Parma - Emilia-Romagna
Parma is affectionately known as the land of the three P's: Pasta, Prosciutto and Pastry. Nestled in the heart of Emilia-Romagna, Parma is characterized by the elegance of its buildings, its hospitality, its unparalleled food and love for life.
Since antiquity, when the Etruscans treated Hannibal and his troops to a feast of cured meats and flavorful pastas, the cuisine of Parma has thrilled and charmed both locals and visitors. The Etruscans and the Romans started farming in the region and produced various grains which, over the centuries, have become the basis of so many of Parma's most popular dishesthink of porcini-infused risottos! The Romans also began the tradition of producing sheep's milk and goat's milk cheeses. Cheese is used in the preparation of many of the local stuffed pastas, such as tortelli and anolini, together with the local famous prosciutto. Prosciutto di Parma is added to any dish, either a plate of tagliatelle or rolled in beef bundles.
But it's not all about the eating in Parma. There are beautiful sights within walking distance-helpful for losing the extra weight gained after a lunch of local specialties. The Duomo is a classic example of the Romanesque style. It is open daily, and it holds Correggio's painting "Assumption of the Virgin." Its most beautiful feature is the striking pink marble baptistry on the southern side of the Duomo Square. Its octagonal shape and charming color cannot be missed.
The city is also home to various museums, the most popular being the Galleria Nazionale, whose collection includes works by Correggio, Parmigianino, Fra Angelico and van Dyck. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Admission to the museum allows you to view the fabulous Teatro Farnese, an antique theater that is a replica of Palladio's Teatro Olimpica. It was completely rebuilt after the WWII bombing. However, few, if any, performances are held there.<7p>
Parma was Giuseppe Verdi's favorite city, and to this day Parma's musical culture is very strong. Opera and dramas can be viewed at the Teatro Regio. If you are passionate about music, you should also visit the home where Toscanini, one of Italy's greatest modern conductors, was born. The house contains a small museum dedicated to Toscanini's life and music. Admission is minimal and the experience in invaluable.