Via Francigena

Day 56 – Fornovo di Taro to Cassio: flavours of the Via Francigena

The stage


👣 21km on foot – Monday 16 August

Today a large group of walkers left early in a chilly morning breeze. It was windy for most of the day, and the heat gave us an enjoyable break.

The first section of the stage was on asphalt roads, scattered with beautiful stopping points such as the stone-built medieval hostel of Santa Margherita, in Sivizzano. The following part of the route led us away from the main roads and was mostly among agriculture fields. We even had to ford two rivers – although they were almost entirely dry under the Italian August heat.

We then arrived at the Pieve di Bardone, a Roman parish church constructed in the 6th century and then restructured and expanded in the Middle Ages. From there we continued uphill to the village of Terenzo and had a refreshing stop at a fountain before continuing up the steep hill to the Castle of Casola.

The castle, at the top of a hill, offers an amazing view over the region of Emilia we have just left behind us. Here we met the mayor of Parma and our friend association Casola delle Olle with president Giuseppe Lanfranchi. We were offered something I would define a proper luxurious lunch – especially for a pilgrim’s standard – with some of the most typical dishes from the province of Parma: prosciutto, salami, bruschetta, tortelli and wonderful wine, followed by dessert and Fragolino, a sparkly sweet wine. 🍷

After digging into the pleasures of Parma’s gastronomy, we had to start walking again, with the evident problem that after Casola there is another tough uphill section that leads to Cassio. The only idea of climbing up the hill after all that food was making us dizzy! Regardless, with a bit of reciprocal encouragement and a few deep breaths, we headed out to Cassio, crossing pleasant unpaved and quiet roads. It was not that bad, after all. 😉

Here we are among the hills in Cassio. Tomorrow we will walk to the Cisa pass, the second highest peak of the Via Francigena, and from there we will head down into Tuscany: an exciting new chapter of Road to Rome!



– The stunning and authentic hostel of Santa Margherita in Sivizzano

– Amazing local top-quality food offered by the municipality of Parma and from our friends of Casola delle Olle

– The fresh air of the hills after many days of walk in the heat of the plains



Sami Tawfik, EAVF’S project manager

Luca Faravelli, EAVF’S project manager

Cecilia Micciantuono, Administrative Assistant (EAVF)

Sara Massarotto, Movimento Lento/Itineraria (@saramassarotto)

Daniele Ceddia, RTR Ambassador (@una_passeggiata)

Filippo Racanella, video maker

Matteo Daffadà e Pietro

Gian Marco Caraffi, editor

Stefano Guidotti, editor

Massimo & Daniele (@walkingforcharity & @il_cammino_per_salus_pueri)

Igino Morini, Consorzio Parmigiano Reggiano

Gladys Qualizza

Associazione Casola delle Olle