Torrechiara: the village suspended among plains and hills in Emilia Romagna
A varied landscape, where the countryside of the plain, the green valley of the Parma river and the hills planted with vineyards meet in harmony.
Here we find Torrechiara, a charming medieval village in Emilia Romagna in the Langhirano area and the eastern Parma Apennines. Home to a tiny surrounding village and below it the lower part of the settlement, it is towered over by a castle that tells a great love story. It is a small, secluded place that promises fantastic experiences.
Torrechiara Castle, straddling the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Our first stop is the eye-catching Torrechiara Castle, at the top of the hill. It was commissioned as a strategic position between 1448 and 1460 by military leader Pier Maria Rossi, Count of Berceto.
The manor elegantly combines medieval and renaissance elements–a military structure with three circles of walls and four corner towers. It was chosen as a location for Richard Donner's film Ladyhawke.
Torrechiara Castle, now a National Italian Monument, is divided into two levels where you will find rooms decorated with stunning frescoes, reception rooms, the kitchens and the stables.
With a bit of luck you can enjoy shows and events in summer in the main courtyard.
Don’t miss the Hall of the Coat of Arms, the Hall of Acrobats or the Golden Room, with its frescoes recognised as among the greatest expressions of the international Gothic painting style in Italy.
A peaceful stroll through the village of Torrechiara
A visit to Torrechiara Castle is not complete without a peaceful stroll through the medieval village once attached to the manor house and then the lower village.
You can walk among the narrow streets, admiring the Church and the Abbey of Santa Maria della Neve. You will find yourself at the crossroads of history and nature.
Your walk will even delight your taste buds when followed by a stop at the Bottega Gourmet. Here, in the heart of the production area of the renowned Prosciutto di Parma PDO, you can taste this cured meat at the Bottega, paired with the equally famous Parmigiano Reggiano.
Unmissable experiences in Torrechiara
Torrechiara is a typical village sure to enchant all who visit.
Inside Torrechiara Castle, romantic souls should stop by the extraordinary frescoes adorning the Golden Room.
This masterpiece, attributed to Benedetto Bembo, depicts Bianca Pellegrini, lover of Pier Maria Rossi “the Magnificent”, who built the manor house, travelling through the lands of the feud: a double declaration of love, to the lady and to the territory. In various scenes, Bianca moves gracefully between the Apennine crags, while the sun envelops her in a golden light. Finally, the intertwined hearts of the two lovers adorn two red tiles.
You can enjoy the best views of the magnificent surrounding landscape by walking along the Camminamento di Ronda (Ronda Walkway), which offers incredible glimpses of the valley.
For anyone who loves walks and bike rides, the Sentiero d'Arte (Art Trail), connecting Torrechiara to Langhirano, is a must.
On the route along the river, you will find contemporary art installations, in dialogue with a poetic nature and the vineyards of Torcularia, the ancient name for Torrechiara. Even horse-riding enthusiasts are catered for, as you can take a scenic ride alongside the Parma river.
Foodies will want to visit the wine cellars and ham factories, to learn the secrets behind the production of the area's most iconic products: Prosciutto di Parma DOC and Colli di Parma DOC wines. There are numerous opportunities in the village to enjoy tastings.
And after these wonderful activities, if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep in the village, the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria della Neve will not disappoint. Here, you can enjoy a peaceful stay in the beautiful rooms that date back to 1471, in close contact with the monks who still reside there. The complex also houses an apiary, and cosmetics and herbal products are on sale.