Parma is one of the biggest cities in the Emilia-Romagna region. It is particularly famous for its local products: prosciutto and cheese, but today we are going to be talking about the best attractions in Parma.
The city also has a long history and influence from various cultures and ruling empires. As a result, you will find plenty of historical sites and fantastic religious buildings here in Parma. From the beautiful Cathedral of Parma and the National Gallery!
Parma has something to offer to all different tastes and interests! Besides its fantastic attractions, Parma also houses amazing restaurants and cafes that serve its world-renowned foods. Let’s take a look at the best things to do in Parma.
Visit the main attractions in Parma
The Cathedral of Parma is a Romanesque astonishing building. It was built throughout the 11th and 12th centuries and decorated by prominent fresco painter Antonio da Correggio.
The dome presents Correggio’s ‘Assumption of the Virgin’. Once there, you could also take a look at the capitals which present various war and nature scenes from the Bible. Here is where often artistic exhibitions and educational workshops are held.
If you are looking for a day trip from Parma, Torrechiara is a great choice for the ones that want a different experience. This charming village is just 35 minutes ride and it is located to the south of Parma – during the journey you will travel through the beautiful Italian countryside.
Here is where you will find the amazing Castello di Torrechiara that was constructed in the 1400’s. This village has an immense structure and stands proudly on a small hill providing panoramic views of the surrounding region.
Whilst the architecture of the castle remains in a brilliant condition, the interior is well preserved too and features several finely decorated rooms including the famous Camera d’Oro (Golden Chamber).
The Baptistery of Parma stands next to the cathedral but actually dwarfs it in size and stands higher than the roof of the cathedral. Towering over the surrounding buildings, the baptistery stands tall and features some fantastic exterior artwork and arches.
Whilst the exterior is fantastic in its own right, the interior is simply stunning and is covered with detailed frescos and marble statues.
Each of the octagonal wall panels contains a separate fresco that was painted in the 13th and 14th centuries, and the higher wall sections contain statues of important Italians.
On the ceiling sections, there is a gorgeous painting split into sections that each depicts a different religious figure.
Church of St. John the Evangelist
Right behind the cathedral, you will find another fantastic church –St. John the Evangelist’s church was built in the 1500’s during the Renaissance.
The front façade of the church has a Romanesque style and it is made of the same pink marble as the Cathedral, It features several highly detailed sculptures and a bell tower that stands at 73m high.
The building is also fascinating in the interior, it has a deal of religious artwork, beautiful decoration and features work from the renowned artist Correggio. There is also a monastery that provides insight into religious history with its series of ancient manuscripts and codexes.
Palazzo del Governatore
You can find this immense building on the Piazza Garibaldi and it spans the whole width of the square – the central bell tower has a large clock face and towers above the surrounding structures.
Constructed in the 1200’s, this historic building served as a major government building for hundreds of years and is designed in a Baroque and Neoclassical style.
Inside the structure is the wonderful Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art which provides a fantastic range of modern creations and exhibits that are continually changing.
The National Archaeological Museum of Parma
The National Archaeological Museum is another fine building that is located within the Palazzo Della Pilotta complex. It was founded in 1790 and has housed a fantastic collection of ancient artifacts and relics ever since.
Today, the extensive collection includes artifacts from excavations at Palatine Hill, a colossal head of the Greek god Zeus, artifacts from excavations at Palatine Hill, various ancient Egyptian finds, and also a collection of Greek Vases and pottery.
Here you will also find a wonderful exhibit of Bronze Age and Iron Age finds that have been collected from the Emilia-Romagna region.
The National Gallery of Parma
The National Gallery of Parma focuses on artwork from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries: you will find some works by Da Vinci, Barbieri, Allegri, van Dyck, and many others.
This place was once the Academy of Fine Arts. The paintings and sculptures we see today have been accumulated throughout the centuries by various collectors.
The Most Instagrammable Spots in Parma
While being in Parma, try to get the best memories with you. Parma is a beautiful city with amazing architecture. This typical Italian city has plenty of spots to take great photos.
You may be surprised how good your photos will turn out. Make sure you shoot some photos while on your journey. If you are looking for places to take Instagram worthy photos, consider the following.
- The Cathedral of Parma
- San Giovani Square
- Torrechiara Castle
- Pilotta Palace