The best Castles near Parma + a wine tasting

The best Castles near Parma ending up with a wine tasting at Cantina Il Poggio


If you’re wandering near Parma (Emilia Romagna, Italy), the Castles of the Duchy are worth a visit.

In this article, we are going to build a customized tour for you to visit the most beautiful castles in the area, and we will end up with a wine tasting.

Shall we start?

Here is your roadmap:

  • Castello di Torrechiara
  • Rocca di Sala Baganza
  • Rocca di Fontanellato
  • Castello di Scipione dei Marchesi Pallavicino

And, at the end, a pleasant wine tasting at Cantina Il Poggio

1. Castello di Torrechiara

Castello di Torrechiara

If you have ever watched the movie Ladyhawke with Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer, as soon as you cross the threshold, you will recognize some of its locations.

During the Renaissance era, Pier Maria Rossi the Magnificent commissioned the construction of the building to defend the territory. The rooms and paintings, such as the Gold Room and the Bridal Room, are extremely romantic and entirely dedicated to his loved one, Bianca Pellegrini.

It is worth stopping at Taverna Il Castello for a meal, as it offers a stunning of the several vineyards. Before that, make a pit-stop at Cantina del Borgo for a natural wine tasting, produced by using traditional methods and respecting natural seasonal cycles.

The entrance fee for visiting the castle is €5 per person, and the visiting hours vary depending on the season (visit the official website for more information).

2. Rocca di Sala Baganza

Rocca di Sala Baganza (Parma)

Once upon a time the Rocca di Sala Baganza used to be a hunting lodge of the Dukes Farnese and Bourbon, surrounded by an eighteenth-century garden and serving as the first line of defence for the territory.

For over three centuries, it used to belong to the Sanvitale, Farnese, and Borbone families, before becoming a residence for several women from the upper class of aristocracy, including the Duchess of Parma Marie Louise, wife of Napoleon.

Today the basement has been converted into a Wine Museum. The entrance fee for visiting the building is €4 per person, and you can check their official website for more information.


3. Rocca di Fontanellato

Rocca di Fontanellato (Parma)

The Rocca di Fontanellato was built around 1124 by the Pallavicino family and, centuries later, it was sold to the Sanvitale family. It stands majestically in the centre of the homonymous town, surrounded by a large moat filled with water.

Inside, you will find the only Camera Ottica in Italy, which allows you to collect sunlight projected onto an object, and the image is projected upside down on the opposite side of the room. According to both adults and children, it is a truly evocative experience.

Equally captivating is the legend of the ghost of little Maria Costanza Sanvitale, who died at the age of 5: some tourists claim to have heard the footsteps and voices of a wandering child in the rooms during the tour.

Finally, for art enthusiasts, you can stop (alone or as a couple) in the Camera Picta to admire the majestic fresco by Parmigianino, one of the most influential Italian painters of the Renaissance after Raphael.

The entrance costs €10 per person, and you can check their official website for more information.


4. Castello di Scipione dei Marchesi Pallavicino

Castello di Scipione - Marchesi Pallavicino

The Castle of Scipione is the oldest castle in the region and it was built in the 11th century by the Pallavicino Marquises, one of the oldest noble families in Europe, with more than a thousand years of documented history.

Originally, it has built as a military structure to defend the Pallavicino State, which was then a fiefdom of the Holy Roman Empire and had numerous wells for salt extraction, of which they were the major producers and among the most powerful traders of the time. Even today, the direct descendants of the family live there.

Inside the structure you will find the Restaurant Osteria Il Castello, an enchanting, fairy-tale-like place, with exclusive dishes that draw inspiration from tradition and beyond, accompanied by wines that go beyond the contemporary.

It provides a perfect backdrop for receptions, meetings, and weddings. Open to the public from March to November, the cost for the visit is 10€ per person. Make sure to check the official website for further information.


Food&Wine tour: Cantina Il Poggio – Come to visit us!


Cantina Il Poggio - Salsomaggiore Terme (Parma)

After all these fascinating visits, full of art and culture, it’s time to give some space to the traditional food&wine culture of the reference territory.

So, shall we introduce ourselves?

We are the Cantina Il Poggio, located at the highest point of the hills of Salsomaggiore Terme, in the province of Parma.

We define our wines as “beyond contemporary“, immune to any kind of current trend, and although some of our vineyards are native, the final product is an atypical beverage that will pleasantly surprise your palate and senses.

In addition to selling bottles, our guided tours along with wine tastings and the several events we organize represent the best moments for us to talk about our vineyards and craftsmanship.

Do you know why Cantina Il Poggio is different from the others? Because of an enthusiast and professional young team, determined to communicate the real and genuine wine culture.

So, have we piqued your interest? Then, jump in the car and come visit us!

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