In Parma, the small town of Emilia you can visit cultural monuments, historical buildings and taste interesting traditional dishes. In a single day passed in Parma you can appreciate its many aspects so let’s see how you can do that!
Arriving by train is a good solution, since the railway station is just a few minutes walk from the historic center. For those who prefer cars, several paid parking lots around the center are available, including one along the river. The movement within the city can be done on foot, both due to the short distances and to make the most of your day and so you can discover the suburbs and views.
Parma in bloom
The first step I recommend is the Pilotta complex, which includes the Palace, home to temporary exhibitions, the Palatine Library, the Farnese Theatre and the National Gallery. In about three hours you can visit the entire complex, in case the weather is not in your favor. You shouldn’t miss the Farnese Theatre and especially the wooden structure designed by Argenta.
Leaving the Pilotta, take a moment to admire the great square, Piazzale della Pace, the work of M. Botta. Notice how the large fountain is in the form of the old church that was destroyed during the war and how its structure is remembered by the game of trees and water. Passing from there, also take a peek at the Regio Theatre, which boasts an interesting concert season and numerous opera festivals. Head, then, in the direction of the Camera di San Paolo, the work of Correggio and the Pinacoteca Stuard to continue your visit.
Piazzale della Pace
Continue to Piazza Duomo and the Baptistery revenue with its rose marble, decorated with panels depicting various animals, and the church of Santa Maria Assunta, where you can admire the dome frescoed by Correggio and the interesting bas-relief of Antelmi, The Deposition of Christ. Behind the cathedral is the church of St. John, the smallest and most austere one, but of great interest for its frescoes.
Walking a few minutes, you can reach Piazza Garibaldi and appreciate the Roman foundation of Parma observing how Via Cavour, Via Repubblica and Via Farini compose the square with the classic structure of Cardo and Decuman. On the square stands the Governor’s Palace with its large sundial and the center shows a statue of Garibaldi.
Walk to Republic Street until you cross the bridge over the river Parma and reach the oltretorrente. Among the suburbs discover the old hospital, now the State Archives and the Church of the Annunciation. To conclude the day and rest for a moment, head north, towards the Ducal Park, where you can enjoy a good cup of coffee in the shade. The park will take you with its great avenue to the bridge and then to the Middle Pilotta Palace, the end point of the visit. In case you decide to take a few more days you can get on with other parts of the city such as the Citadel, the Paganini Auditorium and the many castles in the province.
Parma photos by: ricardo francesconi, sally 1708, alex liverani, downtime 1882, luigi strano
By +Nikos Kontorigas