The Baptistery of Parma is a stunning octagonal building in pink marble built between 1196 and 1216. It is one of the symbol of the city, also for its central location right near to the Cathedral of Parma. The Parmesan Baptistery is considered the junction point between Romantic and Gotic periods, and one of the most important bequest from the Middle Ages. In its inside, you can admire plenty of Medieval works of art, magnificently explained by the museum headsets available on the spot.
The monument-symbol of Parma is located right in the heart of the city, near to the marble Bapristery. This cathedral was built in 1074, and it is one of the most beautiful example of Romanesque architecture in Northern Italy. Its magnificent cupola is covered in frescoes by Correggio, a masterpiece that worth a visit on its own. In addition, inside the cathedral you can also admire works of art, frescoes and sculptures made by the most representative artists of the Italian Middle Ages.
Monastero San Giovanni Evangelista is actually a monastic complex, including a church, a convent and the Historical Pharmacy San Giovanni. It was built during the 10th century for the Benedectine Order, and it fully represents the principles of Romanesque architecture. Inside you can admire frescoes, sculptures and the ancient books housed in the monastic library. Normally it is freely open to the public, and it is easy to reach being situated at few metres from the Cathedral of Parma.
This ancient cathedral is the epitome of Renaissance architecture, indeed it is considered the most beautiful church in the entire Parma region. Built between the 1521 and the 1539, it is the result of work of many important local artists of the period. Among others, you will find the painter Parmigianino´s, stunning fresco called "Le vergini sagge e le vergini stolte" (Wise and foolish virgins), the most elaborated work in the entire church.
Palazzo della Pilotta dates back to the 16th century. The name of the building comes from the ancient game "pelota" often played in the courtyards of the estate. The particular disposition of its corridors forms a sort of fortress with several courtyards and extensions. Today, the palace hosts several museums, among them are National Gallery, the Palatine Library and the Archeological Museum. Inside the building there is also a theatre, and during summer outdoor events are organised in its gardens.
This large park is the little green lung of Parma. Walking in this peaceful garden you will notice the spectacular design created by particular disposition of trees and plants. Inside the park there are also plenty of sculpture groups and two palaces belonged to the ducal family: Palazzo Ducale and Palazzetto Eucherio Sanvitale. Take a relaxing break, right in the heart of the city!
Teatro Regio is a Neo-Classical theatre, commissioned by the Dutchess Maria Luigia. Today it is regarded one of the most important Opera Houses in Italy, not only for its history, but also for its fervent contemporary activity, which includes operas, ballet, concerts and exhibitions of various kind. Italian opera is an enchanting form of art and for the ultimate opera experience with its old world charm and glory, there is no better place then Italy.
Enclosed by rolling green hills, this small location near Parma is a well-known destination for thermal tourism. The ideal place when seeking for the ultimate relaxation and getaway from the city stress. Numerous spas are scattered all around the Parmesan countryside where you can pamper yourself with health and beauty treatments.
This museum exhibits a prestigious collection of art and historical items regarding Maria Luigia of Habsburg Duchess of Parma and wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Among its collections, the museum displays her wedding dress, make-up and perfume kit and lots of paintings and jewelleries belonged to the duchess and her husband.
The Castle of Roccabianca dates back to 1400, it was built on request by Pier Maria Rossi as a gift for his beloved Bianca Pellegrini. The castle has beautiful frescoed decorations, in particular if you are passionate of literature you will love Griselda's Room with its cycle of paintings inspired by the 100th story of the Decameron. In the castle you will also find the Museum of Distillery, where it is possible to learn something about local spirits, before to taste them.
Giuseppe Verdi, one of the greatest master of opera, is celebrated by his hometown every year during the Festival Verdi. A series of concerts and performances dedicated to the brilliant creator of Nabucco and La Traviata are organised both in Parma and Busseto, during October. Parma in this period is overwhelmed by music more than ever, let yourselves be captivated by this marvellous atmosphere and experience opera in its homeland.
The Ducal Palace, also known as Reggia di Colorno, is 30 minutes by bus from Parma. Inspired by the Versailles Palace in France, Ducal Palace was built in the early 18th century by Francesco Farnese, Duke of Parma, to cover the remains of a former ruins of the Fortress of Colorno. Inside, you can admire collections and exhibitions of various kind. If you are lucky enough to visit during the warm season, you will be enchanted by the magnificent Italian gardens surrounding the estate, where many events are organised by night during summer.
Parmaland merges together adventure, nature, sport and fun, a 40.000 square metres area where to spend a fun day in the beautiful nature. Everything from hiking, horseback riding, and tree-climbing adventures to driving ATVs can be enjoyed here, including buggy tours and sports like football, beach volleyball and tennis. If you prefer to relax, make a visit to the beauty farm and the pool. Lastly, for the lunch break you can choose between two restaurants or the picnic area.
If you are interested in painting, you cannot miss the Stuard Picture Gallery. In this museum, located in a beautiful ancient cloister, you can marvel at a collection composed by portraits, antiques and tapestry belonged to the Stuard familly from the 14th to the 20th century.
Parma's Arboretum was originally founded in 1600. In that period, it used to belong to the medical university where they grow medical herbs and natural remedies. Whereas, the contemporary botanical garden was designed under the Borboun domain. Take a stroll and appreciate the exotic plants species, including the beautiful local flora and when here look out for the distinctive tree with heart-shaped leaves called 'Ginkgo biloba'.
If you are visiting Parma during the warm season, it is worth organising some outdoor activities. Only few kilometres from the city centre, you will find the ideal place where to spend time in the nature, the Taro River Regional Park, almost 3000 ha of greenness around the River Taro, in the middle of the migration routes of several bird breeds. So, choose your favourite path, wear your trainees and get ready to enjoy Parmesan wilderness!
Rocca Sanvitale is an ancient fortress located in Fontanello (30 minutes from Parma). Inside you can admire several works of art by Parmigianino, or you can choose to take a break in the nearby countryside. But the best part comes if you are travelling with kids do not miss the magic visit to the castle guided by Disney Princesses. Rapunzel, Merida and their friends will accompany you through this stunning location, sharing with you all their adventures.
This museum, housed in Palazzo della Pilotta, was founded in 1760 by Philip Duke of Parma. It was the first and - for a long time the only - institution in northern Italy concerning the archaeological work. Among the numerous remains kept here, the museum hosts findings from the well-known excavations at Velleia, the so-called "Pompei of Northern Italy".
The National Gallery is the main museum contained in Palazzo della Pilotta. It is all about painting, the collection hosted here was property of the Farnese family and it includes artworks from different epochs. Among the hundreds of paintings displayed here, pay extra attention to the art works made by some of the greatest Italian artists as Leonardo, Correggio and Parmigianino.
The Diocesan Museum is housed in the Bishop's Palace of Piazza Duomo. It hosts numerous remains from the ancient roman city, including some original parts of the Cathedral and the Baptistery. The collection may not be impressively large, but everything is well displayed and sculpture enthusiasts will not be disappointed.
Situated only few minutes away from the Parma Cathedral, this fine art museum is devoted to the painter Renato Vernizzi (1904-1972). Here, you can enjoy a selection of about sixty paintings. The tour starts with his first works from the 1920s and continue with his accomplished throughout the year.
The Certosa di Parma is a complex of buildings located in the countryside just outside the city. For almost 500 years, it was the abode of the Carthusian Order. Across history, several accidents destroyed great part of the original building, but today it still houses the original ancient sacristy, some Renaissance furniture and numerous frescoes, altars and capitals. The access is always granted to the cloister only, but occasionally you can also visit the inner parts.
The very first evidences of the existence of this ancient pharmacy date back to 1201, but it could be even older, since the Monastery of San Giovanni - where it is located - was founded in 980 AD. This laboratory was operated by Benedictine monks and remained in use until 1766. It was then restored so to be opened again to the public. Here, thanks to the guided tours you will discover the ancient arts of distillery and medical herbs processing.
Parizzi is one of the most refined restaurants of the city, offering both classic and innovative dishes. Specialties of the house include homemade pasta and fresh beef tartare. But if you have no budget limits and you want to live a very unique experience, you can book the chef table, or rather, an exclusive dinner with the chef in person at your table preparing your meal right under your eyes.
This refined restaurant is all about regional tradition, it offers fresh pasta and desserts prepared by the owner personally. His cuisine is based on ancient local recipes from the court of Maria Luigia d’Asburgo - Napoleon's wife and Parma's Duchess - revised and adapted to contemporary taste and products.
I Tri Siochett is a rustic restaurant, located in the countryside just outside Parma city center. Try some Italian specialties served by the attentive staff, dishes like salami and cold pork meats with torta fritta (fried savoury dough) and tortelli alle erbette (pasta parcels filled with ricotta cheese and leaf beet) are not to be missed.
Despite the word "trattoria" in its name, Trattoria Corrieri is actually a very modern and elegant restaurant, located in the city centre of Parma. A popular restaurant among the locals that attracts a wide range of clientele and where all the local specialities are served such as torta fritta and cappelletti. With your yummy food, pick a fine wine from the private cantina of the restaurant.
Pepèn is the perfect place to try some real Italian street food. According to the tradition, here paninis and pies are filled in abundance and the portions are rich. It is mostly frequented by locals, which makes this place very crowded at peak times, but the service is always quick.
Trattoria Ai Due Platani is located at a few kilometres from the city centre. This restaurant offers a wide range of traditional Italian dishes all made with fresh and high quality raw materials. If you are planning to visit this restaurant during weekends, a reservation is recommended.
Set in the historical centre of Parma with a good view over the square, Bistrot Bollicine San Bartolomeo serves two different menus: the first completely dedicated to local tradition, and the second composed by fish courses. All this freshly prepared food can be enjoyed in a restaurant with friendly atmosphere and where the owners welcomes their guest with courtesy and professionalism.
La Forchetta is a classy restaurant, located right in the centre of Parma. The cuisine served mirrors Parmesan tradition, with a touch of elegance and modernity. When dining here, the customers are pampered by a highly professional staff ready to satisfy every requests.
Located in the ancient city of Parma, Trattoria del Tribunale is the ideal place for a romantic dinner, thanks to its intimate and relaxed atmosphere. The strength of its Italian cuisine is the accurate choice of top quality raw materials, produced by local farmers.
This elegant restaurant is located inside the Farnese Hotel (Best Western Group). Its expert chefs will offer you both local and international selections of food, perfectly presented and served with professionalism in the spacious room, which can host up to 150 people.
Located in the centre of Parma, Africa Due is the ideal place for all the enthusiasts of ethnical cuisine but also for those who are looking for Italian cuisine. This restaurant truly offers a wide variety of cuisines, everything from Eritreans specialties to delicious pizzas and traditional Italian cuisine as well as vegetarian and vegan dishes.
If you would like to try the Italian version of a juicy hamburger, this is the perfect choice. Doc Burger serves varied meat cuts in a stylish venue, but the real king here are the burgers. Indeed you can choose one from the wide menu or you can ask for a customised burger, according to your preferences. In any case, you won't be disappointed!
Ca'Pina is a restaurant serving traditional Italian specialties. It is located in an amazing country house just outside Parma. Its passionate and friendly staff is committed to give you a great dining experience. Perfect also for festivity days thanks to its special menus made ad hoc for any occasion.
This steak-house is located in the Barilla Center mall. It is a typical American diner, serving grilled meat, chicken dishes, hamburgers, wraps and varied cakes as dessert. If you don't have much time, the eatery offers special take-away services, together with the possibility to order your meal in advance on its website.
OEnopolium is specialised in typical dishes from Pontermoli area (Tuscany). Here, you can taste peculiar specialties as “testaroli al pesto” (Tuscan pancake pasta with pesto), vegetable pie and the traditional "sgabei" which is a sort of fried dough with cold cuts and cheese. Choose a tasty wine from the excellent wine list to complement your meal.
This Italian Bistro is truly a unique place with a great atmosphere. The owners of this eatery decided to not follow the typical norms of restaurant industry, but to make their own rules. If you are not afraid to try new and varied dishes which most of them are based on Tuscan tradition, then Mentana 104 fits you perfectly.
Sorelle Picchi restaurant is the evolution of the historic deli Rosi. Initially famous for its ham - the best on the market -, only later the deli was transformed in this top quality restaurant serving the best dishes of local tradition. While eating here, you can also see for yourselves how the raw materials are prepared, thanks to the open kitchen. Take away service and deli are available on the spot.
Impossible to visit Italy without tasting a real Italian pizza. One of the best pizzerias in Parma is Pomodoro e Basilico, where fresh and genuine raw materials are put together to create one the most typical and delicious specialty of this country. Here, you will be welcomed by a familiar ambience and affordable prices, just as Italian custom dictates!
Bar Pasticceria San Biagio is a coffee and pastry shop located in the Barilla Centre. It is especially famous for its "Dolce Parma" a cake with apricots and maraschino cherries topping. But also Duchessa Maria Luigia cake and the croissants are well-known and appreciated by the locals.
Serving traditional pastries since 1951, Cocconi is a cosy cafe where you can enjoy delicious continental breakfasts, with croissants and other desserts. You can also visit during teatime, have a break in its intimate tea-room, or for aperitif-time and taste its appetizing finger food.
Located at just 10 minutes’ walk from Parma railway station, Pasticceria Torino, is a traditional pastry shop that was established in 1957. A wide range of products is on offer, everything from breakfast to snacks, but it is mostly renowned for its fine chocolate creations.
This international cafe chain was born in Parma. Here, drinking coffee is considered a rite, for this reason, the entire place is full of comfortable armchairs where to read, study or simply chat with friends. In Lino's Coffee Shop you will find a wide range of blends and special coffees to enjoy.
This cafe/restaurant has a specific vegan concept. For breakfast, it normally serves daily fresh made desserts, together with Arabic coffee blends and a wide range of choice for milk: soy, rice, almond, but also cow milk for all not-vegan customers. If you travel with vegans, vegetarians or intolerant people this place allows you to enjoy a nice breakfast all together.
Stralvè is the result of a project born in Parma with the objective to rediscover the root of Parmesan coffee tradition. In these globalised times, the owners of this bar are proud to show their origins, serving all zero mile products, enjoyable at the aperitif time or at home, thanks to their take-away service.
Le Delizie di Ori is one of the most renowned cafes in Parma for its abundant and delicious breakfasts. It is the parlour of a famous pastry school, so here you will find fine croissants, bakery and cakes of all sorts. And if you like more salty, don't worry Ori won't let you down!
If you are looking for a good brunch, you need to visit Busky! This pizza & bakery house is indeed principally famous for its Sunday brunch. Here, all raw materials are selected from the local production, taking into account the natural rhythms and the protection of the environment. Vegan and gluten free dishes are also available in large quantities.
To enjoy a good artisanal ice cream, this is the ideal place. Located in the city centre, Emilia Cremeria’s parlour offers you all kinds of sweet treats, from ice creams to frappes and other specialties ideated in its laboratories. In addition, you can be aware in advance of all the ingredients employed thanks to its website.
In this parlour, in business since 1946, you can taste one of the best ice cream of the city. But Due Torri is not only about ice cream, here you will also find delicious slushes, ice lollies, frappes and even semifreddos and ice cream cakes. Everything artisanal and always fresh made!
When going to the opera, a visit to the Gran Caffè of the theatre is not to be missed, to drink tea in this magic place imbued with music is an experience. But nothing prevent you from enjoying this elegant cafe even if you are not going to attend the show. It is open from morning until evening, but reserved to the spectators during shows.
Gavanasa Club is a must go place for any generation. Here you will find a happy hour bar, a restaurant and a lounge bar. You can enjoy non-stop music from 7pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while drinking the delicious cocktails made by the expert bartenders of the place.
La Corte Del Sol is located at 3km from the city centre, but it is easy reachable thanks to the convenient shuttle service. Here, you will find live music on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and DJ set of various kind on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, if it is not enough for you, you can also enjoy the “Sunday aperitivo” at 8 o’clock. To stay update follow the club on its Facebook page.
Located in a completely renewed and transformed rustic farmhouse, Dadaumpa has been a reference for the Parmesan movida for 20 years now. The major strength of this place is its capability to change atmosphere, from refined dinner-club in the evening to a trendy disco-club by night.
Ombre Rosse serves typical dishes from all Italian regions. But its strength is the range of wines and spirits that customers have at their disposal, as well as the delicious cocktails in accordance with the best practice. The service is professional and the menu is reasonably priced.
Even if it is a very good restaurant, you can visit Osteria Rangon also after dinner to taste one of its 150 national wine labels. It is located in the ancient city and serves traditional food to accompany its impressive wine selection. Furthermore, during weekend it also hosts live music concerts.
This wine bar proposes typical specialties to accompany a good selection of national and foreign wines. Also serves a wide choice of spirits and local liquors such as nocino and bargnolino. The friendly atmosphere created by the owners and the staff will make you feel like you are among friends.
Le Malve, located in the city centre on a pedestrian street is not only a patisserie, restaurant and pizzeria, by night you can also enjoy delicious cocktails and wine labels. Pick some appetisers to accompany your beverage, there are always abundant and various snacks to choose from.
This cantina/bar is well-frequented mostly by the glamourous youngsters of the city. Here, you can enjoy a very nice aperitif either indoor or outdoor, with a varied selection of wine and craft brews. Tabarro is perfect also for a visit after dinner to try one of the numerous artisanal spirits. Open also for lunch on Saturday.
This pub can be considered the ideal meeting point for all the enthusiasts of good home brew, it was also the first Indi-Bar in Parma. There is no age limit at the Vecchie Maniere, since every night something different happens, from tasting nights to live concerts and DJ sets.
This pub will welcome you in a lively and rustic atmosphere where you can try delicious home brew and much more. Besides its wide range of artisanal beers, you can also enjoy the most important sport events while eating the specialties of the house. Also host live music and organise numerous and varied theme nights.
This place has always been a protagonist of Parma's nightlife, even if in the course of time it changed names and owners many times. At the moment, the name is Nero Blanco, but many of the locals still call it "Astrolabio" (its first name). Here, normally Wednesday night is dedicated to over-20, Friday to over-30, Saturday revival music and on Sunday, you can enjoy the aperitif.
Located at only 30 minutes’ drive away from the centre of Parma, Fidenza Village is a shopping complex where savvy shoppers can delight in discounted clothes, shoes, bags and accessories from the most famous designers past collections. Take a break in-between your hectic shopping in one of the several restaurants and cafes located here while glancing through your shopping bags.
Occupying a former industrial area where Barilla products used to be made, this shopping centre has little left of its original designation. While a cooking school Accademia Barilla is still up and running, most of the space is occupied now by all sorts of stores and boutiques, selling everything from clothes to accessories, beauty products and home décor.
As everybody knows, there is nothing more Italian than a good espresso. If you want to take with you a bit of this tasty specialty, you must visit Torrefazione Anceschi. It is the most ancient roasting and coffee shop in the city. Here, you can both take a coffee on the spot or buy some to take home with you.
In the heart of Parma, this curious district is the right place where to look for particular objects and ancient treasures. In between of Strada Farini, Borgo al Collegio Maria Luigia and Strada Repubblica, you will find workshops, art studios and antique dealers of all kind.
If you like to go lookinf for unique objects, remiders of the old good days, in Parma you have the chance to satisfy your yearning. Every week, on Thursday, in the city centre a vintage market is organised in Galleria Bassa dei Magnani. Here, you will be able to find some particular antiques from 8am to 5pm.
Another excellence of the “Made in Italy” production are certainly tailored suits. If you want to take home a custom shirt from your travel in Parma, Camiceria Zanini is the right place for you. This tailor's shop has been open since 1939; its long history speaks for itself.
This is a one in a million shop. At Cartasogno you will find hundreds of creations and objects of every kind, so well-done that you won't believe that they are all made with paper! That's right, paper! Here, you will find unique souvenirs but also amazing furniture pieces and elegant presents for your friends.
In this laboratory, you will find unique pieces of costume jewellery. Starting from precious materials, these artists are capable to create amazing works of art to wear. Here, glass, natural stones, resin and silver becomes beautiful jewels, perfect as presents as well as souvenirs.
You cannot leave Parma without taking home with you some of the specialties of the place. In Salumeria Garibaldi you will find all sorts of cured meats and cheeses, as well as ready meals. Of course, here you can also buy Parma Ham and Parmesan Cheese, all the typical handmade pastas and sauces; perfect also as tasty souvenirs.
Another tasty souvenir that you cannot miss to buy in Parma is the famous Parmesan Cheese. To find the original one you may need to go a bit out of the city centre, but it can be also a good excuse to have a look at the stunning Parmesan countryside. At Caseificio Ugolotti you will also find many other artisanal food products.
Pastificio Venusti produces fresh handmade pasta since 1984, maintaining alive the tradition of making pasta in accordance with the best practice. Tortelli, cappelletti, gnocchi, chicche… you can choose your favourite type and take home with you a bit of delicacy made in Italy.
If you are lucky enough, you will be in Parma during the celebration of one of its most famous local product: the Parma ham. Normally this fair lasts ten days between August and September, during which you will have the possibility to visit the places where this delicacy is produced and obviously to taste it in many different recipes.
Panorama is a shopping mall, where anything - from groceries to clothing and all sorts of personal items can be found. Among the most famous brands presented here are for example Stroili, Oltre, Bata and many others. If you need a break from shopping you can choose between numerous bars and restaurants.
Each Tuesday a tiny vintage market is set in Parma city centre. Let yourself be amazed by the hidden treasures you will be able to discover among these stalls. In the midst of all these antiques, second-hand objects and vintage accessorizes you won't be able to leave the market without buying something!
Parma International Airport is located around 6 kilometres from the city centre. From the airport you can reach the city centre and the train station (or viceversa) by bus or taxi. There is a frequent bus service that runs between the airport and to the train station of Parma. The bus number 6 leaves every hour from 6.30am to 8pm (www.tep.pr.it). Whereas, if you prefer to take a taxi, you will find them waiting for you just outside of the arrivals. If there is no taxi available you can ask the information desk to call a taxi for you. (24 hour Radio Taxi: tel. +39 0521 252562.) At the airport you can also rent a car from the company Hertz, (+39 344 1918480).
The best way to get around the city is on foot or by bike, which is actually the favourite transportation of all Parmesans. The city centre is compact and is full of monuments and other sights to visit and admire. The local bus transport company is TEP (address and contacts below are referred to this company). In Italy you can buy tickets or passes in all ticket offices, tobacconists and newsstands. There are different tickets to choose from such as single ticket (valid 60 minutes), day ticket, ticket for 8 single rides and different period passes. You can also buy ticket on the bus but for an extra charge and with exact change. Make sure to validate your ticket as soon as you board the bus.
The taxi company of Parma is Radiotaxi. You can call its call centre, or book a taxi on its webpage. If you need a taxi immediately you can also text the +39 366 730000. Normally in Italy you will find taxi stands where taxis are waiting in a cue for customers. In Parma you can find them in the following places: Piazza Garibaldi, Train Station, Ospedale Maggiore (main hospital), Piazzale Volta, Piazzale Rolla, Barilla Centre, Mall Torri, and Fairs Centre.