Parma

Travel Guide
Parma showing a river or creek and a bridge

Experience the true meaning of “la dolce vita” in this historic and sophisticated Italian city, known for its fine local produce and serene religious buildings.

Parma’s name is instantly recognizable as the birthplace of Parmesan, but there’s much more to this beautiful city than cheese. Parma is one of Italy’s most prosperous cities; its pristine streets and piazzas are flanked with historic buildings and fantastic restaurants. Savor meals that include the local cheese and ham, see some of Italy’s finest artwork and listen to classical music in gorgeous opera houses.

Many of Parma’s palaces and churches were built between the 16th and 18th centuries, when the powerful Farnese family ruled the city. Although Parma suffered significant damage during World War II, most of its Renaissance-period buildings remain remarkably well preserved.

Admire beautiful frescos painted by famous Italian Mannerist artist Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, more commonly known as Parmigianino, at the 16th-century Basilica di Santa Maria della Steccata. See valuable treasures in the 12th-century Duomo, including the Assunzione della Vergine (Assumption of the Virgin) painting decorating the cathedral’s octagonal cupola. Take a break in the elegant gardens of Parco Ducale to find peaceful paths, tranquil fountains and well-landscaped lawns.

Discover more of Parma’s artistic masterpieces in Galleria Nazionale, a 16th-century palace that once belonged to the ruling Farnese family. Highlights include La Scapigliata by Leonardo da Vinci and Correggio’s Madonna della Scodella, which shows Joseph and the Virgin Mary looking lovingly at the infant Jesus.

It’s almost impossible to miss the Battistero (Baptistry), with its striking mix of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. Construction of the Battistero began in 1196. The building’s distinct white-and-pink marble bands symbolize the purity and blood of Christ. Take a look at the 13th-century frescoes found inside, which depict seasons and zodiac signs.

Don’t leave Parma without sampling some of the city’s unique and delicious cuisine. Some of Parma’s most famous specialties include Parma ham (prosciutto) and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Try the two together as an antipasto, or sample the prosciutto-stuffed pastries displayed in the windows of local bakeries.

Parma is located 17.4 miles (28 kilometers) northwest of Reggio. It can be reached by train from Bologna, Piacenza, Modena and Milan.

Where to stay in Parma

CDH Hotel Villa Ducale
CDH Hotel Villa Ducale
4 out of 5
Viale Europa, 81-angolo Via del Popolo, Parma, PR
The price is £54 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan
Situated near the airport, this boutique hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Palazzo della Pilotta, University of Parma and Barilla Center. Ducale Park and Teatro ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (363 reviews)
"Personally, I love the cold, industrial aesthetic. They hide that aspect on the online photos but it is my favorite part."

Reviewed on 1 Nov 2021

CDH Hotel Villa Ducale
Novotel Parma Centro
Novotel Parma Centro
4 out of 5
Via Trento 9, Parma, PR
Fully refundable
The price is £75 per night from 6 Feb to 7 Feb
This family-friendly Parma hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Teatro Regio di Parma, Ducale Park and Cathedral of Parma. University ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (194 reviews)
"The hotel was very nice. The location was close to the train station. I suppose because of that, the immediate neighborhood was a little sketchy. About a two block walk toward the downtown, the conditions of the area improved greatly and it was fine after that."

Reviewed on 24 Dec 2021

Novotel Parma Centro
Link124 Hotel
Link124 Hotel
4 out of 5
Via San Leonardo 124, Parma
The price is £82 per night from 5 Feb to 6 Feb
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Palazzo della Pilotta, University of Parma and Barilla Center. Teatro Regio di Parma and Shrine ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (179 reviews)
Will stay there again
"New updated, great service, clean, comfortable"

Reviewed on 4 Aug 2021

Link124 Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Residence Liberty Hotel
Residence Liberty Hotel
3 out of 5
Piazzale Salvo D'Acquisto 15, Parma, PR
The price is £53 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan
Located in Parma City Centre, this residence is within 2 miles (3 km) of Cathedral of Parma, Barilla Center and University of Parma. Bishop's Palace and Baptistery ...
3.9/5 Good! (150 reviews)
Great value for money.
"A lovely little apartment that had everything I needed. It didn't cost much more than a normal hotel room, but the kitchen saved me more than the extra cost."

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2021

Residence Liberty Hotel
Apartment With one Bedroom in Vigatto
Apartment With one Bedroom in Vigatto
Situated in Parma, this golf apartment building is within 9 miles (15 km) of Magnani Rocca Foundation, University of Parma and Torrechiara Castle. Barilla Center ...
Apartment With one Bedroom in Vigatto
Residenza Cavour
Residenza Cavour
via Cavour 16, Parma, PR
The price is £68 per night from 21 Jan to 22 Jan
Located in Parma City Centre, this residence is within 2 miles (3 km) of Strada della Repubblica, University of Parma and Barilla Center. Shrine of Santa Maria ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (186 reviews)
Tired and run down room
"An apartment badly in need of renovation, holes on the curtains. Thin and frayed towels. We rented an apartment rather than a hotel to arrange our own breakfast,make drinks etc but the note said that we could use the room but by using the kitchen we would need to pay an additional 20 euros, ..."

Reviewed on 7 Sep 2019

Residenza Cavour
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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