Category Archives: Guides


Unmissable events

In summer, the Taro Valley offers a wide range of interesting events starting from village festivals, to food fairs, to sports and cultural events.

In fall the real protagonists are local food products like the well-known Porcino mushroom, chestnuts and over the last few years even chocolate has become an attraction for local festivals.

In winter and particularly during the Christmas time, local villages are often crowded because of their picturesque Christmas street markets. A downright attraction is also Carnival with its parades and events in local clubs.

On the arrival of spring not only the Rally of the Taro Valley but many other events forecast the arrival of summer.

Hereafter some events which yearly take place in the villages of the Taro Valley:


June: traditional Saint John’s tortellata in Boschetto

August: Pyjamas party

15th August: Assumption’s Day Celebrations

September: Porcino mushroom fair


Shrove Tuesday: Carnival parade along the village streets

April: Rally of the Taro Valley

June: Marathon race of the High Taro Valley

Motorcycle rally in memory of Enrico Lusardi

2nd weekend of July: Saint Mark’s Virgin Celebrations

August: Trote fest

Regional final selection of Miss Italia

October: Autunnando di Valle in Valle

November: Cioccolataro


16th August: Saint Roch fair

29th August: Madonna della Guardia

11th September: Our Lady of Graces


Carnival events: Carnival float parade along the streets

February: Festa degli Amor e degli Amori

May: Prugnolo mushroom festival

WWF Ghirardi Oasis’ Day

September: Porcino mushroom fair

October: Chestnut fair


July: Our Lady of  the Taro river

August: Street artists’ Festival

Mid-August concert

16th August: Saint Roch fest

September: Saint Terenziano’s fair

PEN Club Literary contest


July-August: “Fornovo in fiera”





The Tomarlo Pass

Passo del Tomarlo
Passo del Tomarlo

The Tomarlo Pass is one of the highest passes of the whole Northern Appennines.
The pass is high 1485 m sea-level and it reaches even 1520 m in the linking point with the Zovallo Pass. It takes its name from the mount which rises south whereas north stands the Monte Maggiorasca with the fortification of the Monte Picchetto. The Tomarlo Pass links the Ceno valley with the Val d’Aveto and it connects the province of Parma, Genova and Piacenza through the near Zovallo Pass. In winter the pass is often closed for a few days in order to be cleared from the snow. In fact this area is subject to copious snowfalls.
During the 2008-2009 winter season, snow sides reached even 3 metres high.

Source: free translation of Wikipedia

This pass is worth being mentioned from the tourist point of view not only for its strategic position that makes it a passing destination especially for weekend motorcyclists, but also thanks to the many accessible green areas along the road which make vistors enjoy a wonderful sightseeing and breath fresh air.

Monte Bue

The Monte Bue (literally Ox Mountain) is a peak which is part of the group of the Monte Maggiorasca rising amongst the Val d’Aveto (in the territory of Santo Stefano d’Aveto, Genova), the Val Nure (in the territory of Ferriere, Piacenza) and the Val Ceno (in territory of Bedonia, Parma). This mountain represents the extreme southern limit of the Province of Piacenza and also the second highest point (1775 m sea-level) within the whole area of Piacenza after the Monte Maggiorasca (1804 sea-level).

This is one of the favourite destinations of excursionists as it stands in an area full of pleasant naturalistic attractions like the Lago Nero, the Monte Nero and the Monte Maggiorasca. On its sides there is a bivouac (Bivacco Sacchi), a refuge (Prato Cipolla) and the brief Mazzocchi Railroad.

Monte Bue
Monte Bue

On its peak there is an old ski tow which until 19991 linked the Monte Bue with Rocca d’Aveto and whose ruins were originally an ancient station, an hotel and other facilities. In December 2008 a new ski tow connecting Rocca d’Aveto with the refuge Prato Cipolla (1578 m sea-level) was opened in order to promote the alpine ski in the high Val d’Aveto. Thanks to this important improvement, institutions are planning a new ski tow even in the area of Ferrieri. This initiative which can be seen on [1] is a model of the one presented in 1976. Thanks to its intermediary and crucial position amongst three different provinces, the Monte Bue area is destination for people from Piacenza, Parma and Genova. Apart from exclusionism, the area offers interesting possibilities for sport rock-climbing thanks to its several cliffs characterised by crumbly ophiolite. Just to mention some of the most important ones, there are the cliffs of Rocca del Prete, of the Monte Maggiorasca, of Waiting for Fred and of the Dente delle Ali.

fonte Wikipedia

Monte Maggiorasca

The Monte Maggiorasca (1810 m sea-level) is the highest peak of the Ligurian Appenines. It stands between the Province of Genova and Parma and a few hundred metres north there is the border with the Province of Piacenza which corresponds to the peak of the Monte Bue. The Monte Maggiorasca dominates the Val d’Aveto and in particular the area of Santo Stefano d’Aveto (GE) and the Ceno Valley with the area of Bedonia (PR). The Maggiorasca mountain group, which stands north of the Tomarlo Pass, includes the Monte Nero, the Groppo delle Ali and the Monte Roncalla as well as the already mentioned Monte Bue. In this way it represents an important orographic junction amongst the Nure, the Ceno and the Aveto valleys which are respectively located in the provinces of Piacenza, Parma and Genova.
The wide top of the Monte Maggiorasca, which is marked by its saddle shape, is formed by non-calcareous basalts and sandstone conglomerates. On its southern side, on a flat area at an altitude of 1799 m sea-level, stands teh statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe which was erected in 1947, whereas on the top of the mountain there is an antenna tower.
During the year the Monte Maggiorasca is a very popular destination for excursionists who come both from Emilian and Ligurian areas.
Near the mountain there are some short winter hiking trails and more numerous summer paths which have been equipped by a group of excursionists from Piacenza.

Monte Maggiorasca
Monte Maggiorasca

The flora of the Monte Maggiorasca massif is particularly interesting thanks to the coexistence of some alpine vegetal species and typical Apennine species.
In fact the Monte Maggiorasca is the only mountain area of the Ligurian Apennines here it is possible to see the Chrysosplenium alternifolium (a rare specie in the saxifrage family which is common of the Euro-Siberian areas), the Aquilegia alpina (a sub-endemic specie of the Northern Alps which can be rarely found in the Northern Apennines) and the Primula marginata a garish sub-endemic specie of the South-eastern Alps and of the Western Ligurian Apennines, whose presence is limited to some outcrops of basalts located in the northern side of the mountain on the border between the areas of Genova and Piacenza.
Always on the slopes of this mountain group grow the Soldanella alpina – also called Alpine Snow Bell – the Pulsatilla alpina or alpine pasqueflower and the Draba aizoides or Yellow Whitlowgrass. All these species are quite typical of the alpine vegetation but very rare in the Apennines.
Finally, amongst the Apennine species, the Armeria marginata and the Arenaria bertolonii are worth being mentioned as well as the Pinus mugo Rostrata which was originally more common in the mountain massifd of the Val d’Aveto whereas nowadays they are sporadically present also on the Emilian side. Moeover, in the northern area of the Monte Maggiorasca, it is possible to see some natural settlements (therefore not derived from sylvicolture) of Albies alba or white fir trees.

source: free translation from Wikipedia

Green trails

The Taro Valley is crossed by several paths and itineraries which satisfy even the most exigent visitors.

There are for example many walkable and bicycle trails for people who wants to take some exercise or visitors can also go horse-riding to admire the beauties of the landscape. Moreover, there are socio-cultural routes like the Via Francigena or the Via degli Abati and routes dedicated to local typical product like the Strada del fungo.

Along these paths it is possible to stay in the various local accommodation facilities and let yourself be enchanted by the places themselves and divert our way…


Hospitality is the key word of the Taro Valley which has a great range of accommodation facilities like family-run agritourisms, campsites, bed&breakfast, hotels and eco-villages.

Most of them have their own website which describes their characteristics, localization, surrounding attractions and services.

Moreover, they all offer  tradition dishes made of homemade typical products and therefore healthy and genuine.

In the area there are clubs, bars and pubs as well as discos which offer any sort of entertainment.

Spending the free time in the Taro Valley also means to take care of one’s body and mind, therefore there are sports halls, swimming pools and wellness centres.