Discover the secrets of Parma! This small town is anything but sleepy, the reputation some country towns seem to get. It is most famous for its namesake cheese parmesan, but its architecture, which includes one of the oldest universities in the world, and the stunning and vast countryside around it are also worthy reasons to pay this town a visit.
Being located in the northern region of Italy also makes it easily accessible for travellers from the rest of Europe who want a taste of Italian culture and its authentic flavours but who don’t want to go too far. Parma is accessible from either Bologna or Milan; from both it’s around an hour’s drive. We found a recently listed deal for a cheap flight from London, UK to Bologna, Italy for £43 with Ryanair. The best way to reach Parma from Bologna is to take the train which costs around 6€ each way.
This town is abundant with palaces, abbeys, churches, and theatres. The cheapest part about this city is that all of them are within walking distance and the few that are not are definitely worth the bike ride or drive. Take advantage of “Parma in Bike” a bike-sharing initiative for the city to cruise the streets and enjoy the countryside roads by two-wheels instead of four. Grab a map from the tourist office at the train station and plan your route!
Do not miss:
–Museum Lombardi which displays the personal effects of the Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Maria Luigia of Hapsburg. At this museum visitors can also get a close look at the most important documents that concern the Duchy of Parma in the 18th and 19th century.
–Arturo Tascanini Birthplace & Museum, located at Via Rodolfo Tanzi 13. This is the house where the great Italian conductor was born in 1867 which now houses a whimsical collection of his mementos and a library of all of his recorded works.
-The Bishop’s Palace dates back to 1055. Today is houses the must-see Academy of Fine Arts.
-The Piazza del Duomo is the perfect place to rest your feet after a day of walking in Parma. This is the historic centre of the city. Rest your bicycle against the wall and take a tour of the cathedral adjacent to the plaza.
No one leaves this city without eating well, this is certain. This town has an incredible reputation for its food. Try the parmigiano reggiano cheese and the prosciutto di parma for a picnic lunch with fresh bread, a piece of dried ham and a bottle of local wine. For a taste of authentic and traditional Italian fare, head to Gallo d’Oro. Main courses are priced at 6-7€, a perfect option for budget travellers.