Posted in Travel

My Italian Ghost

I tend to avoid the paranormal and I’m not fascinated by things that go bump in the night but there is one apparition that I get excited about and of course it has to do with Italy. But not just Italy, the Italy of my Italian friends in Gropparello. Gropparello is a comune in the Province of Piacenza in Emilia-Romagna, located about 130 km NW of Bologna . A few years ago I was on a road trip in search of some material for a chapter in my book on cooking in Emilia, (the legendary “breadbasket of Italy”) when I found myself at the door of a medievale taverna outside of town.

Little did I know the taverna was part of castle-fortress built by Charlemagne in the 8th century. Impressive and imposing, Castello di Gropparello was built from bare rock and overlooks a deep gorge (Gole di Vezzeno) and rock cliff with a view of a Celtic altar in the distance. Little did I know I would meet Rita who would become one of my dearest friends in Italy, a cooking companion, a source for one of my best selling olive oils and the current keeper of the castle. Rita Trecci Gibelli and her family have transformed the castle and surrounding wood into a site of gastronomic festivals and Italy’s first “emotional parc” Parco delle Fiabe (Park of the Fairies) where children and their families are guided through a medieval forest to discover the traces of fairies, gnomes, elves and witches, entering into a fairy-tale like experience that leaves Disney far behind.  

And little did I know that although the fairies of the woods may be fiction within the castle itself lies a ghostly legend of “belief and disbelief with apparently inexplicable events that have occurred . . . trying to give rational explanations that there was and there could be the slow and gradual unfolding of this presence through clues, signs, posts more and more clear, clear, unambiguous, up to the revelation of something incredible”, la leggenda di Rosania Fulgosio. 

Read more . . .



Pamela Marasco is the founder and owner of The Cositutti Group, a travel and lifestyle resource for the food, wine, art and design of Northern Italy, Tuscany and Umbria where she travels extensively with her Italian family and friends taste testing regional Italian food for, a unique on-line shopping experience that connects you to the authentic flavors of the Italy. With an undergraduate degree in the biological sciences and a graduate degree in education, Pam is committed to farming practices and educational programs that ensure the true flavors of Italy are preserved and protected. You can learn more about her travels in Italy at Her recent books include Seeing and Savoring Italy - A Taste and Travel Journey through Northern Italy, Tuscany and Umbria and Pasta for a Princess. She also teaches on-line classes for the IUPUI School of BioInformatics / Human-Centering Computing/ Library and Information Science.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s