It's a complex and monumental piece of architecture, with over 400 rooms, courts and courtyards, surrounded by Parma's river, a piazza and a charming French garden, which was recently restored. Once inhabited by the Sanseverinos, the Farneses, the Borbones and Maria Luigia from Austria, now it houses temporary exhibitions and cultural events. Hours vary according to the season. Check the website before deciding to visit is advisable.
Discover with Laura is a full-fledged food tour agency operated by experienced food guide Laura Panella. The well-curated tours are an easy draw for gourmands who are keen to explore Emilia-Romagna's distinct flavors and cuisines. Parma, made famous for balsamic vinegar, prosciutto and Parmesan cheese, attracts a large number of food lovers from all over the continent. Laura tours take you through some of the lesser-known nooks serving up delectable local grub and also arranges for tasting tours of various city culinary haunts.
Parma Golosa Italian Food Tours promise a memorable experience for gastronomists keen to explore the city's hidden culinary gems while in the city. A gourmet food tour by the tour agency is sure to amaze you with some exciting details about the region's distinct food scene. Discover Parma's iconic specialties like classic balsamic vinegar, proscuitto and the delectable Parmesan cheese, among other savory eats that have shaped up the city's famous cuisine. Tours take visitors to locally-run plants and factories and provide an interesting glimpse of how local staples are churned out on a daily basis.
For a city so immensely popular for its delectable Parmesan cheese and prosciutto, it comes as no surprise that majority of tourists as well as locals are always excited to explore the local flavors and cuisines. Food Valley Travel is an ideal way to forage for iconic spots that serve classic Parmesan eats at pocket-friendly prices. Their customized tours are backed with well-informed and friendly guides who share some interesting insights about the city's food scene and culture. Food Valley also arranges food and wine excursions as per individual travel itineraries and other requirements.
This church is an example of Renaissance architecture in Parma. It has a central Greek cross plan in a Bramante-like style, and was built between 1521-1539 following the design of an unknown architect. It was built by Bernardino and Giovanni Francesco Zaccagni who demonstrated that they were familiar with, and knew how to interpret the architectural rules set out by Bramante. Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane, sent to Parma by Pope Clement VII in 1526 to examine the defensive system, left a plan for the dome and the completion of the building. The decoration and the large balustrade, which follows the arms of the cross, are the work of Mauro Oddi and can be dated back to the end of the 17th Century.
This building is in the heart of the historic center and is home to the Palatina library, the archeological museum, the national gallery, the Farnese theatre, the Institute of the History of Art of the University of Parma and the headquarters of the Parma and Piacenza galleries and the Toschi Art Institute. The building dates from 1583 and takes its name from the Basque game of Pelota, which was played in the courtyard. In the course of time, the fascinating building has undergone many changes and was partially rebuilt after the bombings of 1944.
The museum is inspired by the four-century long Parma tradition of Opera. Housed in the 15th-century Palazzo Cusani, patrons get the opportunity to experience the themes, places and characters that have marked the journey up to present day as they browse through the fascinating collection. One of the best ways to know about and immerse yourself in the local history and culture, a day at Casa della Musica will be will-remembered, especially for the opera-lovers.
The Casa del Suono is a museum dedicated to the history of audio technology housed in a fourth-century building formerly known as the Sant'Elisabetta Church. The museum's collections include vintage radios, Edison's phonographs and "modern" equipment dating up to the nineteen sixties.
Located in the heart of Parma, San Francesco del Prato was originally built in the 13th century. This Gothic-style church features high circular windows, beautiful frescoes and a large hall that is divided into three naves. After making some changes in the structure, the church was transformed into a jail in the 19th century. This old church complex will soon be consecrated again after its much-needed renovation.
This distinctive pharmacy, located between the walls of the convent of San Giovanni, probably opened in 1201, although the current furnishings of the historic shop date from a later time. Three rooms hold shelves filled in the 16th-17th Centuries with small and large vases, flasks, jugs and tankards: the Sala del Fuoco (fire room) has a delivery desk with scales; the Sala dei Mortai (mortar room), frescoed with lunettes showing figures of Hippocrates, Galeno and Avicenna; and the Sala delle Sirene (sirens room), which holds a collection of documents.
The monastic complex of San Giovanni Evangelista is made up of a church, a monastery, and the historical San Giovanni pharmacy. The origins date back to the 10th Century, although the façade is Baroque in style. The bell-tower on the right-hand side was added in 1613. The church, with classical heritage, has an original Romanesque layout -you can see the pillars covered in gray stone with sculpted capitals by Antonio da Parma. Another piece of great value is the Wooden Choir by M. Zucchi, the Gianfranco brothers, and Pasquale Testa (1556). The monastic library is full of 15th Century rooms decorated with frescoes. It contains around 20,000 books, including codices painted in miniature from the 15th and 16th Centuries.
Cattedrale di Parma is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is one of the most typical local Romanesque buildings of its time. Today the façade has a pointed roof with two slopes, and is decorated with three orders of loggia. There are three portals, and the main one was built by Giambono da Bissone in 1281, reusing earlier reliefs representing the months in the arch. These reliefs can be attributed to an earlier master who also carved the capitals in the central aisle. The Duomo is divided into three aisles and a transept with side chapels ending in apses, and divided by pillars with galleries reserved for women. The transept, which also has an apse, is crowned by a dome which was decorated by Correggio in the 16th Century. The internal decoration includes some sculptural pieces of notable interest in the capitals (in the nave), in the ladies' galleries, in the tomb slabs (which were discovered recently and are located in the fifth chapel on the right at the moment), and in the lions (located behind the façade). Parma's Duomo was created and built as a political-religious expression, and is typical of the religious buildings located along the Via Romea (which was represented by Via Emilia in this part of Padania). It was an obligatory stop for pilgrims and crusaders.