Italy || Scenes from Antica Corte Pallavicina

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

With my 2nd trip to Italy just days away, I can hardly even sit still anymore.

I’m bouncing around the house packing, mumbling in broken Italian, and frantically trying to finish all of my Chicago projects WHILE watching any and all movies that take place in Italy.

You know, for “research”.

But I’ve also recently discovered a few unpublished posts from my last trip in October 2017 that I just have to share.

Especially today’s spot:

Antica Corte Pallavicina

A 14th century castle hiding some of Italy’s best culinary secrets!

Here, on this massive estate, they produce the famed Culatello di suico nero di Parma, a cured ham made from free-range black pigs that’s so good, Prince Charles of the U.K. has one reserved for him every year!

And anything Prince Charles imports into his kitchen is bound to be truly spectacular… and, indeed, it WAS!

Beyond the culatello, Antica also has a Michelin-starred restaurant (where all of the produce used is either grown or raised on the property) and a famous hotel where you can sleep in their beautifully renovated 14th century castle.

It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited — and I’m so excited to finally share it with you too!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

We began our visit with a tour of Antica’s vast farm properties.

Everything they serve is produced on the property.

And while saying that is one thing, SEEING it is something else.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

They even make their own wine label from their vineyards!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Which I was all too happy to explore…

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Next we visited their vast greenhouses and gardens where they grow all sorts of produce and herbs.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Doesn’t this lettuce look incredible?

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

And this kale?

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

It was my first visit to an Italian farm.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

And needless to say I was smitten.

For any photographers out there — book a trip to Italy immediately. Then rent a car and drive into the Italian countryside.

It’s where all the magic is.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

See? MAGIC!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Needless to say I wandered down every path shooting as many leafy greens as I could before we headed to our next stop.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Which is where you’ll find Antica’s most famous product: culatello hams curing!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

But we stopped to make a few friends along the way…

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

First one…

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Then many!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Inside these buildings you’ll find rows and rows of culatello hams curing.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

It’s an almost morbid scene truth be told.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

But this is part of a very old tradition that really does create the most incredible flavor in each ham.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

After inspecting the curing hams, we headed out to one more stop on Antica’s grounds before the main castle…

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Which didn’t seem like much at first…

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

But as we rounded the bend, proved to have a very exciting surprise… Antica’s famous black pigs!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

When I’d been told culatello was made from black pigs my first thought was: what is a black pig?

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Short answer: a black pig.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Long answer: a rare type of pig that’s all black.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

I’ll be honest, I had little to no experience with pigs before this visit.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

And at first I was pretty timid…

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

But eventually got right in there with them.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Photographers really will do anything for “the shot”!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

After our romp with the swines, we headed to our final stop at Antica Corte Pallavicina:

The Castle!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Actually it’s more than that! It’s a 14th century castle turned Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel. How many places can boast that?

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

And let me tell you — the grounds around the castle are incredible. I am DYING to bring Hubby back here for a romantic 2-night stay. The food alone is worth the trip but the grounds are absolutely stunning to wander through.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

And filled with hidden treasures.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

And a truly diverse selection of flowers!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Which I could NOT. STOP. SHOOTING.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Seriously I probably have almost 200 photos of flowers from just Antica’s garden!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

It was THAT lush — even in mid-October!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Be still my flora-loving heart!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Oh look, more flowers!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

And you thought I was kidding about my flower shots!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Okay, okay last one, I promise!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

The grounds of Antica’s castle are stunning too.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

You can see the newer buildings mingling in with the older, renaissance architecture and plenty of homages to Antica’s swine-y history!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

If pigs could fly…

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

The interior of the castle is as beautiful as you’ve probably already suspected.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

And one of a thousand reasons why I want to come back to actually spend a night here!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

But in the deep, dark dungeons underneath the castle, you’ll find Antica’s most prized possessions…

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Walls and walls of aging culatello — over 5,000 of them — many with designations marking their future owners like Prince Charles or Monaco’s Prince Albert II.

The scene is a little morbid but perhaps seeing the finished culatello will change your mind?

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

After our tour we sat down to a scrumptious meal of Antica’s finest offerings…

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Despite being just a simple preparation of Antica’s culatello,

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

house-aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the house wine.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

But is=t was all we needed!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

If you’re a fan of cured meats, a trip to Antica is non-negotiable. Antica truly does have some of the best cured ham in the entire world!

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

The house wine — made from the grapes of the vineyard we walked through just a few hours earlier — is quite delicious too. Very robust and flavorful.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

And a perfect accompaniment to the meats and cheeses.

Antica Corte Pallavicina Italy

Which we happily consumed in huge platefuls!

What a delicious end to our visit this incredible culinary gem! I think we were all taken aback by how beautiful, how thoughtful, and how authentic each and everything at Antica is.

It’s truly one of the most special places I’ve ever had the privilege to visit!

So if you find yourself in Northern Italy looking for an authentic Italian experience in a castle with INCREDIBLE reviews on every travel site, look no further than Antica Corte Pallavicina.

Book Your Stay Here!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary visit to Antica Corte Pallavicina as a guest of True Italian Taste and the Italian Chamber of Commerce but I was not monetarily compensated for this post, and all opinions expressed are my own. Official Sed Bona Signature
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