From the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines to Parma. A slow mix of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Monday, 27 December 2021 13:25

The Apennine area between the cities of Parma, Piacenza and Reggio Emilia, has a wealth of UNESCO World Heritage Sites to be discovered in many different ways and in all seasons. This mountain range has been a UNESCO MaB (Man and Biosphere) Reserve since June 8, 2015 and is an elusive dimension of villages, castles, religious sites, colours and flavours to be enjoyed wearing boots or snowshoes, on skis or on a bicycle. 

For hiking and climbing enthusiasts

One highlight is the mighty Pietra di Bismantova plateau in the Reggio Emilia Apennines, a must for climbing and hiking enthusiasts, but the true monument of northern Italy is the Po. Italy’s largest river crosses the three provinces of Piacenza, Parma and Reggio Emilia, through a fairy-tale landscape of forests and waterways, alternating with charming towns and villages. 

Italy’s first UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy

Then there are the delights of the table. The Emilia region produces many excellent products such as the famous Grana Padano and Provolone Val Padana cheeses and world famous charcuterie like Piacenza’s Coppa, Pancetta and Salame. In 2015 Parma – famous also for its Parmesan cheese and traditional balsamic vinegar - became the first UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy in Italy and has endless fascinating itineraries, events, museums and festivals featuring its famous foods and wines.  

Medieval monuments and art

Parma’s Baptistery is one of the most interesting medieval monuments in Europe and, together with the Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace makes up the amazing choreography of the Piazza Duomo cathedral square. The Baptistery’s famous Cycle of the Months, a high relief designed by Benedetto Antelami with astrological signs and people at work in the various seasons, dates back to the 11th century. 

Experiential journeys to suit all tastes

As the Land of the Slow Mix, with three cities and three provinces where food, nature and culture meet, the Visit Emilia (www.visitemilia.com) site concentrates the region’s attractions into networks, suggesting experiential wellness, nature, food and wine, and culture trails throughout the region.

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