Photo by Filippo Aneli. Aristocratic with its monuments and his history, but also proudly peasant with its companies and local products that the whole world envies him. Parma is one of the most beautiful Italian cities . Cultural, historical or gastronomic itineraries accompany tourists, but also the hundreds of young people who choose Parma universities for their training, attracted by the quality of high life and the sparkling nightlife .

What to see in Parma

1 – Duomo
Photo by Filippo Aneli. Consecrated in 1106 and dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, the cathedral stands in the current Piazza Duomonext to the Baptistery and the Bishop’s Palace, in the city center. Built in Romanesque style and subsequently enriched in Renaissance and Gothic style in the frescoes, it boasts a bell tower of 63 meters also in Gothic style. The interior of the cathedral is a Latin cross with three naves adorned with cycles of frescoes from the old and new testament while the octagonal dome, by Correggio, is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin.

  • How to get there: from the train station you can reach it on foot in about 10 minutes or by bus Line 1 every 9 minutes. Get directions
  • Hours: from 8:00 to 19:00. During the liturgical celebrations, the visit to the Cathedral is suspended
  • Ticket cost: free

2 – Baptistery
Source: wikipedia. Designed and built between 1196 and 1216, but consecrated only in 1270 , the Baptistery of Parma is one of the most significant monuments of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic . Intended for the rite of baptism, the octagonal structure, in pink Verona marble, develops in height with four orders of loggias with architraved openings. The dome of the Baptistery was frescoed in the third decade of the 13th century by local artists with Byzantine influences.

Consider visiting the Diocesan Museum: if you are particularly lover of ecclesiastical art, surely you may be interested in a visit to the Diocesan Museum, located in the basement of a bishop’s palace. You can buy the combined ticket Baptistery + Museum full € 12.00, reduced € 10.00.

  • How to get there: from the train station you can reach it on foot in about 10 minutes or by bus Line 1 every 9 minutes. Get directions
  • Hours: from 10:00 to 18:00
  • Ticket cost: admission € 8.00 – reduced € 6.00

3 – Palazzo della Pilotta and Farnese Theater
Source: wikipedia.
Photo of Pramzan. Elegant and monumental, the Palace owes its name to the noble game of pelota , a sort of ball-rope, which was practiced in its courtyards. The building dates back to 1583 and its intended use was mainly that of barracks with attached stables and warehouses. It later became a court theater and under Filippo di Borbone it housed the Palatine Library, the Archaeological Museum, the Bodonian Museum and the National Gallery of Parma, one of the most important in Italy. From 1593 the construction, on the first floor, of the great hall that will become the Farnese Theater also began , still today the value of the building completely restored after the bombings of World War II.

Select what to see : based on your preferences, decide which parts and sections of the building to visit, thus organizing the visit in the best possible way. On the official website you can see all the proposed itineraries, the rooms and the collections, to organize yourself in time

  • How to get there: from the train station by bus n ° 23 Get directions
  • Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 8:30 am – 7:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm, closed Monday
  • Ticket price: adults € 12.00 – reduced € 5.00 – children under 18 free

4 – Camera di San Paolo
Photo by Sailko. In front of the Gardens of San Paolo, this ancient monastery of the Benedictine nuns was rebuilt at the end of the 15th century and today two rooms can be visited. The frescoes present are magnificent works by Heralds, who worked there in 1514, and by Correggio, who finished it in 1519.

Reach it at the opening hours : we recommend that you go no later than 1.30 pm in front of the machines to make ticket. This way you can enjoy it calmly and quietly in the first half hour of opening, avoiding the crowds in the afternoon.

  • How to get there: from the train station you can reach it on foot in about 10 minutes or by bus Line 1 every 9 minutes. Get directions
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday from 1:10 pm to 6:20 pm. Closed on Sundays and holidays
  • Ticket price: full € 6.00 – reduced children aged 18 to 25 € 3.00

5 – Teatro Regio
Photo of Youflavio. Opera Theater of the city of Parma is considered one of the most important traditional Italian theaters like that of La Scala. In neoclassical style , the stalls are decorated in white and gold and the huge chandelier that ensures the lighting was built in Paris . It hosts the Verdi Festival and offers four performances during the season.

Arrive at opening hours : guided tours are held with departures every hour and last 30 minutes, between 9: 30-12: 30 and 14: 30-17: 30. We recommend that you arrive at the entrance just before it opens to guarantee yourself a place in the first round. Full admission € 5.00, reduced € 3.00.

  • How to get there: The theater is located in the historic center, 10 minutes walk from the train station or by bus Line 1 every 9 minutes. Get directions
  • Hours: from 9:00 to 13:00 (last admission) and from 17:00 to 18:30 (last admission)
  • Ticket price: full € 5.00 – reduced € 3.00. For show tickets contact (+39) 0521203911 It is possible to organize and book a guided group tour at a cost of € 4.00 per person

6 – Castle of the puppets
The puppet museum is located in the complex of the monastery of San Paolo . Born thanks to Giordano Ferrari’s rich collection, it houses puppets, marionettes, scripts, photographs and vintage posters. Two distinct areas divide the museum to accompany the visitor through a path in geographical order: puppet area, puppet area. A smaller room is dedicated to the Ferrari family, with the exhibition of the private collection.

  • How to get there: about 10 minutes on foot from the train station or by bus Line 1 every 9 minutes.
    The entrance to the Castle of the Puppets is on the right, immediately after the access door to the gardens of the former convent. Get directions
  • Hours: Monday to Tuesday from 10:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 to 18:30
  • Ticket cost: free

7 – Monastery of San Giovanni Evangelista
Photo by Palickap.
Photo by Antonio da Correggio. Benedictine abbey in Renaissance style, located behind Piazza del Duomo, was rebuilt after a fire which broke out at the end of the 15th century. The rooms are frescoed by great artists such as Parmigianino and Correggio, the main nave is the work of Parmigianino himself and represents an important treasure of the city.

  • How to get there: about 10 minutes on foot from the train station or by bus Line 1 every 9 minutes. Get directions
  • Hours: 9:00 – 11:30
  • Ticket cost: free

8 – Casa Arturo Toscanini
Source: wikipedia.
Photo by Pensierarte. The birthplace of Arturo Toscanini is located in Borgo Rodolfo Tanzi at n ° 13 in the Oltretorrente district. Here, on March 25, 1867, the famous conductor was born. Little known and off the beaten track and, in reality, an exciting and well-preserved place. inside there is also a small museum.

  • How to get there: from the railway station Line 1 to the terminus then 5 minutes on foot to Borgo Tanzi. Get directions
  • Hours: Tuesday from 9:00 to 13:00, from Wednesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00, Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.
  • Ticket cost: free. For groups of more than 10 people, visits must be booked. Info at (+39) 0521285499

9 – Ducal Park and Palazzo del Giardino
Photo by Maurizio Moro5153. After the unification of Italy, the park was renovated and then opened to the public. Totally usable by the community and often the theater of cultural representations. Rich in frescoes and stuccoes, the Palazzo del Giardino or Palazzo Ducale stands in the Renaissance style at the end of the park. Built in 1561 it was restored in the mid-1700s in a neoclassical style. The services in the park include a children’s play area, fountains, sports trails, dog area, kiosk, bar with tables and benches.

Enjoy an aperitif in the countryside : in the center of the park there is a small kiosk completely surrounded by greenery, ideal for enjoying an aperitif or a coffee before returning to the center for the evening.

  • How to get there: The park is located in the historic center, over the Ponte Verdi which connects Palazzo Pilotta to the Oltretorrente, a 5-minute walk from the train station. Get directions
  • Hours: every day from 7:00 to 20:00
  • Ticket cost: free

10 – Santa Maria della Steccata
Source: wikipedia.
Photo by Livioandronico2013. Built in Parma between 1521 and 1539, the minor basilica of Santa Maria della Steccata is a Marian sanctuary seat of the Order of San Giorgio. The vaults are beautifully frescoed by masters of the Parma school of the 1600s and you can also admire a pipe organ from 1574. The basilica is the seat of the Constantinian Museum of the Steccata .

  • How to get there: from the train station in 10 minutes on foot.
  • Hours: every day from 7:30 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:30
  • Ticket cost: free

Parma itinerary in one day
In one day it is possible to see the main stages of Parma, excluding museums that would take too long. Along the route you will pass by the main attractions, of course it is up to you to decide which ones to stop in just for a photo from the outside and where to spend more time.
It starts from the Teatro Regio , which can also be visited inside. Take a trip to the Basilica of Santa Maria della Steccata and then visit the Cathedral together with the Baptistery inside. Due to the opening hours you will not be able to visit the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista inside, but you can still admire it from the outside.
After lunch, visit the Camera di San Paolino, a real must see and one of the hidden jewels. Then cross the park of Piazza della Pace, perhaps passing by the Monument to Giuseppe Verdi for a photo, and reach Palazzo Pilotta , a real cultural center of Parma. It is made up of various sections, including the wonderful Farnese Theater. Finally, cross the Parma stream passing over Ponte Verdi, admire the Arturo Toscanini Birthplace Museum from the outside, and enjoy a walk in the Ducal Park: here you will find kiosks, ponds, the Trianon fountain, the Tempietto d’Arcadia, and do not forget to stop for some photos at the Doge’s Palace .
End the evening in the historic center, a place where locals and university students meet, the center of nightlife and full of restaurants and clubs in which to spend the evening!

One day itinerary at a glance

  1. 9:30 – Teatro Regio
  2. 10:30 – Basilica of Santa Maria della Steccata
  3. 11:00 – Cathedral and Baptistery
  4. 12:00 – Church of San Giovanni Evangelista (outside)
  5. 13:30 – Room of San Paolino
  6. 15:00 – Palazzo Pilotta and Teatro Farnese
  7. 16:30 – Arturo Toscanini Birthplace Museum (external)
  8. 17:00 – Park and Doge’s Palace

Where to eat in Parma

  • Cocchi : traditional tavern offering local cuisine, renowned for its boiled meats. Cozy and informal.
    Average price per person: € 30.00
    Address and contacts: Viale Gramsci, 16 / A Get directions tel. (+39) 0521 981990
  • Angiol d’Or : in the center, restaurant that seeks tradition and offers local products in a quiet environment. The tortelli in broth are excellent.
    Average price per person: € 45.00
    Address and contacts: Via Scutellari, 1 Get directions tel: (+39) 0521282632
  • Trattoria del Tribunale : in a rustic restaurant, with a beautiful fireplace and exposed beams, it offers homemade pasta and local cold cuts. Do not miss the culatello on hot tigelle.
    Average price per person: € 30.00
    Address and contacts: Vicolo Politi, 5 Get directions tel: (+39) 0521285527
  • Parma Rotta : very high quality cuts of meat, cured meats and handmade pasta with an excellent choice of wines.
    Average price per person: € 30.00
    Address and contacts: Str. Langhirano Get directions tel: (+39) 0521 966738
  • La Filoma : restaurant that offers traditional dishes with modern and fresh reinterpretations
    Average price per person: € 25.00
    Address and contacts: Borgo XX Marzo, 15 Get directions tel: (+39) 0521 206181

SEE ALSO : 10 Things to eat in Parma and where

What to do in the evening: nightlife areas and the best clubs
Parma is a university city, as well as a tourist one, and therefore it is easy to find crowded bars and discos even in the middle of the week. The offer varies from simple meeting places to the cultural program with exhibitions and theatrical performances rather than concerts and clubs with live music. The most famous area is the one beyond the stream in via D’Azeglio , but many locals also share the streets of the historic center around the Duomo.

SEE ALSO : The best places for an aperitif in Parma

  • Hub : a place frequented by university students, famous for its cocktails and DJ sets. Piazzale Daniele Bertozzi (Get directions)
  • Campus Industry : alternative rock disco that also offers festivals of emerging bands and concerts. Largo Simonini (Get directions)
  • J. Roger Speakeasy : elegant bar where you can listen to jazz music and sip refined cocktails. Str. Agli Civile Hospices, 6 (Get directions)
  • Upside down: disco with themed evenings, delicious drinks and the opportunity to dine. Via Emilio Lepido, 47 / C (Get directions)
  • Highlander Pub : Pub that organizes themed parties, wide choice of gourmet sandwiches and craft beers. Via la Spezia, 51 (Get directions)

Plan your stay in Parma: info and useful tips

  • How to get there: Parma has its own international airport, but it is also close to the busiest airports of Bologna (90 km) and Milan (130 km). Very well connected even for those arriving by car or train.
  • How to get around: the historic center is closed to traffic and can be explored on foot or better still by bicycle. To visit the surroundings, it is better to rent a car, in this case it is better to look for accommodation with parking.
  • Where to park : the parking lots are paid but well connected with city buses. The best known are the Toschi car park in viale Toschi (from € 2.00 / ha € 14.00 / day), the Kennedy in via Kennedy (from € 1.70 / ha € 10.20 / day)
  • Where to sleep: Surely the historic center is preferable, perhaps in the area beyond the current you can save a little. For young people, the San Leonardo and San Lazzaro areas are also good – compare the best accommodations on Booking
  • What to see in the surrounding area : Colorno and the Doge’s Palace (16 km), Modena (52 km), Sassuolo (50 km), Mantua (60 km), Cremona (52 km)
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