Although prosperous cities in the Northern part of Italy are nothing of a surprise, there’s probably no other place like Parma that’s so devoted to the pleasures of life. Well, no wonder why – it’s the city of ham (yes, that Parma ham!) and Parmesan cheese. There’s no possible way that anyone can feel sad in here, in the heaven of Italian cuisine.
This refined city has lots of chic caffes and elegant restaurants, not speaking of the very well curated boutiques and vintage stores (filled with 70s Pucci, for example). The historic city centre isn’t too big, and you can virtually grasp it in one day. Start from Piazza del Duomo, where the cathedral from 11th century is located. Take a moment to look at all those impressive frescoes, painted by Correggio back in the past. Just a few metres from the cathedral there’s also the equally precious baptistery, fully built from orange-y marble brought straight from Verona. After you finish admiring the piazza, go straight to Palazzo dell Pilotta (unless you stop for a heaven ice coffee or some local pastry on the way…). The colossal building holds three institutions: the library, the archeological museum and the Teatro Farnese. All of them are worth seeing, but to be honest, the last one is the most astounding experience. It’s a theatre constructed totally out of wood, from 1617. Even though it’s no longer in use, a walk around the incredibly looking stage and auditorium feels as great as seeing a delightful spectacle. Note the fantastically opulent molding and ornaments… I didn’t expect Parma to be that truly gorgeous. It’s a must-see if you ask me, but also, a smart place to stay for a few nights so that you can easily drive to other places in the vicinity.
P.s. I will post my favourite addresses in Parma soon, but in the meantime – did you see the newly updated ‘Places’ page?
All photos by Edward Kanarecki.