Things to do and where to stay in Parma, Italy.
I have just returned from a trip to Italy and one of the places I visited that I had never been to before, is Parma.
Famous, of course, for ham, Parma also has many reasons to visit. Parma has one of the oldest universities in the world and is also one of the most prosperous places in Italy.
Parma is a city in Emilia-Romagna but it’s only small and easily walkable. The first thing that struck me about Parma was the laid back atmosphere and the cafe culture. You can tell that Parma is a university town by the large number of people cycling around.
Parma has a large choice of places to eat and despite only staying one night we still had time to find a restaurant to try the local Parma ham and I can truly say that it was the most wonderful ham I had ever tasted! Parma ham or prosciutto di Parma is a natural product that uses only the best pork from the Parma region and then salted and left to hang. The methods used and the Parma breezes makes the product unique and very tasty as I can honestly vouch for.
The main reason, though, that we visited Parma was to see Parma Cathedral. This, in my opinion, has to be one of the most amazing cathedrals in the world. The style is Romanesque and the dome has an amazing fresco painted by Renaissance painter Antonio da Correggio. The original construction of Parma Cathedral began in 1059 but the original building was badly damaged in an earthquake. The Gothic belfry was also recently damaged by fire, and at the time we visited it was still being restored.
Whilst the exterior is amazing enough it’s the interior that has the “wow” factor. As you walk into the cathedral you are immediately struck with the beauty of the intricate frescoes and you marvel at the time and energy that someone has spent creating these works of art.
Where to stay in Parma? Well, on our visit to Parma we stayed at a very historic and stylish hotel. We stayed at a place very close to the Duomo in the centre of Parma called Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati. The owner Vittorio Dalla Rosa Prati is very hospitable and the accommodation is excellent. I highly recommend staying at Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati when you are in Parma.
This is the only place to stay in Parma !
This is the amazing interior of Parma Cathedral with its Renaissance fresco
This is a photo I took of the exterior of Parma Cathedral