The most important monuments are situated in the historic city center in the three main squares: Piazza Garibaldi, Piazza Duomo and Piazza della Pilotta.
In Piazza Garibaldi there is the ancient Palazzo del Governatore, a large and prestigious location for modern and contemporary art, which now houses the town hall. The square is one of the most popular places for an Italian style Dolce Vita aperitifs with outdoor bars that offer typical products of Parma.
In Piazza Duomo, one of the most evocative medieval sites of Emilia, you will find two large 13th century marble lions to guard the famous Cathedral, embellished by Correggio’s dome. Have fun finding on the mail portal, among the tiles representing the artisanal activities of the past those ones that depict the art of pork butchery, sign of a century-old culinary tradition. Another fascinating cycle of months, with a tile dedicated to the preparation of salami and sausages, is also found in the adjacent octagonal Baptistery, designed by the sculptor and architect Benedetto Antelami.
Piazza della Pilotta, symbol of the ducal power, and the homonymous palace, house the Archaeological Museum, the beautiful Palatina library, the National Gallery and the majestic Farnese Theater. The theater is completely made of wood covered with painted stucco to simulate marble. On the occasion of its inauguration in 1628, the wooden cavea was flooded to stage a “naumachia”, a show with sea monsters and naval battles. Nowadays the Teatro Farnese is often used for events, concerts and works to revive this magical place. If the complex already seems vast, just imagine the power of the original building before it was partially destroyed by an heavy bombardment. The contemporary intervention by architect Mario Botta will allow you to perceive this magnificence.
A place that only the inhabitants of Parma know, but that certainly deserves a visit, is the Palazzo di Riserva, better known as Palazzo delle Poste. If you pass near Via Cavour, give yourself five minutes of full immersion in its spectacular Liberty style; look up at its ceiling and go back 100 years when the “floral style” was still in the early stages of its evolution. You cannot help but get lost looking at the many details of the interior and exterior of this building.
Do not forget to visit the historic Spezieria di San Giovanni opened in 1201 and remained active continuously until 1896. Today it is a museum space that consists of three rooms with shelves from the XVI century, where small and large vases, flasks, mugs and mortars are exposed. The contrast between ancient and modern practices will stimulate your curiosity.
If after this rich itinerary you want to take a break in a green area you can reach the two historic gardens: Parco Ducale and Parco della Cittadella. In order to better appreciate your moment of relaxation, you can take advantage of the rental of bicycle for adults and children and thus satisfy your desire fro nature.
Parma UNESCO creative city for gastronomy will delight you not only with architecture and works of art, but also with its flavours in the refined inns and restaurants of the center, and will surprise you with its variety of shops and ateliers. Treat yourself to a tasty aperitif made with Parmigiano Reggiano and Parma ham while admiring the lively stroll in the famous Via Farini.
At the end of the day you will agree with the one who once wrote that the taste of exteriority excels in Parma: Parma and its people share a refined elegance that makes the city a not to be missed destination.