Biking Through History: A Day Trip from Parma to the Ancient Via Francigena

Parmesan, Balsamic & Ham Tour - Foodie's Delight Tour

Modena Food Walking Tour

Afternoon Aperitivo Tour

Surrounded by the striking beauty of Northern Italy, Emilia Romagna is an enchanting region that boasts a rich historical tapestry, dotted with architectural grandeur, and home to some of Italy’s most delightful culinary treasures. For those who seize the opportunity to explore this beautiful realm, a bike trip from the lively city of Parma to the ancient Via Francigena pilgrimage route offers an unequivocal opportunity to delve into the depths of Emilia Romagna’s abundant history, culture and flavour.

Parma – A City Of Many Charms

Parma, a city renowned for its culinary delights including the famed Parmesan cheese and Prosciutto di Parma, not only appeals to food lovers but also to history enthusiasts. The city emanates a historical charm that is hard to resist. The stunning baptistery and cathedral, both of which are testament to the its rich historical landscape, sit at the heart of the city and offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. The Teatro Regio (Royal Theatre), one of Italy’s premier opera houses, offers further exploration into the city’s artistic heritage.

Delving into Emilia’s Delights

A bike ride farther afield will take you to the celebrated Torrechiara Castle located a mere 18 km from Parma. This is a magnificent example of Italian castle architecture which offers a stunning view of the Parma Valley. Reward your morning spent cycling with a hearty Emilian lunch near the castle. Try the classic tortelli d’erbetta, a local pasta delicacy or find yourself in cheese heaven with the rich formaggio di fossa aged cheese.

Cycling the Via Francigena

Fuelled by the delights of Emilian cuisine, re-mount your bike towards the mystical Via Francigena, the ancient trade route that was once tread by traders and pilgrims venturing from Northern Europe to Rome during the middle ages. Along this route, uncover the surreal castle ruins and medieval monasteries that confound the time’s relentless march.

Fidenza, a small town that is a significant part of the Via Francigena pathway holds many surprises. It’s home to the Fidenza Cathedral, an architectural gem that redefines Gothic-Romanesque art. You can find the representation of several ancient stories graced throughout its façade and sculptures.

Cycling towards Piacenza

Piacenza, on the banks of River Po, anchors the end of our ride. Having experienced countless upheavals throughout history, the city stands a quiet witness to centuries past. The Piacenza Cathedral and the Palazzo Farnese make compelling visits, and they serve as footnotes to the city’s resistant spirit.

No day in Emilia Romagna is complete without a gastronomic closer. Piacenza too has its culinary heritage that awaits discovery. The signature Piacenza dish, pisarei e fasò (small dumplings with beans), will round off your historic and culinary adventure.

Biking through Parma to the Via Francigena is a journey that spans centuries, stimulating every sense. Its appeal lies in the rich fabric of history that unravels with every turn of the wheel, the traditional recipes that await in every town, and the modest charm of the region that is truly Emilia’s own. This unique adventure beckons to those willing to see beyond the familiar tourist trails and immerse themselves into the authentic spirit of Northern Italy.

Here’s a toast to the timeless allure of Emilia Romagna!

Parmesan, Balsamic & Ham Tour - Foodie's Delight Tour

Modena Food Walking Tour

Afternoon Aperitivo Tour