Day trips from Bologna Parma or Modena

days trips from Parma

In the northern region of Italy lies the beautiful Emilia-Romagna region, one of the most developed regions in Europe. The Emilia-Romagna region is filled with rich history dating back to ancient Rome, architecture from the Renaissance, and breathtaking scenery.

There are many day trips offered from the regional cities of Bologna, Modena, and Parma that will allow you take in everything you want from your trip. The convenience of the public transportation system will allow you to travel with ease throughout this beautiful region of Italy.

 Traveling from Parma

 Cinque Terre, “The Five Lands”

The Cinque Terre is settled upon the Italian Riviera and is named for five cities: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The seaside terraces that have been built for centuries on the cliffs of the steep landscape give this area a rustic charm of its own. The atmosphere, fine dining, and walking trails that connect the five cities make the Cinque Terre a tourist hot spot.

 Milan

The city of Milan is the second largest city in Italy. The large population of this city makes Milan one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in Italy you will ever visit. Milan is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and it is filled with designer shops.

 Fidenza Village, Chic Outlet Shopping

With more than 100 shops, the Fidenza Village will provide you with everything you will need in your shopping experience. Tourists will not only enjoy each of the upscale and exclusive shops but also the pleasant and elegant atmosphere that the famous Fidenza Village is known for.

 

Cremona

Nestled on the left of the bank of the Po River lies beautiful and historic Cremona, known for its religious and musical histories. Tourists will enjoy the Cathedral of Cremona, which displays some of the best Romanesque-Gothic art in all of Northern Italy. Music lovers will enjoy the rich musical history that Cremona has to offer, which dates back to the 12th Century Cathedral.

 

Traveling from Bologna and Modena

 Florence

Considered to be the birth place of the Renaissance, the city of Florence is art in itself with its historical buildings and the beautiful Amo river etching through it. Arts districts and museums such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Florence Cathedral make Florence a tourist destination you can appreciate inside and out.

 

Verona

Verona is the epicenter for historic buildings and architecture. Roman buildings like the Verona Arena that was established around 30AD, as well as buildings like the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, which was established between the years of 1123-1135, still stand in beautiful Verona. This has earned Verona the World Heritage Site status by UNESCO. Verona is the city to go to for anyone who is interested in ancient history and art.

 

Barberino Shopping Outlet

Designed with the Renaissance style that is known through Northern Italy, the Barberino Shopping Outlet will provide you with the unique shopping experience you are looking for. Boasting sales on everything from 30%-70% you will be certain to find the designer styles you have been looking for without the designer price. Source: http://www.mcarthurglen.it/barberino/en/the-outlet

 

Venice

Settled in the marshy Venetian Lagoon lie the 118 tiny islands that make up the city of Venice. If your visit only allows for one day trip then Venice is the place you want to go. The vast culture, shopping, dining, architecture, and arts districts all on the unique waterways in Venice will ensure that your day will be filled with endless wonders.

 

Mantua

Mantua has a rich musical history and played a significant role in the history of opera. The city was also home to many famous artists including Leone Battista Alberti, Donatello, Peter Paul Rubens, Pisanello, Luca Fancelli and Nicolo Sebregondi. Mantura is also home of the Festivaletteratura, a literary fair that is held for five days with nearly 200 events each year.

 

Padua

Standing upon the top of the Bacchiglione River is the beautiful city of Padua that has dense streets that open into the large communal piazze. Padua is home to the University of Padua, which is 800 years old and was once a place for Galileo Galilei to lecture. The city itself is filled with many architectural wonders that embody the art and history that make Northern Italy so unique.

 

Ferrara

Surrounded by more than 9km of stone Renaissance walls built in the 15th century, Ferrara has also earned the title as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The numerous and important buildings in this city including Castello Estense make Ferrara a must see destination for visitors.

 

Ravenna

Ravenna’s rich history and Christian influences have earned eight of its buildings a place on the World Heritage List. The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Neonian Baptistery, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, the Arian Baptistery, the Archiepiscopal Chapel, the Mausoleum of Theodoric, the Church of San Vitale, and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe are all iconic destinations that you must visit in Ravenna for their blend of different art influences. Source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/788

 

Lake Garda

Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is world famous for its pristine beauty and is surrounded by several towns and islands. The town of Sirmione hosts the Virgilio & Catullo Spa, and is a great destination for dining and shopping. Scaliger castle, Catullus’ villa, the Roman spa Grotte di Catullo, and the sulfur springs that are famous for healing all make Lake Garda a vacation paradise.

 

How Parma ham is made

by Marcelo Pinto  July 8th 2012

Italy’s cozy town of Parma has been known for Prosciutto di Parma for over 2,000 years. The secret recipes of these air-dried hams have changed hands throughout history within families. It is a product of man’s passion and skill, combined with nature. The Parma ham has put Italy on the global gastronomic map due to its uniqueness.

The micro-climate of Parma is very conducive to the ham production, with its dry and airy summers and cold winters. Humidity levels are moderate, while the air carries the smell of the sea and chestnut trees. To maintain the high quality of Parma ham, it must be kept away from variations in climate. The production area is restricted to a height less than 900 meters above sea level on the Parma hills, since regions lying above this height face a very cold and long winter. The production area must also be 5 kilometers away from the humid and foggy Via Emilia along the Po River. The limits are the Enza River on the east and the Stirone River on the west, which bring in fragrant sea breezes that roll down into Parma valley.

The curing of the ham is crucial to its quality. It is carried out by natural methods, even though they take as long as 12 months and require immense care, patience and skill. Traditions have evolved over time, with more refined breeding and farming procedures. This has made the pork sweeter and more tender.

Knowing the process of curing the meat is not enough. The ‘master salters’ from Parma have learned from their ancestors how to identify good pork legs, trim the hams by hand and apply salt properly to ensure outstanding quality. The latter is a deciding factor for determining the quality of the curing process and retaining the sweetness of the ham.

The Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma or Parma Ham Consortium was established in 1963. It started with 23 members and has now 180 members. Their mission is to maintain the quality and tradition of Parma ham by sticking to natural methods; salt and air are the only additives. With records kept regarding the origin, birth date and breeding method for each pig, all production stages are closely monitored by the Istituto Parma Qualita, an independent certifying body, in keeping with the rules of the Consortium. A special law was even laid down by the Italian government. The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) has been recently awarded to Parma air-dried ham, giving it copyright over the name.

The pigs from which Parma ham is made have to be heavy and their meat must be soft, yet firm. They have to be born and raised only on an authorized breeding farm in one of the 11 designated Northern and Central regions of Italy. Traditionally they are fed whey, a by-product of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. This imparts a unique flavor to their meat.

The hams are exposed to constant cold and humid conditions for 100 days, after which they are kept in large maturing rooms for 3 months. This way they are protected from the sun. The windows are constantly opened and closed for circulation of the countryside air. In the seventh month, a mixture of pork fat and pepper called sugnatura is hand-applied onto the open surface of the meat. This is meant to protect and soften it. The hams are then put in cantina or cellars for at least 5 months, so that they can slowly dry under close supervision. The producers are trained and experienced in detecting any quality defects by the sense of smell. The spillatura is a horse bone needle which is used to check the curing outcome, before assigning the precious label of ‘Parma Ham’.

The ham gets several imprints in the various stages of production. The breeder makes a permanent tattoo onto the hind legs of the piglets, consisting of the month of its birth and the identification code of the farm. At the slaughterhouse, the initials PP (for Prosciutto di Parma) are fire-branded onto the pork legs if they are worthy enough to be sent to the production line as Parma Ham. At the entry to the curing house, the legs are stamped with a metal seal having the Consortium code and the month and year when curing started. After passing all verification and regulatory tests, the legs are finally fire-branded with the 5-pointed Ducal Crown of the Consortium, along with the name, ‘Parma’. The producer’s code is added under the crown. This is the guarantee of a 100% natural and light Parma ham that is a product of age-old traditions.

A slice of Parma ham has a delicious country aroma; it is succulent and thin, with a distinctive salty-sweet taste. It is best enjoyed stand-alone and no other air-dried ham comes close to Parma Ham in bringing you this divine gastronomic experience.