Recently nominated one of UNESCO’s Gastronomic Creative Cities, Parma is the perfect city for a weekend getaway or a day-trip in Emilia Romagna. But, what can you see in a day? Here’s my choice of the best things to see in Parma.
A pretty small theater, richly decorated and dressed in red and gold, as in the Italian tradition. It is possible to visit the theater in small guided groups every hour and half hour. Of course, if you’re the only one willing to visit at that moment, as happened to us, you may be so fortunate to have a private tour!
Cathedral and Baptistery of Parma
Located in a square that allows to admire the two buildings in all their splendor, the Cathedral and the Baptistery of Parma are two excellent examples of Romanesque architecture. Nevertheless their interiors are the highlight of this two structures. The Cathedral captures the attention of visitors with its wonderfully decorated ceiling and the small side chapels. Its matroneum and the stunning dome painted by Correggio are two of its most scenic features. There is also a fascinating crypt, but is closed to tourist, as it is a place exclusive for prayers. The Baptistery has an octagonal shape, that symbolize eternity. Its exteriors are made of Pink marble from Verona and it represents the merge of the Romanesque and Gothic styles. Its wonderful interior is constituted of stunning frescoes, a painted dome and a collection of sculptures.
Church of Santa Maria della Steccata
This Greek cross shaped Church is the one that amazed me more. It is perfectly symmetrical due to its structure, but its interiors are its best feature. A stunning dome, painted ceilings and walls, rich in details and decorations. It truly is a masterpiece of art and architecture.
I only spent some time at the park, as the Palace nowadays is seat of the Italian Scientific Investigation Team. Its origins dates back to 1561, but its actual aspect is the eighteenth-century Neoclassical structure.
Palazzo della Pilotta
This huge complex of buildings is seat of the Palatine Library, Farnese Theater, an Art Institute, two museums and the National Gallery of Parma. This may suggest you the actual width of the buildings of La Pilotta.
St. John’s Old Pharmacy
I wanted so bad to visit the Old Pharmacy as I am so fascinated by the ancient art of alchemy and healing herbs processing procedures but by the time I was about to go visit it, I found out it was closed! Shame on me I didn’t check before, as I’ve found out too late it is open only in specific hours. So I am sure the place is really fascinating and amazing, I suggest you to visit it, but, don’t make my same mistake, check the opening hours!
Monastery of St. Paul
The place is known for the Chamber of the Abbess or the Chamber of St. Paul. A small room that received the pleasure to be decorated by Correggio’s frescoes, the talented Italian painter that also made the frescoes in the Cathedral of the city.
I didn’t have the chance to visit these last two places, but I will next time I visit Parma. 😉