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home > Local highlights > The Parma hills
At the foot of the Apennines one can find a sweep of gentle, green curves which flow into the horizon and merge into a multitude of multicoloured tones: the Parmesan hills. A natural oasis of rare beauty which boasts a unique environmental integrity, infusing a sensation of total tranquillity into those who visit it.

Hidden amongst the vegetation, as if they had precious secrets to hide from mysterious forces, can be found paths which hold the flavours, the traditions and the customs of a land without time.

The roads of Wines and Flavours. An itinerary amongst the productive lands of Parmesan gourmet food-and-wine, which, in only a few kilometres, encompasses centuries of flavours.
A route which includes Langhirano, home of Parma Ham, and Felino, where the salami of the same name is made, and which continues into the valleys surrounding the Enza and Stirone rivers, where the nectar comes to life and is transformed into the Rosso Colli di Parma (a red wine) and then leads up to Sala Baganza, Traversetolo, Lesignano and Calestano where the Black Truffle grows.

The via Francigena. For lovers of pilgrimages and sacred sites, the Via Francigena passes through the province of Parma, being one of the routes followed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 990 d.c., and which has become a traditional pilgrim route over the centuries.
The Tuscan-Emilian tract of the Via Francigena, practicable both by foot and on horseback for some time now, has recently been made accessible by car and includes all the towns between Fidenza, one of the starting points, together with San Pancrazio and the Cisa Pass: it passes through the towns of Noceto, Parma, Vicofertile, Collecchio, Talignone, Fornovo, Bardone, Terenzo, Cassio and Berceto.
The Castles route. A suggestive itinerary where one can relive history amidst nature and ancient adventures: two days immersed in Medieval battles and Renaissance magic, completely surrounded by lush vegetation and unforgettable perfumes. First stop is the Carrega Woods Park, once an old hunting reserve for the Parmesan nobility, today it safeguards a rare example of hillside wood. Next stop is the Stronghold of Sala Baganza, which was property of the Church around the year 1000 d.c. and which is famous, together with Felino Castle, for its prisons and torture chambers which are still intact. The itinerary continues with Torrechiara Castle, residence of Pier Maria Rossi and his lover Bianca Pellegrini, the Magnani Rocca Foundation and finally, Montechiarugolo Castle.
Inside Grand Hotel Terme Astro, a pleasant surprise awaits you, the opening of the Alhambra Beauty Farm. Go