Fidenza is a lively town of 28,000 people located along the Via Emilia between Parma and Piacenza, a mere 23 km from Parma. It has a fantastic cathedral facade peppered with Romanesque carvings intended to speak to illiterate pilgrims who plied the Via Francigena on their way to Rome. Its crypt holds the remains of Martyr Domninus. In front of the Duomo are the remains of the Roman bridge that crossed the river Stirone as well as a tower gate that is the only remaining section of the 14th century defensive walls. It's shown below.
Fidenza is a friendly and lively town; even the outskirts around the historic center feature pleasant, tree-lined streets.
Just outside Fidenza you'll find the famous Fidenza Village, where you can shop for Italian designer goods from the likes of Armani, Belstaff, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Frette, Jimmy Choo, Loro Piana, Missoni, Prada and Versace. You don't even need a car to get there. A shuttle from the Fidenza train station takes you to Fidenza Village every half hour. The Village’s Shopping Express® even gets you between Milan’s Piazza Castello and the Village.
Getting around is easy. Fidenza has a train station on the Milan to Bologna line. There are lots of cities you can stop at along this line: Piacenza, Parma, Reggio Emilia, and Modena to name the big cities.
If you're arriving by car, the A1 Autostrada parallels the train line and passes just to the north of Fidenza.
Fidenza has a couple of notable museums.
Emilia Romagna cuisine is considered the best in Italy. Fidenza offers a good taste of that cuisine, best eaten with the local wine, Lambrusco, but not that low-alcohol, syrupy-sweet stuff we get in the US, but with a serious sparkling food wine you'll find on every wine list at a reasonable price.
The cuisine centers on the things produced around Parma, cheese and prosciutto, as well as Culatello from nearby Zibello. Tortellini is king of the pasta, though the locals have it mostly on special occasions.
Pig fat rules. During the lean years many only had access to the fat of pigs, and even deserts were made with rendered pig fat. But what did you do after rendering the fat? You squeezed the remains and deep fried and salted them, resulting in ciccioli frolli:
If you rent an apartment or are planning a picnic, you have the interesting option of shopping for cheese, salume and wine at the well-stocked Latteria '55 in the historic center of Fidenza, near the Duomo. The folks are friendly and helpful.
For a restaurant meal, we had a great one at Al Canton 33 Trattoria on Via Mentana, 33 and would highly recommend it. The Guinea fowl was sublime.
Trattoria San Giorgio on Via Michele Leoni, 12 comes highly recommended as well.
Carvings from the period of pilgrimage from the tenth to the thirteenth century represent some of my favorite art. Here are three, the first from the facade representing Prophet Elijah rising to heaven, and the last two from the crypt.
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