The 2013 Verdi Festival in Parma

Everybody knows that Parma is the home of some of Italy’s most famous exports, namely Proscuitto di Parma (Parma Ham), Parmesano Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese), Balsamic Vinegar and, of course, Ferrari and Maserati!  But did you know that one of the greatest composers of all time also hails from the province of Parma?  Giuseppe Verdi was born there in October 1813, and every year the region celebrates the life of one of their favourite sons!  The Verdi Festival takes place every year in and around Parma and people come from near and far to listen to his operas being performed in his home territory.  This year will be especially wonderful as 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of his birth, and no effort has been spared to make this anniversary a very special showcase for his work.

Milano e Verdi
Verdi Festival is in Parma every year in October – source of picture.

 

Giuspeppe Verdi and Parma province.

Giuseppe Verdi was born in Le Roncole and later lived in near-by Busetto in the province of Parma.  It is in Busetto that Verdi’s musical talent was first nurtured by Ferdinando Provesi, of the local Philharmonic.  After some time spent in Milan learning all he could about music, the prodigy returned to the province of his childhood and became the town’s music teacher.  His twenties were marred by great hardship when he lost both his children and his wife, but the Maestro went on to overcome his grief and his best works were composed in the years that followed his tragic loss.

 

The  Giuspeppe Verdi Festival in Parma

The 2013 bi-centennial Verdi festival is a must for all opera lovers, and many special tours and opera packages have been arranged to bring music lovers to Parma.  There will be an opera or concert every day at the historic Teatro Regio di Parma (which is also the final resting place of Nicolo Paganini, one of the most renowned violinists in the world) and at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Busseto.  Many other side events will take place all over the countryside.

 

Attending a Verdi Opera or concert at the fabulous Teatro Regio in Parma is an experience you will not easily forget;  the beautiful neoclassic style of the theatre makes this an exceptional venue to enjoy the music, and you will be moved by the enthusiasm of the local opera patrons who are very knowledgable about Verdi’s music and respond most enthusiastically.

Operas are usually performed in their original language, and if you do not speak Italian, your experience will be enhanced by reading the libretti – an English synopsis of the story of the Opera – before you arrive for the concert. ( Libretti usually accompany your tickets). Oh yes, do dress smartly for the Opera – on opening nights formal attire is the norm, and for the other performances at least a tie and/or jacket would be acceptable.

 

The 2013 festival runs from the 30th September to the 31st of October and you can browse all the performance dates and book online at:

http://www.teatroregioparma.org/verdifest/

What to do in Parma in 48 hours

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.

Palazzo del Governatore, Parma

Images from wikipedia