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Parma | Historic, Unique, Ducal Charm


Parma is undoubtedly a city of sublime charm, situated in the region of Emilia Romagna, this centre boasts a very rich artistic, monumental and cultural patrimony reminiscent the golden, ducal times.

The city was already known in the Imperial era, although its splendour and beginnings at the highest levels were reached in the Middle Ages with the very influential Duchy of the two elected capitals, Parma and Piacenza with the Farnese dynasty governing.

You can start your visit from the Palazzo della Pilotta, an imposing building with neoclassical lines erected in 1580 during the mandate of Ottavio Farnese, designed by the architect Argenta with further development by his colleague Paciotto.

It is a majestic construction that shows the grandeur of what was once a center of great importance and guarding in its rooms the Palatine Library, the  National Gallery and Farnese Theatre.

Continuation  towards the nearby Piazzale della Pace, an urban masterpiece, a work by architect Botta.

Today this square is a very lively meeting point in Parma where you can admire the monument dedicated to the great composer Giuseppe Verdi who although born in Le Roncole, a small village in the province, always had a very strong bond with the city.

This work was carried out using bronze and granite by the sculptor Ettore Ximenes, completing it in 1920.

You can continue with the famous Teatro Regio erected between 1821 and 1829 by the local architect Nicola Bettoli at the request of the Duchess Maria Luisa.

The desire of that noble lady was a replacement of the old Farnese Theater and today the theatre boasts a refined interior considered by critics one of the opera houses of excellence at an international level furthermore with a rich calendar of events.

Continuing in a while you will reach the historic heart of Parma in front of the stupendous monumental complex where you will start with the extraordinary Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, a masterful work dating back the medieval era built between the 11th and 12th centuries.

This artistic diamond has a divine architectural profile blending superlative elements in Romanesque and Renaissance style in perfect symbiosis.

Visiting the interior where you will be delighted by the superb works of art with frescoes by illustrious artists including Lattanza and above all the sublime masterpiece corresponding to the stupendous dome frescoed by that genius called Correggio and then be enraptured by magnificent sculptural bas-reliefs made by the esteemed master Benedetto Antelami.

After enjoyed this marvel you can move to the adjacent Baptistery of St. John the Baptist, another architectural wonder begun by Antelami in 1196 erected on an octagonal plan and using precious pink marble of Verona as main material for its development.

Inside it will be spectacular the view of an artistic complex of highest school consisting of sixteen arches forming niches with various paintings and frescoes dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries and then admiring the wonderful umbrella-shaped dome highlighted by valuable frescoes depicting biblical scenes with protagonists Saints executed on sixteen tubular ribs.

The nearby Church of St. John the Evangelist is a beautiful example of how elegant Baroque lines can be blended with refined Renaissance with extreme criteria and talent.

This religious complex was the seat of the Benedictine order built in the sixteenth century with various works by famous artists inside, among which stands out as in the cathedral an extraordinary dome frescoed by Correggio depicting the vision of St. John on Patmos.

The next stage of your journey is Piazza Garibaldi another fulcrum of Parma of extreme importance where you will admire the refined Governor's Palace and the famous sundial while in the center stands the monument dedicated to the hero of the two worlds, Giuseppe Garibaldi.

This is also the point that represents the Roman foundation of the city with the cardo and imperial decumanus consisting of three arteries of extreme importance such as Via Farini, Via Repubblica and Via Cavour.

It’s time for your lunch and Parma is a culinary paradise. You can start with an appetizer of mixed cold cuts based on Prosciutto di Parma, Spalla Cotta di San Secondo, Culatello and Torta Fritta

Among first courses excellent options are Tortellini or Tortelli al Ragu or Risotto alla Parmigiana while among second courses very suggested Turkey Breast with Herbs or Veal Escalope in white wine.

After your lunch enoy a pleasant walk in the charming historic centre and metre by metre you will uderstand furthermore how Parma with its unmistakable ducal charm will remain in your memories for ever.

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