The small cheese plant of the Meli-Lupi
The complex called “Castellazzi” represents on of the most important elements belonging to the Castle Meli-Lupi of Soragna: sited next to the southern boundary wall of the park with direct access to the park through an iron gate.
Arriving from the provincial road which joins Fidenza to Soragna, the Castellazzi complex is in the foreground against a backdrop of the architecture of the town itself. The complex is in origin from the XVIII century with certain more recent adaptations, and is composed of the main house which still has the original stables with their vaulted roof and the ancient hay barn with next to it the precious round cheese making plant; near the complex there are minor rustic outbuildings.
The cheese making plant is special for its circular structure which makes it a particularly prized building in terms of its large size, harmonious both inside and out and the decorative order throughout. The actual cheese plant is composed of the cylindrical and most ancient part which can be dated 1848; when it was built there was a low portico where today we find a full wall with windows. Later enlargements were carried out in 1963 with the construction to the East of the building to house the milk room and the salting room in the basement.
The ancient cheese making plant has been chosen as the seat of the Parmigiano Reggiano Museum for its particular circular structure with one room which in the context of the museum has been endowed with all the instruments and equipment formerly used for the production of cheese.
The project has necessitated complete restructuring from the roof down according to local building criteria, re-utilising the weight bearing structure of wooden beams and recuperating the layer of terracotta flat tiles which have been left visible. The internal walls have been whitewashed and the terracotta floor tiles cleaned and replaced where necessary. The space of the former milk room, raised with respect to the circular room houses the preparation of an exhibition route dedicated to the history of Parmigiano Reggiano and the types of architecture used to build the ‘caselli’ for making the cheese.
Next to the cheese plants in more recent buildings can be found the Reception, a café and the Museum Shop where it is possible to buy Parmigiano-Reggiano, the tasting kit and publications, posters, cards and themed kitchen objects.