An itinerary that touches some of the most interesting emilian cities, to discover the taste they traditionally reserve: typical products, artistic monuments, and all that warmth that only this region can transmit to those who visit it.
Ready to spend a pleasant weekend outside the door, we start our electric car to discover the beauties and secrets of an itinerary that talks about art and authentic flavors.
The last time we spent a romantic weekend in Veneto, today we are in Emilia, and the departure is scheduled from Bologna in the morning.
Loaded the car at the Be Charge charging station in Via XXI Aprile 1945, we enter the motorway in the direction of Parma: the first destination of an itinerary dedicated to art, architecture, and cuisine typical of this welcoming region of Italy.
After about an hour and a quarter we arrive at our destination: left the car in one of the parking lots adjacent to the city walls, we get lost in the alleys that branch off from Piazza Garibaldi, the fulcrum of the city and home to the historic Governor’s Palace. Just walking through this square we see the statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi, placed here in 1863.
With great surprise we learn of the Talking Teens project, which involves 15 statues distributed on the streets of Parma, and which literally gives voice to the monuments of the city. Through a dedicated App it is possible to subscribe to the service and receive a phone call… from the statue himself! What more engaging way to learn art history with the whole family?
Enjoy this ingenious entertainment we choose a trattoria, of those reminiscent of the ancient grocers of the area, for a tasty lunch of fried cake and cured meats. After the meal with a slice of Sbrisolata cake, we head to the main reason for our visit to this beautiful city: the Parma Cathedral, one of the highest monuments of Romanesque architecture in northern Italy.
Entering the Cathedral you are immediately impressed by the contrast between the bare and clean aesthetic of the external façade and the explosion of color, frescoes, and paintings of the interior.
As the protagonist, once you walk down the aisle to the height of the altar, is the spectacular dome frescoed by Correggio. You can admire the Virgin, surrounded by angels and biblical characters, in her ascent through a spiral of clouds towards Paradise. The fresco, dated 1540, is known for its expressive and illusionistic character, real Baroque anticipation.
Admission to the Duomo is free and opening hours are always available on the website.
We leave behind the center of Parma and its authentic beauties to get back in the car and reach our next destination, where we will stop for the night: Reggio Emilia.
After about 30 minutes of driving, we reach one of the first reasons why we chose this destination: along the A1 motorway to the destination toll booth, we pass in fact under one of the three famous bridges designed by the well-known Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
We are now faced with one of the most important expressions of contemporary art on the national territory, spectacular thanks also to its evening lighting, and a complete example of the soft and curvilinear language of the architect.
The work, which as a whole takes the name of Le Vele, was inaugurated in 2007 and consists precisely of three bridges visible from a few kilometers away, one of which brings back to the ends two steel circles, reference and celebration of the important rosettes of the Cathedral of Reggio.
We really like the idea of a bridge that, through a typically contemporary language, introduces us and accompanies us to discover the beauties of the past of this territory.
After a few minutes, we arrive at our destination. The next day we wake up early to visit the city, intrigued by the short walk of the previous evening.
We cross cloisters and squares full of life, alleys full of ancient artisan shops and trattorias until we reach the monumental Piazza Prampolini, also known as Piazza Grande.
On its perimeter, we observe some of the main historical attractions of the city: the Duomo, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, with its imposing and visibly unfinished façade, the Municipal Palace where the Flag of Italy was born in 1797, and the small but interesting Tricolor Museum, open on a continuous-time on the weekend, by reservation.
After a nice walk through the streets of the center, we continue on our itinerary towards the last stage of this weekend full of discoveries.
We are headed to Spilamberto, a beautiful village in the province of Modena, known for being home to the excellence of one of the most valuable and award-winning products of the famous Made in Italy: Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
We arrive in the late afternoon and go to charge our electric car at the charging station of Viale della Rimembranza 35, where we take advantage of the time necessary to take a walk and already know the city center.
The first news of Spilamberto dates back to 776 when a hospice for pilgrims heading to Rome is witnessed in the area. The village is located on one of the oldest tracks that led from northern Europe to the capital.
The next day wakes up early, curious to see the town life with the lights of the day: we visit the Torrione di Spilamberto, a medieval complex built close to the city walls to fortify its function, which today houses the headquarters of the Order of Nocino Modenese, another PDO product belonging to this territory of ancient flavors.
Our Emilian itinerary ends here, with a return to Bologna to start again beautiful loads for a week of school and work! An itinerary recommended for true lovers of art of any era, the flavors of tradition and the authentic vitality that this region of Italy gives to its visitors in every season.