Parma is one of the most beautiful cities in the region of Emilia Romagna, Italy. Colorful, stunning streets and some world-class food are what await you to discover. Below you’re going to learn about the places to visit in Parma Italy, as well as some of the most famous Italian food products, the Parmigiano Reggiano, and the Parma Ham (Prosciutto di Parma. You’ll see what are the best things to do in Parma Italy, and some great tips to make your trip perfect. By the end of this article, you’ll also get your answer if you’re wondering if is Parma Italy worth visiting?
Why visit Parma Italy? 10 Best things to do in Parma Italy
Find out what are the best things to do in Parma Italy today. If you’re planning to visit the Italian food valley, the region of Emilia Romagna, if you’re visiting Milan, Venice, or Bologna, make sure to also visit Parma Italy. You’re soon going to find out why is Parma worth visiting and what are the best things to see in Parma Italy. I’ve also included right below tips to travel to Parma, as well as a quick guide for when to visit this charming Italian town.
When to visit Parma and how to get there? Also, places to visit near Parma Italy
Since the region of Emilia Romagna is up north, as you can imagine, the winters are colder here. The temperature in Parma in the winter is between 0° and 10 C° so if you’re not friends with cold weather, you better avoid this Italian destination during the colder months. The best period to visit Parma is between April and October.
The weather is really nice already in April, around 20 C°, and in September the past two years has always been around 25-28 C°. Visiting Parma during the warmer months gives you great opportunities for outdoor activities, to eat outside, and for other places to visit near Parma Italy. You can go on a wine tasting to Cantina Poggio, visit Val Nure, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Modena, or even Bologna.
If you’ve been wondering if is Parma Italy worth visiting, my answer is definitely yes, and you’ll soon understand why! You can also easily get to Parma by train from either Milan, Bologna, Florence, or Venice. There closest international airport is in Bologna, but you can also fly into one of the three airports in Milan.
1. Parma Cathedral
Well, the first on our list of the best things to do in Parma Italy must be the Parma Cathedral, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Duomo di Parma is considered one of the most significant Romanesque cathedrals in the country. Its interior, the incredible frescoes are the cathedral’s most important highlights.
When you’re looking for places to visit in Parma Italy, you should always start with the most iconic building of the city. The Duomo di Parma is located in the city center, basically on the main square of the city. As I have mentioned, the interior frescoes are really significant, but there’s one highlight that will answer your question on why visit Parma Italy. In the main dome, you can see one of the finest frescoes of the Renaissance, the assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary painted by Correggio.
2. Parma Baptistery
Even if you’re planning just a day trip from Bologna or Milan, there are a few things that can’t miss off your bucket list. Right near the Duomo di Parma is our second highlight for things to do in Parma Italy today, the baptistery. The enormous building is towering over the surrounding buildings, seeming to be almost as large as the cathedral itself.
If you plan to visit Parma Italy, beside the cathedral, you must see the interior of the baptistery as well. It’s covered in detailed, stunning frescoes and marble statues. When you check each side of the octagonal walls, you’ll find different frescoes that were all painted in the 13th and 14th centuries. If you have a look at the ceiling, you’ll see the paintings divided sections, each featuring different religious figures. Some things to see in Parma Italy that are really worth it!
3. Teatro Regio di Parma
Leaving behind the piazza with the Duomo and the baptistery, our other exquisite highlight for the best things to do in Parma Italy is definitely the Teatro Regio di Parma. If you’re familiar with the most incredible theatre and opera house in Milan, the Teatro alla Scala, you should imagine the Teatro Regio di Parma similar. Except, the ceiling on this one is also covered in beautiful artwork.
When it comes to places to visit in Parma Italy, many may forget or not even think about theatres, but to be fair, there are very few places more beautiful than the theatre inside. As for every Italian architecture, the exterior of buildings might not be convincing, looking always “simple” and when you enter, you’ll forget even your name.
While Italians might seem really open and friendly, they like to keep their treasures hidden, not visible to everyone. So to really see the beauty, you must enter the theatre, or you’ll easily just walk by it, without even looking at it, since it’s nothing interesting on its outside. If you can catch an opera, for example, that can be a really unique experience, and definitely one of the most incredible things to see and do in Parma Italy.
4. Palazzo della Pilotta
When you visit Parma Italy, you can’t miss passing by Palazzo della Pilotta. The immense building complex is one of the largest landmarks of Parma, located just on the bank of River Torrente. When it comes to things to see in Parma Italy, just visiting from the outside the Palazzo della Pilotta is already a win. The beautiful park on the side with a fountain, and trees that are standing in the water… That’s the loveliest place of all.
Palazzo della Pilotta was built in the late 1500s’ and it had various functions, such as being a court, but also a royal palace. If you visit this landmark, you’ll notice that some parts of the structure remain unfinished. All this creates a strange impression at first, seeing a plain stone architecture combined with stunning arched walkways and decorated facades. Inside the complex of Palazzo della Pilotta, you can find the Biblioteca Palatina (library), the magnificent Teatro Farnese, as well as the National Gallery of Parma. These are some unmissable things to see in Parma Italy!
5. Parco Ducale
Since no Italian city can be visited without exploring the beautiful parks inside, we can’t skip the Parco Ducale, one of the most beautiful things to see and do in Parma Italy either. Parco Ducale lays on more than 200 square meters, and it’s basically one of the central places of recreation in Parma. The park between locals is simply known as The Garden, and it’s one of the best places to visit in Parma Italy if you want to get away from the hustle of the historic center.
Around Parco Ducale, you can find various pleasant alleyways and avenues lined with huge trees and beautiful plants. Oh, and let’s not forget about the stunning Fontana del Trianon and the Palazzo della Pilotta either. The park is designed in a really pleasant and aesthetic way, so even a short walk or a coffee in the park will make you fall in love. Parco Ducale is definitely one of the unmissable, best things to do in Parma Italy!
6. Parmigiano Reggiano Factory
As a history lover, someone who loves Italian architecture, landmarks, and stunning historic centers of Italian towns, in Parma my number one place isn’t any of these. In my personal opinion, the top of the things to see and do in Parma Italy is exploring the Parmigiano Reggiano factory.
I know that all of you cheese lovers will surely agree with me and this place will make you want to visit Parma Italy even more. Many of you are reading this article because you’ve been wondering if is Parma Italy worth visiting, and I hope just this one place will give you enough reasons to visit!
The most famous parmesan cheese, the best quality out on the world market, the Parmigiano Reggiano is the most famous, and most delicious Italian cheese that’s famous all around the globe. In Parma, you can visit the cheese factory of Saliceto and walk down the cheesy isles, while doing some tasting as well. It’s an incredible experience, and definitely one of the best things to do in Parma Italy today! The factory organizes tours every day!
7. Palazzo del Governatore
Taking a step back to the historic center, one of the best things to do in Parma Italy is actually to walk around and explore the streets and piazzas of the town. Parma has many charming squares, but the most important is Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi. This spot must be on your list for places to visit in Parma Italy!
Around the square, you can see some of the most important buildings of Parma, such as Palazzo del Governatore, the Comune di Parma and also the Church of Saint Paul. If you stand in front of the Palazzo del Governatore, you can see the bronze statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi topping over its surroundings. Garibaldi was an important figure of the 19th century, during the unification of Italy. In the area, you can explore shops, restaurants, and cafes to have a break and enjoy the vibes of the beautiful town.
8. Museo archeologico Nazionale di Parma
What else is there to see when you visit Parma Italy? Visiting the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Parma is one of the finest things to see and do in Parma Italy. As I have mentioned earlier, the museum is located in the Palazzo della Pilotta building complex. The national archeological museum of Parma was founded in 1790 and it has a great collection of ancient artifacts and relics.
We’ve already given you quite a few reasons why is Parma Italy worth visiting. Now, if you love history and archeology, the Museo Archeologico is definitely another reason to see this beautiful city! Within the large collection of the museum, you can find items such as a colossal head of Zeus, the Greek god for example. You can also find artifacts and relics from excavations on the Palatine Hill in Rome, but also Egyptian items, and Greek vases and pottery. For those who want to travel back in time, even more, you can find collections from the Iron and Bronze Age that were found in the region of Emilia Romagna.
9. Chiesa di San Sepolcro
Another highlight for the places to visit in Parma Italy would be the Chiesa di San Sepolcro. When it comes to things to see in Parma Italy, but usually in the country is to visit as many churches as you can. It’s the most aspiring, spiritual, and free type of museum if you’re not religious. Churches in Italy are beautiful with amazing frescoes that you don’t find in any museum.
The Chiesa di San Sepolcro was built in the 16th century by Bartolomeo Pradesoli and Jacopo di Modena, and its nave was completed in Neoclassic style in the 18th century. You can see inside the canvas of various saints, all made by the studio of Lionello Spada. It’s a beautiful masterpiece to add to your list of places to visit in Parma Italy!
10. Try Parma Ham – Prosciutto di Parma Factory Tour
If you’ve seen the factory of Parmigiano cheese, you can’t miss the factory of the famous Parma Ham either. If you’re a meat lover, and you ask why visit Parma Italy, you must know that the Prosciutto di Parma is the most famous type of Italian ham. It’s like the Serrano ham in Spain when it comes to fame and quality.
One of the best things to do in Parma Italy today even is to do a food tour in Parma to the Parma ham factory! One of the best and easiest to organize Parma ham factory tour is held at the Salumifico Conti. You can book a tour online as well and get lost in the world of the most perfect ham you’ve ever tasted. Were you asking if is Parma Italy worth visiting? Well, I hope that this gave you an answer!
Wrapping up the 10 best things to do in Parma Italy
Emilia Romagna is full of beautiful gems. The whole valley is packed with charming towns, great food, and tasty wine. It’s a region you should really consider both for city trips and outdoor experiences. So now that you know about all the great places to visit in Parma Italy, I hope we managed to convince you to visit this lovely town. We’ve covered some of the best things to see and do in Parma Italy, such as eating Prosciutto Crudo and exploring some museums and landmarks around the town. So, are you ready to visit Parma Italy? You can also find haunted places in the town if that’s what’s more interesting for you!