Borgo Val di Taro, commonly called Borgotaro, is considered the capital of the Alta Val Taro in the Apennines. Fom Parma, south westwards; it boasts a strategic position among three regions: Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Liguria.
The village sits in a vibrant location, full of cultural interests: the remains of an old castle, Romanesque churches and historical palaces. The main landmark of the whole Val Taro valley, every year Borgotaro attracts many tourists fascinated by the castles of the area, the naturalistic itineraries and the good food. The king of the local gastronomy is the delicious Porcino mushroom, recognized with the quality brand PGI, Protected Geographical Indication. As proof of the high quality of life in the village, Borgotaro has become part of the Slow City circuit.
In the historical centre of the village you may visit the remains of the old castle with part of the original old walls. Also noteworthy is the 13th century Romanesque church of Sant’Antonino with its organ of great value, which still works. Among the palaces, Boveri Palace stands out, where the Queen of Spain, Elisabetta Farnese, lived for a while; for the occasion of her visit in 1714, the palace was stuccoed. In the medieval village do not miss the 16th century Church of San Domenico where the remarkable Madonna del Rosario, an engraved gold statue of the 17th century, is located .
Walking in Borgotaro you may savour not only the calmness, the simple living, but also the importance of history, from its Roman origins to the war of Resistance in World War II. An ancient crossroads for merchants, pilgrims and travellers of the past, Borgotaro is still today one of the stops along the Via Francigena route.
The autumn season is probably the best period to visit Borgotaro, thanks to the full calendar of events and the gastronomic offers with the well-known Porcino Mushroom Fair in September. In Spring and in the summer time the gentle hills and mountains tinged with green and the mild weather let you stroll into the woods or along clear streams where the typical fauna lives.
Inside the village, at the Museo delle Mura, the Porcino Mushroom Museum has opened, thus enriching the offer of the Food Museums. The Museum has two locations, the other is in Albareto.
The village with some little villages around have also become an open-air museum itinerary thanks to the MutaMenti project, a series of murals created by local artists.
The uncontested master of the local cuisine is certainly the Porcino mushroom: excellent for a good risotto, fried, sliced and cooked with oil, garlic and parsley, or as a sauce for polenta or tagliatelle.
In spring, the local cooking excellence is reinforced by the Prugnolo mushroom, whose intense smell makes for unique first courses. Do not miss the “Torta d’erbe”, a characteristic pastry stuffed with herbs.
On Monday mornings the weekly market takes place with the traditional Farmer’s Market with local organic products. A unique occasion to taste the best products of the Apennines.
The Porcino Mushroom Fair is an annual exhibition which takes place the second and the third weekend of September. It is not only a food event but also a cultural one where visitors can taste the typical food of Borgotaro and attend cooking classes; moreover exhibitions on display, musical performances and antique fairs ao.
The Taro Valley and the Val Ceno are home to many small towns among which the villages of Bedonia (13 km), Albareto (9 km), Compiano (11 km) and Bardi (30 km). Astronomy lovers must not miss a visit to the Planetarium of Bedonia, which is part of the episcopal seminary.
Anyone who wants to follow the mushroom itinerary may stop in the village of Albareto, located on the "Strada del Fungo Porcino” trail.
Compiano, still enclosed by the old town walls, and Bardi, with its impressive medieval castle, complete a food and cultural route always staying close to Borgotaro.
Nearby you find the WWF Oasis I Ghirardi.