Via Roncole Verdi n.136, 43100 Madonna dei Prati – Parma (PR)
Telephone: +39 0524 92569
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The Meadows of Colombarola, which gradually evolved into Madonna dei Prati, had no other notoriety than that derived from the religious practices held around the church, which periodically attracted crowds of devotees. The area therefore remained with the same characteristics of an immense expanse of green meadows for more than 200 years after the construction of the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Prati. There were only three or four farmhouses (Colombarola, Servi, Cascina, Separata, which in dialect is called ‘Sparà’) but no other civil structures. So it happened that Don Leto Bocelli, Rector of the Oratory from 1909 to 1916, after a favourable experience in 1910 on the occasion of a pilgrimage of over 200 people from Borgo San Donnino, all housed under the portico that existed at the time, and all refuelled with a refreshment service provided by the esteemed former Colonel Claudio Ronchino of the Caffè Centrale in Busseto, felt that it was time to set up a refreshment point next to the church. He designated the aforementioned portico for this use, and at the end of the renovation works, the restaurant looked as it does in the old snapshot taken from a postcard of the time. It was opened on 07/05/1911. It was managed by Mr Oristodemo Oppici, Ugo’s father, to whom we must give credit – as we will say later – for having introduced the ‘torta fritta’ (fried dough bread) among the specialities of our area (until then it had only been made at home and occasionally). The three-year contract was terminated on expiry. It seems that the manager had not fulfilled his contractual duties, especially in relation to the obligations imposed by the seriousness of the place, which was sacred to religious practices rather than to drinking pleasures.
On 11/05/1915 Oppici was asked to leave, but he stayed until around November. And when he left, it was not to quit the business but to continue it with his sons in a modest place built a few dozen metres away. It was there that his son Ugo began to get started, helped by ‘Giulieta’ Paraffini, known as ‘la nera’ (the black woman), and it was from there that the nucleus of houses that today make up the ‘Centre’ of Madonna dei Prati began to be built. An attempt promoted by Don Urlati to have the location elevated to the status of a village in order to have a cemetery, school and telephone remained on the table for several years, but could not come to life due to the decreasing of the population. However, something arrived: the schools, inaugurated on 30/10/1954 but, sadly, closed after a few years, and the telephone. Now only the latter remains inside the ‘Trattoria dei Prati’ built as the final act in Madonna dei Prati by Ugo Oppici before he left for Coduro and Busseto, leaving the running of the business to Mario Pancini. Ugo Oppici’s grandson Romano Campanini then succeeded him and now his family, Turivia at the head leading its fortunes. It was precisely with the Campaninis that Ugo Oppici gave impetus and opened the door for the penetration of ‘torta fritta’ into the restaurants of the Bassa Parmense. Today, the Trattoria Campanini renews the tradition and continues the historical path of gastronomy in Madonna dei Prati. The management is assigned to the Campanini family, which offers its customers the typical dishes of the area, naturally enriched by the constant presence on the menu of the famous Culatello di Zibello, of which it is also one of the members of the Consorzio di Tutela, the ‘torta fritta’, which is made according to the ancient traditions of the area, and the good wine produced by the vineyards of the Bassa Parmense. The Trattoria Campanini offers traditional menus with a choice of typical local dishes in a venue that seats around sixty. During the processing of Culatello di Zibello DOP, you can visit the laboratory with a guided tour of the maturing areas. Next to the Trattoria, it is possible to buy local products (Culatello, Spalla Cotta and other cured meats, as well as typical wines from the area and Parmesan cheese) in the shop bearing the same name.