[Emilia Romagna Villages] The Compiano Castle
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Compiano is a delightful medieval village on the first hills of the province of Parma of just over 1000 inhabitants. It rises 500 meters above sea level and has for centuries been the centerpiece of a small independent principality, which, apparently, was the origin of the Royal Prince’s title of Monaco’s Royal Family. This ancient aristocratic history, along with the pretty village, its fabled castle and the panoramas that can be admired from here, have made this small settlement a magical place full of charm in all seasons of the year.
To investigate the Compiano history we have to go back in time to the IX century AD, when the small settlement was reported as a defensive Carolingian stronghold over the high valley of the Taro River. Around the year 1000 it is owned by the Ligurian family of Malaspina and then in 1312, once become a feud, to the Ghibelline family of Landi who kept it as a lordship for 426, which made it the longest lordship of Italy.
In 1532 the Emperor Charles V proclaimed his principality, giving the new Prince in 1552 the chance to beat currency and half a century later, in 1595, Princess Maria Landi of Compiano married Ercole I Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco, whose son Onorato II, was the first prince of the Grimaldi dynasty in Monaco.
Due to the struggle with the neighboring Farnese family, Dukes of Parma and Piacenza, in 1682 the territories of Compiano and Bardi were abandoned by the Landi family, entering in the domains of the Dukes of Farnese and in 1738 became the territory of the Dukes of Borbone.
First of all, the Castle, the defensive bastion that keeps the structures and frescos that have enriched it over the centuries. Inside you can visit the Gambarotta Collection, made up of six-eighteenth-century furnishings and paintings left to the Municipality by the last owner of the manor, Countess Lina Raimondi Gambarotta, and the Masonic Museum. Among the other experiences not to be missed in Compiano we suggests a walk in the narrow alleyways of the Borgo, which climb up the slopes of the village and overlook the aristocratic palaces and the amazing views of surrounding areas.
We also suggest a visit to the surrounding area of the village; Compiano it is inserted in a natural context between the most classic of Parma Apennine in a territory enriched by places to relax on foot, by bicycle or horse, and with great gastronomic treasures as the Porcine PGI Mushroom of Borgotaro.
Autumn: it is the ideal season to enjoy the delicious products of the land that grow here, such as the Porcino Mushroom of Borgotaro PGI, which especially in September and October can be found in the woods of the surrounding area.
Winter: Long and cold, is the typical season in which everything is covered with a soft white mantles, huts where to taste the winter recipes and walks on the ridge dividing Emilia Romagna Region from Liguria.
Spring: Perhaps not everyone knows that the Parma Abbey is a place that can still be crossed on horseback. The Ippovia of Parma Apennines allows to discover the environmental and cultural territory through alternative paths and carriages to the big road axes.
Summer: The summer in Compiano is the best season to escape the warmth of the plain and relax among the trees and the hills of the Apennine, tasting the fantastic local gastronomy
Food & Wine
Compiano’s Gastronomy shares recipes and products with the Taro Valley gastronomy in general, and with its majesty the Porcino Mushroom, which is typical of these areas. If you are visiting Compiano and want to taste something special we recommend the Gnocchi with chestnuts and ricotta and Vitello prepared in Valtarese way.
Path and pilgrim ways
For all those who are interested in the naturalistic and spiritual trails that cross the territory of Compiano, we point out that the village of Bardi is crossed by the famous Abotts Way, starting from the city of Pavia, to the Tuscan village of Pontremoli.
Due to its location and its characteristic old town, Compiano is one of these settlements in the Apennines which during the year and especially in summer, hosts numerous events. Among the many, we would like to mention the Festival of S.Crofisso, scheduled each year on 14 August and Fiera Millenaria of San Terenziano, which takes place every year on the 1st weekend of September.
How to reach
The Compiano village is located about 76 km from the city of Parma and is reachable:
by Railways: Ferrovie dello Stato – Stop in Borgo Val di Taro (8,5 km)
By Bus: Urban & extra-urban line TEP Parma Borgo Val di Taro – Bedonia, bus stop in Compiano Ponte and from here extra urban line to Berceto, bus stop in Compiano castle.
by Car: From Parma highway A15 Parma-La Spezia, exit Borgo Val di Taro or Tangenziale Sud exit 12 Via La Spezia along SS 62 direction Fornovo di Taro, from Fornovo SS 308 direction Borgotaro.