A city with cultural and gastronomic "delight"
An atmosphere of times gone by is perceived in this sophisticated Emilian city, which bears witness, with numerous masterpieces, to its rich historic past.
Piazza of DuomoParma. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock 
The names of the artists who have contributed to its beauty are of the calibre of Benedetto Antelami, to whom we owe the Cathedral and the splendid baptistery made of pink Verona marble, Correggio, who worked on the Camera di San Paolo and the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, and Parmigianino, who frescoed the Church of Santa Maria della Steccata, built in elegant Renaissance style to protect an image of the miraculous Virgin Mary.
The Palace of Pilotta in Parma
Parma. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock 
The cultural life of the city rotates around the Palazzo della Pilotta, an enormous residential complex constructed at the end of the sixteenth century by Ottavio Farnese: the complex takes its name from pelota, a Basque game played in one of the courtyards of the palace. Inside is the National Gallery, which houses works by eminent artists such as Correggio, Parmigianino, Canova, Tiepolo and Leonardo da Vinci. The rich Archaeology Museum and the Biblioteca palatina (Palatine Library) are also found here.
Regio TheatreParma. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock
Parma: the city of Music
But Parma is above all a city of music and theatre. It was the city much loved by Verdi, who was born in Parma province in Roncole di Busseto. There are many buildings devoted to music: the Auditorium Paganini, designed by Renzo Piano, the Casa della musica (House of Music), the birthplace and museum of Arturo Toscanini, the Casa del Suono (House of Sound) and the celebrated Teatro Regio, famous throughout the world, which was commissioned by Marie Louise and inaugurated in 1829.
Botanical GardenParma. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock
The green spaces in Parma
In addition to its exceptional monuments, Parma offers its citizens and visitors numerous green spaces: there is an enchanting park alongside the Palazzo della Pilotta, in Piazzale della Pace, the work of the architect from Torino Mario Botta. The old town is the site of the Botanical Garden, a vast park of approximately 11,000 square metres with a large variety of aquatic and insectivorous plants, as well as roses, bonsai and pelargoniums
The Parco Ducale, the Cittadella, an old fortress and today a public park, and the Giardino di San Paolo (St. Paul’s Garden), in the monastery of the same name, are imbued with historical significance. Among the parks, three interesting footpaths are well worth walking: the Greenways, where guided by an MP3 player, you can stroll and wind down surrounded by nature.
Piazza Garibaldi in Parma
Piazza GaribaldiParma. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock
The central Piazza Garibaldi, with its outdoor tables, is the ideal place for meeting and relaxing, as is Via Farini, which offers a lively nightlife.
The Parma Trade Fair Centre, located in a strategic position, features trade shows on food and antiques. The centre is also filled with antique shops which sell masterpieces of the past. There are also numerous antique and collectors’ markets right in the centre, in Piazzale della Pilotta or under the portico in Via D’Azeglio.
The province of Parma
Reggia di Colorno
Castello di Fontanellato
Castello dei Rossi a San Secondo
The province of Parma is rich and varied, and among the unrivalled natural beauty there are some architectural treasures, such as the Castello dei Rossi in San Secondo, the Reggia di Colorno with its spectacular gardens, the Castello di Fontanellato, the Rocca di Soragna, and lastly the Villa Sant’Agata, where Giuseppe Verdi spent his last few years.
The culinary itineraries in Parma and and surroundings
The culinary itineraries are a genuine attraction due to the variety of food and wine products available. These include the famous Parmesan cheese, Felino salami, Parma ham, culatello di Zibello, Spalla Cotta and the Colli wines, to name but a few; the cold cuts are preferably accompanied by torta fritta, rectangles of dough fried in oil. Don’t miss tasting the spongata, a very sweet cake with honey, walnuts, pine nuts and raisins.
Parmigiano Reggiano
Prosciutto di Parma
Culatello di Zibello
The variety and history behind Parma’s products of excellence have also given life to numerous food museums in the city and province, such as the Museum of Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese Museum), Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham Museum), salame di Felino (Felino Salami Museum) and Pomodoro (Tomato Museum), which demonstrate the industrious past in this area of this Italian food valley.
Text by Anna Glik
Avion Tourism Magazine
Photos:, Shutterstock
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Tourim Board
Where to sleep in Parma
Parma. Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock
Parma is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
Hotels in the districts
Hotels in tourist areas
Hotels near the airport
Monuments in Parma
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Piazza Duomo, 1
The cathedral of Parma, started around 1059, was consecrated in 1106, and can be considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in that period and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The interior of the Cathedral has a structure with three naves and a transept with side chapels terminated by apses. The interior decoration with sculptural pieces is of considerable interest. Between 1525 and 1530, Correggio painted the dome representing the Assumption of the Virgin surrounded by apostles, angels and youths.
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The Piazzale della Pace, bordered on the west by the Pilotta Palace and to the north by the eighteenth-century Palazzo Intendenza, has recently been transformed into a green area and has become the meeting point for the city's youth. Designed by the architect Mario Botta, with a vast lawn, tall trees and a fountain in the square, the square hosts inside the Monument to the Partisan by Marino Mazzacurati and the Monument to Giuseppe Verdi by Ettore Ximenes.
Museums in Parma
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Piazza della Pilotta, 9/a
The National Gallery, housed on the second floor of the Pilotta Palace, was established by the Dukes of Parma, Don Philip and Don Ferdinand of Bourbon, and was enriched by the acquisitions made by Marie Louise of Austria, giving rise to a collection of paintings. Today the collections includes works from the 13th to the 19th centuries, by several schools and masters. The Emilian school of the 15th and 16th centuries are particularly important with works by Correggio, Parmigianino and Alessandro Araldi.
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Palazzo della Pilotta, Piazzale Pilotta
The Bodoni Museum, housed in Palazzo della Pilotta, is the Museum of the city of Parma dedicated to the work of the typographer Giambattista Bodoni. The typographer as the head of Parma Royal Printing works from the 1768 and trasform it in an international printing centre. Inside are preserved punches, presses, perforating dies, the original matrice and boxes of alphabet of the Printing Works. The most precious work is certainly the greek version of Illiad printed in 1808.
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Via Melloni, 3
The Castle is dedicated to Giordano Ferrari, puppeteer of Parma. The museum is one of the most important collections of Italian puppet theater with 2842 pieces including puppets, marionettes, dolls and 637 pieces including backdrops and scenes. 
Excursions in Parma and surroundings
The Road of Culatello runs through the villages along the River Po and offers a variety of flavors. You can enjoy the trip by car, by boat on the River Po or by bike. On this road is possible to discover the places where this product was born. You can stop at the Museum of Parmigiano-Reggiano and the small village of Polesine Parmense, famous for the production of Culatello.
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Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock
Photo: Copyright © / Shutterstock
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