THE MUSEUM OF CULATELLO AND MASALÉN
A museum wanted by our family, dedicated to the territory and its people. So we had to do.
The Spigaroli Family
The complex of the Antica Corte Pallavicina in Polesine stands out in a glimpse of the Low Lands dominated by the sound of the Great River, where the fog is an essential ingredient of taste.
The museum itinerary presents, one after the other, the protagonists of the Culatello story.
The first is the territory: the environment, the poplars and the Po River are the protagonists of a narration that leads to the hall, focused on the figure of the pig, tamed by man in ancient times, with insights on the typical black pig of Parma, on its recovery, on the symbolism and on the image
of a creature so closely linked to man to be chosen to evoke its vices and virtues.
A space in the museum also offers an in-depth analysis of the fi gure of Saint Anthony the Abbot,
a desert hermit, always represented in the company of a piglet.
The next room is dedicated to the story of the Spigaroli family, originally sharecroppers of Giuseppe Verdi, able to move between the banks of the Po and then to reinvent themselves as restaurateurs: it is in this section that we begin to talk about the Masalén, the butchers who handed down the art of the correct method of slaughtering a pig.
A collection of objects related to the activity accompanies the return to the outside, for an ideal breath of air before the descent into a large underground space which introduces us to the secret world of Culatello.
In this room there are themes such as the characteristics of pork, salt, pepper, and the main cold cuts of the Lowlands of Parma. We then move on to the history of Culatello, to the iconography and to the quotations of famous people, from Giuseppe Verdi to Gabriele D’Annunzio to Giovannino Guareschi and many others, with a precise account of the phases that transforms the pig’s thigh into a product also characterized by a precise tasting ritual.
The exhibit also allows you to observe the fascinating gallery, where culatello age in the humidity and in the semi-darkness, a museum in itself, before going up to the hall of the Hostaria of the Pig and Culatello, where the tasting culminates the itinerary dedicated to the King of Salumi.
The Museum of Culatello and Masalén has an open-air extension called PO FOREST. A beautiful outdoor path of 1.5 km, divided into 12 stages to discover the forest, the floodplain vegetation of the Po and our wild breeding of black pigs. A walk through history, culture and nature told in the audio guide and on the brochure created ad hoc, which can be bought with only one euro more than the entrance ticket to the Museum, thus contributing to the maintenance of the track. Click here for the route map.
From February 1st to December 30th
Open from Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Last entrance at 5:30 pm).
Closed on Mondays except for Holidays.
Note: The museum may be closed in case of an event. Please call for confirmation.
Closed during the month of January.
Standard € 7,00 includes audio guide in Italian or English.
Reduced € 5,00 Groups (minimum of 10 people), adults over 65, conventions.
Reduced for schools € 3,00 Classes and students from 6 to 18 years of age, University of Parma with Student ID card.
Free Disabled persons and their caregivers, chaperons for school groups, journalists and minors under 6 years of age.
Castle: € 3,00 plus the entrance ticket to the Museum.
Tasting of Culatello and cold cuts from the Lowlands € 5,00 per person.
Guided visits for groups € 20,00 in addition to the entrance ticket, (11 to 25 people). Reservations are required.
Inside the museum you may take photographs and video recordings for personal use without the use of flash or tripod.
In the Agribottega, inside the Hosteria of the Pig and Culatello, you can buy guides, publications, souvenirs, meats, cheeses and products from the farm.
It is possible to visit the vegetable garden and the see how the pigs are raised in their natural environment on marked paths.
Restaurant and Hosteria of the Pig and Culatello
At the end of the visit the guests can enjoy the “Food Zone” inside the Ancient Pallavicina Court, in the Hosteria of the Pig and Culatello, where one can still feel the authentic atmosphere of the ancient taverns of the Lowlands or in the award winning restaurant, with its exclusive setting, its views overlooking the Po River and the countryside, and its refi ned menu. Reservations are suggested.