Parma short break food and culture, Italy

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Parma short break food and culture, Italy

Environment

We cooperate with partners and suppliers who show respect to the environment in their activities. The businesses that you are going to visit on the gourmet tour are located in an area known as the “Food Valley” where prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh pasta are produced. The high quality of such products is possible thanks to the local weather conditions, the type of land and the producers who have always followed the same traditions and methods for generations. As a result, products are rooted in the past and they have the same flavours of ancient times. The producers that you are going to meet are committed to recover and protect with passion the ancient native plant varieties and animal breeds abandoned for decades and nearly extinct. Biodiversity means for them rediscovering a role as active subjects of a project of restoration and enhancement of a world to protect and preserve for future generations. The black pigs belong to an ancient local breed that had once almost completely disappeared. They are free to roam the fields and woods in the sun, rain or wind. The animals feed on fresh grass, corn, barley and wheat, as well as broad beans, berries, roots and acorns

As an Italian tour operator aiming at introducing foreign visitors to our culture and local traditions, it is of the utmost importance for us to help preserve, enhance and recover the historic Italian heritage. This is the reason why we hand pick our recommended accommodation based on the presence of elements of historical, artistic and cultural relevance and that harmoniously combine with their natural environment. For example the Antico Borgo di Tabiano Castello was a fortress transformed by its owners into a Relais de Charme after a painstaking restoration with great attention to history, environmental sustainability and links with the territory: solar panels are used to produce electricity and hot water and heating is provided by the cleanliness of forests, using wood-fired boilers and stoves recovered from antique fireplaces. Vegetables, seasonal fruits and herbs are grown in the garden and in the orchard that are open for visits. At breakfast you will taste homemade cakes and jams, eggs from the hen house and most of the food comes from selected local producers. The preservation of our heritage, a real memory of the past, has to be passed on to future generations through the protection and enhancement of buildings and historic gardens, preserving them from degradation and destruction

Community

Vaulted ceilings supported by brick columns, checked tablecloths and polite reception: at such restaurant the mail couriers of Marie Louise of Austria used to stop for refreshments, the dishes are still genuine and traditional. The trattoria Picchi is another celebrated and beloved place not to be missed by the citizens of Parma who go there for meat tortellini, noodles, green or white lasagna and ravioli filled with herbs and Parmesan cheese; a wide choice of dishes is available to eat in or to take home. Opposite the Pilotta Palace, a well-furnished shop offers fragrant focaccia, “lady's kisses” biscuits and baskets of pastry filled with zabaglione cream; the products are served by very friendly staff. The above is a small example of locations and activities that express the culture of this territory and where you will be able to buy local products and to eat traditionally

Local people enjoy meeting visitors who are interested in their culture and traditions. You will be visiting an area of Italy where people are warm and friendly and committed to their work. If you show respectful interest during scheduled visits, your hosts will feel confident enough to open up and you will be able to benefit from the cultural exchange and to have a better understanding of the cultural identity of this area. Most of the businesses that you are going to visit have belonged to the same family for generations, each one of them has refined the processing methods and preserved the ancient traditions keeping their roots in the past but looking to the future. This is especially true for the Balsamic Vinegar productions: you will visit the attic of a family home which guards the precious ancient barrels and where every member contributes to the family business with different tasks

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