So many lovely places to visit in Northern Italy that I feel it will take a few good months to see all the towns in peace and in comfort but just like me if you don’t have a lot of time in hand then these attractions in Parma are a must-visit. Parma, not surprisingly it is also known for their world-famous Parmesan cheese and one of the oldest Parma university in the world.
Strategically located between Milan and Bologna it makes an ideal city for a day trip, also it’s not as touristy as it could be. The timeless appeal and the charmingly pretty old town makes it one of the must-see cities in Italy. Without a surprise, this city has also been given the title by UNESCO as the Creative City of Gastronomy, it is no new news that Parma has an abundance of culture and rich history.
Some places to see here are:-
Cathedral Square – If you come to Parma this square is a must-visit, its the soul of the city. Situated in the old town the pleasing aesthetic of the surroundings especially the cobbled streets, the charming buildings like the bell tower, duomo and the baptistery all add to make this square what it is today. The Duomo undoubtedly is what drives tourists here as the frescoes, the sculptures are pretty stunning. Don’t miss out the opportunity to check out the bell tower and the baptistery which is just a few steps away from each other.
Piazza Garibaldi – One of the famous streets among the tourists here is Piazza Garibaldi. Surrounded by restaurants, shops and cafes you won’t be disappointed strolling around here. A few notable buildings around are Palazzo del Governatore, and Church of Saint Paul the Apostle.
Palazzo Della Pilotta – The highlight of the influential Farnese family was this magnificent palace. This palace also houses the National Gallery of Parma which is famed for a painting by Leonardo of Head of a Woman. There are many parts to this complex palace and includes other sights like the National Archaeological Museum, The Bodoni Museum, The Palatine Library and the popular Farnese Theatre. This 16th Century palace is a must-visit and it has some great history attached to it.
Teatro Regio – Be enchanted by this gigantic Neoclassical theatre in Parma, it’s known to be home to some exceptional Italian traditions. It’s hard to get your hands on the tickets so advanced purchase is highly recommended. If you decide to take a tour you will have the chance to see the foyer, the Sala and the Ridotto. There are a couple of workshops which take place here and quizzes for kids. The famous Verdi has an important connection with Teatro Regio and would be significant for anyone interested in art.
Parco Ducale – Stroll around this beautiful park of Parma which stretches along the shores of the river Parma. This peaceful park has ducks, turtles and a fountain. The park makes for a great place if you want to run away from the city crowd and want some time in peace. It’s also a gateway to the Palazzo Ducale which has some wonderful artworks and frescoes, its also used as a police headquarters currently.
Apart from these five attractions, if you have a few more days in hand some other sights and activities which can be visited are:-
•Museo Glauco Lombardi which will give you an insight into the lives of Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Marie Louise.
•Sanctuary of Santa Maria Della Steccata, the renaissance church was the first to build with a central plan in Parma.
•Casa del Suono which used to be once a church but now stands as a museum for technology, music and musical instruments.
•Parmiggiano Reggiana Cheese Tour, As you know you can’t leave Parma without trying its cheese. A cheese tasting tour is highly recommended.
•Food Tour around town, you will be filled with to the brim but won’t regret it.
•Balsamic Vinegar Tour – If you love bread, then why not try some famous Balsamic vinegar around town.
Parma for me has a special place in the heart and no wonder it has been chosen as the Capital of Cultural for 2020, you know what that means? Plan a trip to this unpretentious city soon.