As we are used to moving by car, even the idea of being able or having to reach a goal relying only on our legs sounds almost and paradoxically science fiction. The truth is that taking an excursion step by step offers the prospect of diving headlong into unusual sensations, perhaps even amplified by the awareness of having no other way to reach the finish line. Between walks on stone slabs steeped in history and tours in the wake of the almost forgotten trades of the Apennines, Visit Emilia collects a handful of possibilities for those who want not only to discover authentic jewels of the area between Parma, Piacenza and Reggio Emilia but also to regain confidence with the opportunity - unique, in any sense - to do it on foot.
Once you reach the parking lot under the village, your legs become the only possible way to reach Roccaferrara Superiore, one of those precious places guarded by the Regional Park of 100 Lakes, where nature and stone are intertwined with history. Walking along the pavement means retracing a story that has its roots in the thirteenth century and is linked to the name of the Rossi family. Summer is the ideal time to venture on an easy walk among the traditional architecture and try to imagine the lively peasant atmosphere of the past.
Not to be missed: Needless to say, being in these parts, it would be a shame not to take the opportunity to visit Corniglio, a mountain center between Val Parma and Val Bratica, considered a jewel for the 13th century castle and the Church of the Assumption.
Walking along the Sentiero del Tidone it almost seems that the path tells the tradition of the millers. Walking through the ancient mills that follow one another along the stream of the same name, one understands the importance of the milling activity of which these structures, generally dating back to around the fifteenth century, are today precious evidence. Of the approximately 50 people who meet on the street, the Lentino museum houses a museum that can be visited by appointment. Speaking of trades linked to the past, those who tackle the "Giro del Postino" in the verdant and wild Val Boreca cannot help but identify with the postmen who, with a sense of duty, walked to ensure correspondence to towns such as Artana, Bogli, Suzzi, Pizzonero and Belnome, therefore not reachable from driveways.
Not to be missed: If the PDO wines of the Colli Piacentini are the perfect combination with a tour among the millstones of Val Tidone, the traditional "pins" of the upper Piacenza Apennines - gnocchetti with herbs and ricotta - provide the necessary caloric intake to tackle the next climb.
The Giant, the Dead or the Sleeper: wherever in the popular imagination one wants to place the accent, the profile of the summit of Monte Cusna is one of the most impressive natural attractions of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park. To reach it, you start on foot from Febbio and continue along a path that winds through the splendid colors of a beech forest and then flows into the glacial valley of Passone. From here you can see the organ pipe cross on the crest that resounds thanks to the musical sense of the wind but which is only a stage on the way to the summit, reachable by conquering Mount La Piella and bypassing the Sasso del Morto. Otherwise, always from Febbio you can go up with the chairlift (for timetables and openings Fb infofebbio.com)
Not to be missed: arrived up here, at over 2 thousand meters, after about 3 and a half hours of walking, the immediate and unparalleled reward is the extraordinary sunset at high altitude, which can be enjoyed even better by opting for a descent on foot in the moment where the sun retreats to its soft pink bed.