Written by Marcelo Pinto June 4th 2012
Most tourists who visit Italy are captivated by Rome and the Vatican, and don’t realize there is a whole world of discovery in this beautiful European country if one cares to look for it. Parma, located in northern Italy, is fast becoming a tourist destination, and has been known for years to be a center for art, renaissance architecture, and delectable cheese and ham. Come with me as we explore the various sections of this beautiful city in terms of restaurants, and what to see and do in 48 hours.
To begin with, let’s have a look at the various attractions worth visiting.
1. Duomo di Parma
This gorgeous church is a marvel and stands proud as a testament to Romanesque architecture. It was built in the 12th century, and has a stunning collection of frescoes in its interior. Guarded by pink marble stone lions as you walk past its huge doors, you will experience a sense of being taken back into time. Putting a couple of Euros in the offering will cause the ceiling to light up, which in itself is a magnificent spectacle. This is a great way of spending your afternoon in this charming Italian gem of a city.
2. Galleria Nazionale
One of Italy’s most prized museums, the Galleria Nazionale hosts a variety of artwork that will delight any art enthusiast. Examples of artists whose works are featured here include Coreggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Parmigianino and Van Dyck.
Places to Eat
1. Ai due Platani
Known for its delicious proscuitto and tortelli alle erbette, this restaurant is popular with locals and tourists alike. It has a laid-back ambience that is sure to put you at ease as you savor their delicious dishes. While here, be sure to try out the wide homemade pasta with rosemary-infused duck sauce; it is to die for.
2. 12 Monaci
This restaurant will leave you breathless and wanting more. Located in Via Rome, its specialty is the veal and homemade pasta, and due to the fact that it is a family-run establishment, it has a homey feel to it. The restaurant was originally a monastery, as is evidenced by the interior. This adds to the restaurant’s ambience, giving it a romantic look and feel.
Things to Do
1. Teatro Farnese
Built entirely of wood in the 16th century, this theater is a great way of spending the early evening hours admiring the intricate architecture and being bathed in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.
2. Teatro Regio
Touted as one of the top venues in Italy, the Teatro Regio hosts various operas, and you might be lucky to catch a performance of Verdi’s Opera. Ensure to book your tickets in advance so that you can have a true appreciation of what this opera house has to offer.
So there you have it; a list of places to see and things to do. Spend your evenings at some of Parma’s restaurants and get to experience the authentic heart of Italy. The city can be easily accessed from both Bologna and Milan, and is a great destination for those who want something different from the beaten tourist path.
Images from wikipedia