Our itinerary starts from Mantova and continues to Sabbioneta: both towns are in the World Heritage List for the exceptional example of the architectural and artistic realizations of the Renaissance, linked through the ideas and ambitions of the ruling family, the Gonzaga family.
In Casalmaggiore all paths converge in the great square, once overlooking the Po river, which becomes an outdoor living room in the warm summer evenings. In the ducal palace of Colorno we find “ Alma”, one of the most famous cooking schools in the world. San Secondo Parmense is known above all for the production of the cooked shoulder, one of the favorite meats for Giuseppe Verdi, who used to donate it to his friends.
From Fontanellato, after seeing the square, the fortress and the frescoes by Parmigianino, we reach Parma. A prolonged stay in the ducal city, which seems to be a small and sophisticated European capital, makes the tourist appreciate many beauties. The first of the lands of the river near Reggio Emilia is Brescello, famous for being the set of Peppone and Don Camillo movies.
Then there is Boretto, one of the best equipped ports for navigation on the Po. Then we find Gualtieri, whose main square is admired as a theater, and Guastalla, also with a beautiful square that carries out the memories of the domination of the Gonzaga family. Luzzara is the birthplace of the writer and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini. We return to Guastalla to cross the Po and enter the province of Mantova.
Pomponesco is all in one square, and was beloved by directors such as Cesare Zavattini, Mario Soldati and Bernardo Bertolucci. Shortly we get to Viadana and then we conclude our brief trip in Sabbioneta. Going around, you will see people on bicycles along the banks, bell towers that rise in the valley, beautiful squares with arcades, poplar trees, huts where lovers went to make love, old inns, misty atmospheres and "roads that seem to go always to the same point and then nowhere "as Luigi Ghirri, the great photographer of these places, said.