dialect? LIZARD, which is also the logo of the company and the products that they make and pacakge.
Our company was born from the desire to protect and make the most of the enormous, but often forgotten, natural resources of our zone, the Regional Park of the Valli del Cedra and the Parma (Parco dei 100 laghi).
The peace and tranquillity that owner Elena found in this area created a genuine love for its nature and harmony, its perfection and its beauty.
And thanks to that love, the Giustrela produces artisanal jams, syrups and juices, tisane and mushrooms: it gathers and uses only fruit and wild herbs that grow naturally inside the Park.
Details: Giustrela Agricultural Company
Via dell’artigianato s.n.c., 43010 Monchio delle Corti (PR)
Telephone 328 4260435 or fax 041 5352046
Val Bratica Agricultural company
Last but not least, we turn our attention to a sheep farm, the Pecora Cornigliese. Meeting owner Sara Simonetti was a real pleasure: thanks to Sara and her her Cornigliesi-breed sheep, you can learn about the work of the shepherd, the breeding methods, and how to manage a herd thanks to the sheepdogs.
In September 2018, the first awards for the Cornigliese Sheep were made, an event that saw Sara’s Val Bratica win an award for work that is hard and difficult high up in the Appennines. The company also breeds cows and horses. There is a small honey laboratory, using Sara’s own bees, and she organises “lab excursions” to understand better the world of the mountain breeders.
To contact Sara and visit her farm, contact her via the Corniglio Hostel, who will organise a meeting and maybe a nice walk with Sara and her animals.
Itinerary of Taste among the flavors of the Apennines
Surely you must have gotten hungry going up these roads and visiting the producers of the Alta Val Parma, and at this point our advice is a refreshment stop in two places which, in our opinion, will be able to satisfy your palate and where you can also taste the products of the companies that we have proposed to you.
- Trattoria da Vigion in Beduzzo has been an institution since 1947. It is famous for offering the specialties of the Alta Val Parma such as anolini in broth or potato tortelli. Or oven roasts and rabbit.
- Ristorante da Claudia in Corniglio just outside the town center where Patrizia and the chef Alberto protect the products of local companies with their dishes. The black pig, the trout raised in these parts and the Cornigliese sheep. In addition to the Parmigiano Reggiano di Vacca Bruna and the sweet spongata.
- Orsi butcher’s shop in Lagrimone, this butcher’s shop has always been a point of reference for the Apennines but also for the city. The search for the best cow and sheep breeding products to offer excellent cuts and particular cured meats such as sheep salami and culatta or Lagrimone ham. Yes, because even up here you will find ham factories that benefit from the influences of the “marine”
- Trattoria Da Rita in Valditacca. In this particular village all in stone and cobbled alleys where even just getting around by car is difficult, Da Rita is a historic and simple place that offers dishes using products from the Apennines. Tortelli with truffles in season and other specialties
- Trattoria Rossini going down towards Parma we stop in Cozzano in a pre-mountain landscape where the rhythms are slow and the stop is pleasant. In this restaurant you will find a simple but peaceful camper stop and the opportunity to taste salami and fried cake and the specialty of grilled meat.
Traveling among the producers in the Alta Val Parma is an itinerary that you can do all year round. The seasons will give you different landscapes and colors every time it is true, but the uniqueness of the people you will meet and their products are the guarantee of a splendid experience that we absolutely recommend you to have.