The territory of Farini covers 114 sq. km. on both banks of the River Nure, along the SP 654, the road that links Farini to the plain and continues to Ferriere and from there towards Liguria. Other roads lead towards Bedonia, in the province of Parma, or towards the Trebbia valley.
Farini is not an old town, but the villages, churches, castles and towers scattered across the surrounding area, which is all mountainous, are mostly mediaeval in origin. They were built to dominate the land and the old roads, and are a reminder of the history of the area, especially that connected with the Nicelli family.
There were certainly people living here in Mesolithic (Stone Age) times. In the early Middle Ages, under the Lombards, the monks of San Colombano in Bobbio came here and opened a pilgrimage route to Rome, known as the "Via degli abati", the Abbot’s Way or Via Francigena of the Mountains.
Today agriculture and tourism play an important role in the area of Farini. People have always escaped here from the summer heat, and to enjoy the beautiful mountain landscapes.
The mountains have their charm in every season! The summer is particularly lively, when there are festivals, fairs and sagre in all the villages, usually celebrating food and wine.
Farini is a modern town; the parish church of San Giuseppe is an interesting building of the last century with paintings by the artist Luciano Richetti. The attractive area of the Sassi Neri, a pool of water along the river, dominated by three black rocks, is an ideal place to swim in summer, and for parties and concerts.
Alongside the typical dishes and PDO cured meats of the province of Piacenza, there are dishes based on game and mushrooms as well as particular local dishes.
The Mariola is a salame (presidio Slow Food) made from choice pork and matured for 6-10 months. The long aging is what gives this cured meat its characteristic bouquet and intense flavour, but it also means that the Mariola requires a lot of work and is therefore difficult to produce and to find.
However, it is especially the tasty potatoes of Mareto (with festivals and fairs dedicated to them), a De.Co product of the Municipality of Farini, that provide the table with numerous dishes: the Gnocchidi Patate De.Co., best served with a mushroom sauce but a meat or game ragout will be good as well, Polenta con le Patate De.Co (polenta with potatoes), a really old peasant dish, and Pane di Patate De.Co. (potato bread). Even more famous is the Torta di Patate De.Co (potato cake), made from a recipe developed to use those potatoes that were spoilt during the harvest, and now greatly in demand.
In May in Farini there is the fair dedicated to the Cavallo Bardigiano, the Horse of Bardi.
In June/July, the Bisturi d’Oro (Golden Scalpel) takes place at Mareto.
In July in Farini there is the evening of international cuisine dedicated to Georges Cogny, the celebrated French chef who fell in love with Farini, and his restaurant (La Cantoniera) offers dishes inspired by the simple local tradition and also the nouvelle cuisine of France.
In summer and autumn the villages come alive with festivals celebrating food and wine specialities, and musical evenings.
Beautiful side valleys, created by the tributaries of the Nure (Lobbia, Lavaiana, Perino), mountains covered with woods and pine forests, small villages where there are chapels and churches, ruins of towers, and memories of peasant life.
Groppallo with the church of Santa Maria Assunta at an altitude of 1000 metres.
Cogno S. Savino and the recently restored Tower of Sant’Antonino, Pradovera, Mareto, Cogno S. Bassano, the rural village of Predalbora, and Montereggio, to mention just a few.