If you are planning your itinerary for your next holiday in north west Italy you should read this short article to get more insight about getting to Cinque Terre from Parma and vice versa.
What to see in Parma.
On the Emilia Delizia's website there are many articles about the beauty of Parma. You can explore the churches and the theaters of the city in a couple of days and of course you can also plan to take a Parma ham tour or a culatello ham tour around the country side.
How to get to the Cinque Terre from Parma.
The best way it is to take the regional train from Parma main station to La Spezia centrale. Unfortunately these trains are not very fast and it will take a couple of hours to get there, however the service runs at least once per hour. When you are arrive in La Spezia you will need to get the local train to the Cinque Terre. At the station you can buy a cheap ticket that will serve as a day pass and you can visit all the five lands with the same fare. From La Spezia the first of the Cinque Terre is Riomaggiore.
Alternatively you could easily drive from Parma to La Spezia in just one hour by taking the A15 and head south. In busy periods it is not recommended to try to park as close as possible to the Cinque Terre, but leave your car in La Spezia and take the local train instead.
La Spezia - The forgotten gem of Liguria.
Do not leave La Spezia too quickly, often tourists do so just to regret it later. For lunch or dinner time you should not miss a meal at I Pescatori. Head to the port of La Spezia and look for for the Italians queueing in front a kiosk. I Pescatori is the unpretentious restaurant of the local cooperative of fishermen. The food is simply amazing for a ridiculous price and of course the fish just came out of their nets. It is a self service, so do not expect a posh dining experience, but what is served is very good.
Get a Ferry to the Cinque Terre and other stunning locations (Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso).
It makes sense to make La Spezia your home base, there is a lot to see around and you do not need to pay premium prices. The food is good and the town is pretty. From the port you can get ferries to almost any location in the area. If are heading to the Five Lands you can get a panoramic ferry tour from La Spezia port. The boats run regularly and some fares allow you to hop on and off to the desired location.
Portovenere. It should not be missed. The small sea town is included in the UNESCO world heritage. Revellers should take the short hike to Chiesa di San Pietro. A typical religious building with black and white stripes overlooking the steep cliffs of the Gulf of the Poets. The views are simply stunning here.
Riomaggiore to Manarola, The Route of Love.
Riomaggiore is the first of the five lands coming from La Spezia. The initial settlement is built in the XIII century and mostly composed of the Case Torri. Tower houses built by the Genoans. The clever constructions had a military purpose. In fact they were build to protect difficult areas and have a proper view of the sea. With time these buildings become small urban agglomerates and they were made pretty by plastering the stone with cheerful colours.
It is very popular to hike from Riomaggiore to Manarola by using the Via dell' Amore, of course you can use the train instead. The ticket for the picturesque trail costs at the time of writing 5 euros. Via dell'Amore is part of a longer hike that connects all 5 lands. The Route of Love is well maintained and it is very easy to walk, making a favourite for the tourists and visitors alike. Don't forget to add some beaches and sunbathing in the area.
The Food of the Cinque Terre.
The food in Liguria is based on the Mediterranean diet. So a lot of pasta, chickpeas, fish, fresh vegetable, olive oil and good wine. The most iconic dishes of the area are: focaccia, pesto, sfarinata, and a long array of fish dishes. Sfarinata is made using chickpeas and oilve oil. The chickpea flour is mixed with water and turned into a runny compound, then poured into a metal dish which has been previously oiled. The whole preparation is then baked in the oven. The result is a moist and tasty omelette like consistency that can be eaten on its own or even inside the focaccia.
Another dish that you will repeatedly see in the area are the muscoli (mussels) that are cooked in so many way. another one is frittura mista, a mixture of white fishes, prawns, and squids that are lightly floured and then fried in olive oil.
Food tours and gourmet holidays in the Cinque Terre.
Emilia Delizia organises gourmet holidays for you and your group in the area. Activities would include cookery classes, wine tastings, accommodation packages, chauffeured transfers from and to Parma. We also would be happy to organise hiking and boat tours from La Spezia or from any of the Cinque terre, including Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.
Food and Wine Tours in Cinque Terre.
It is possible to visit olive oil and wine farms in the area, as well as fish canneries can explored nearby. For parties interested in olive oil farming is best to come in the late autumn as it is the olive harvest times. We would be glad to organise olive picking and grape picking activities for you. And do not forget that hiking the trails is one of the main activities to do around the Cinque Terre.
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I visited the Food Tours with my wife, we were looking forward to this some time ago and I can state that this tour bring to us very interesting time and experience in spite of the fact that we departed from Milano by morning train at 5,50 am. Our guide was young man and we enjoyed all morning together talking not only about the parmazan, balsamic and parma ham. I really appreciate it. He was very communicate, his driving was safety, very polite. Parmazan farm - amazing, balsamic farm -
My boyfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed the Foodies Tour, which included stops at producers of cheese, balsamic vinegar and cured meat. Paolo was an amazing tour guide – he's extremely knowledgeable, kind and a great communicator. We learned so much! It was really nice to be in a smaller group and most of the producers we visited were small so we were able to get a close up view of the processes. We'd highly recommend Emilia Delizia as this tour was truly authentic and a highlight of our trip!
thank you for the kind review
The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.