Fidenza Travel Guide
Art, Culture and Good Eats along the Via Francigena in Emilia-Romagna

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.

tower gate fidenza

gypsum picture
Location of Fidenza in Emilia Romagna

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.

Transportion

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.



Museums

Fidenza has a couple of notable museums.

  • Museo del Duomo, Via Don Minzoni 10/A: Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. and from 03.00 p.m. to 06.00 p.m.
  • Museo dei Fossili: Fossils from the river. The fossil museum is open to public on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month (except for July and August) from 9.00 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. Free entry

Wine and Cuisine

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:

ciccioli frolli.
Ciccioli frolli from Latteria '55

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.

latteria55 in fidenza

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.

Where to Stay in Fidenza

To stay right in the heart of things, the Hotel Due Spade will fit the bill. If you have a car and wish to stay in a highly rated hotel out of town, The Cube is likely to be where you want to stay.

Romanesque Carvings from the Duomo Facade and the Crypt

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.

elijah rising to heaven carving

tales from the duomo crypt

kuomo crypt carvings fidenza