Parma is one of the great foodie destinations along the Po River in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The buildings in the Piazza del Duomo are superb examples of Romanesque architecture.
Below is the map showing the location of Parma within the Emilia Romagna region.
The Duomo di Parma, Parma's Cathedral is a stunning example of Romanesque architecture. Construction began in the eleventh century. You are free to walk around inside, where there are interesting frescoes.
Benedetto Antelami's 12th century, octagonal Baptistery is made of pink marble from Verona and shows elements of both Romanesque and Gothic styles.
Both of these attractions are found in the Piazza del Duomo, one of the most harmonious in Europe. It's marked on the map, and is a short walk from the train station.
The 16th century Ducal Park has walking paths to exercise after that enormous lunch; afterwards you can visit the Ducal Palace with its outstanding frescoes.
A visit to a Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese producer is also an option. Details below the map.
Of course, Parma offers much more to see. And eat.
Parma is found along the train line from Milan to Ancona. The main train station is on the northern edge of the historic center of Parma, as shown on the map below, indicated by the blue train icon. There are hotels and restaurants near the station, which is currently being refurbished. (See: Italy Train Map, Italy Rail Passes)
A very compelling day trip that is a mere 15 minutes away from Parma by car, starts in the town of Collecchio, and visits a tomato museum inside a 9th centry complex along the Via Francigena pilgrimage trail, from which you can take idylic walks along the Taro River, then visit the most compelling ethnographic museum you'll ever have a chance to see, the "forest of ideas" at Museo Ettore Guatelli: Collecchio and the Parco Fluviale Regionale del Taro.
Driving distance to nearby tourist destinations:
The map puts you in the middle of medieval Parma. On the north edge of the historic center you'll see the train station, marked with a blue transportation icon. Most of the historic center is to the east of the river.
A visit to a caseificio is one of the highlights of many people's visit to Parma. Here is the procedure to follow if you have a car and want to visit and take a free guided tour of the facilities.
Guided visits are only held Monday through Friday, all year around.
You must fax or e-mail the dates you prefer to one of the regions below at least 20-25 days in advance of your visit.
The tour takes around 2 hours. You must be at the caseificio at 8am to see the process.
The guided visit is given in Italian, but depending on the guide, you might be able to get a translation in English.
The provinces in which the cheese is produced are:
To reserve a place, contact via fax or email the nearest office:
If you want to pay for a tour in English with less hassle, many prefer Parma Golosa.
Parma isn't exactly on the tourist radar, but should be. The highly rated and oddly named Ibis Styles Parma Toscanini is a very modern hotel with a great breakfast in the very center of town. The hotel is highly rated by folks who've stayed there.
2409 Parma is an apartment in the center of town near the train station, a 5-minute walk from the Duomo di Parma, and is very highly-rated. It comes with free wifi and has a dishwasher.
The usual fog and wetness around the Po river valley moderate the winter temperatures, but summers in Parma can be hot and muggy. Avoid December through February. Precipitation occurs throughout the year, but is lightest in summer.