The city of Parma is located to the north-west of Bologna and is the administrative center of the region of Emilia-Romagna. Parma is famous worldwide for its food industry, which made it quite a rich city. Locals live well, and you can often see here expensively dressed people that often enjoy their meals in luxurious restaurants. Parma is known for its fine cuisine and charming architecture.
In the II century Parma, together with the Roman Empire, opposed the papacy. Despite this, in the end, it came under the authority of the pope. From 1545 to 1731 the family of Farnese ruled the city of Parma, under the patronage of the papacy. In the XVIII century, when Napoleon invaded Italy, Parma undergone a period of instability that ended only in 60 years, when the city was reunited with Italy. In 1922 Parma was the only city that opposed Mussolini supporters that were on their way to Rome.
The Middle Ages gave Parma such famous artists as Correggio and Parmigianino. Their masterpieces are exhibited in the Cathedral and the Abbey of St. John the Divine. And in the Palace de Pilotta you can see the works of Leonardo da Vinci.
In Parma it is almost universally forbidden to drive a car, so you can move around the city either on foot or by renting a bicycle.
Every traveler knows that to visit Parma and not try the local cheese, means not have been to Parma at all. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is known throughout the world for its amazing taste, which it owes to high quality ingredients that are used to make it. Cows that produce milk for this cheese graze on special pastures, and then the cheese is stored for 18 to 30 months. Remarkably, it is Parmesan cheese that is used in the diet of astronauts.
You should also definitely try Prosciutto di Parma. The meat is cured at a special temperature for a few months. It is important to fully comply with the technology of making it. The taste of the prosciutto is salty sweet. It can be served by itself or with other Italian dishes. In honor of Parma prosciutto there are even special festivals that attract tourists from all over the world.
To honor these delicacies the Parmesan Museum and the Museum of Prosciutto were built. In the Museum of Parmesan you can not only taste the cheese, but also learn all the secrets of making it. Here you will find all the photos and documents showing the traditional and modern methods of making cheese. At the Museum of Prosciutto, you'll learn not only about the intricacies of making ham, but also about the culinary traditions of Emilia-Romagna in general. You can end your tour of the museum with a delicious dinner and a nice glass of wine at a local restaurant.
In Parma there is the museum Glauco Lombardi, dedicated to the life of Napoleon's second wife, the Duchess of Parma. The museum has preserved many personal belongings of Marie-Louise, her diaries and manuscripts.
On Piazza del Duomo you will find the Cathedral and Baptistery, which were built at the end of the 12th century. Baptistery was constructed from pink marble, which plays in different colors in the sun. Inside of the building you will see amazing sculptures and murals that will take you to the historical past.
Also striking is another landmark of the city – the palace of Palazzo della Pilotta. It hosts the Academy of Fine Arts, featuring works by artists of the Parma school, the Archaeological Museum, the National Gallery, the Farnese Theatre and Museum of Bodoni.
Make sure to visit, among other interesting places, the Palazzo Commune, the Palace of the Ruler, the Bishop's Palace and the Old Hospital.