What to See in Parma

Parma is a beautiful and underrated city in the region of Emilia Romagna. It offers immense gastronomical, musical and cultural activities to travelers. If you have a couple of days to visit this city, you must explore it and visit the “main sights” in the historic centre of Parma. Let’s learn what to see in Parma if you have 2-3 days in hand.

What to See and Do in Parma

  1. Duomo di Parma (Parma Cathedral):

Built in the Romanesque style, the Duomo di Parma is a must visit if you’re in the city. With a baroque style interior, the exterior instead is flanked with two lions sculpted by Giambono da Bissono in 1281.

Lovers of Italian art can spend many hours gazing at the beauty, a marvel to behold, especially from the inside! I remember how blown away I was when I first saw it many years back on TV. 


Two marble lions at the entrance of the Duomo

During my visit to Parma our lovely tour guide, Antonella Ramazzotti, from Comune di Parma, gave us a superb tour of the Duomo.

She showed us Correggio’s illusionist fresco of The Assumption of Mary which was completed in the 16th century. I remember getting goosebumps while looking at the ceiling! The fresco made me feel so insignificant. I guess there are some things you just can’t express in words??

All in all I can say that my husband and I were simply blown looking at the work of art!


What to see in Parma: Correggio’s Frescoe

2. Battistero di Parma (Bapistery of Parma):

Right next to the Duomo, is the Baptistery a.k.a. Il Battistero di Parma. It is a unique octagonal shaped structure.

Known to be the most important medieval European monuments, the Battistero is laden with pink Veronese marble. There are three entrances to this Gothic Baptistery and with the Diocesan Museum, one can visit for a ticket of €8. There are audio guides available too.


What to See in Parma: Battistero di Parma

3. Piazza Garibaldi (Square of Garibaldi):

Another must see place to visit in Parma is the gorgeous Piazza Garibaldi in the heart of the city. The piazza is popular because of the many stores and Bars that overlook the remarkable statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi. The piazza also is home to an astronomical clock tower.

From this piazza, there are streets going to different parts of the city and a main road linking to other Italian towns. 

4. Palazzo della Pilotta (Pilotta Palace):

Built in the 16th century, the Pilotta Palace is another must visit place in the city of Parma. The grand structure gives a feeling of being in a movie set from the 50s. It consists of the National Gallery and the Farnese theatre and is right by the main road.

Although major parts of the Palace were destroyed by a horrible bombing in the 1930s, the place retains its charm. My husband and I found the palace grounds disturbingly eerie at night and I guess the fog added to the drama in the winter!

5. Teatro Regio (Regio Theatre):

Teatro Regio is one of the most important places to visit in the city! After all Giuseppe Verdi was from Busseto, near Parma and that makes it almost mandatory to have a great theatre in the region.

Although I visited the theatre twice, I found it closed both times. Google pictures are stunning and I hope I can visit the inside next time! Teatro Regio also has a lovely Café worth venturing into and even hosts an annual Verdi festival every October.


 Teatro Regio (Credits: Wikipedia)

6. Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace):

If you still have time in Parma during your stay, don’t forget to visit Palazzo Ducale. The Ducal Palace as it is called in English is set in a gorgeous open park rightly called Parco Ducale.

This is a place where locals come to run, walk and relax. The Palace is currently closed for visits but the park alone is worth visiting.


Palazzo Ducale

Disclaimer: I’m deeply grateful to the team of Comune di Parma for being great hosts and offering a Walk in Parma for free. Special mention to my lovely guide Antonella who took the time to tell us the details of her region and even recommended excellent spots for eating!

Over to you…Have you been to Parma??

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  • […] wait to visit because it’s all about the food. I want to base myself in Bologna, do day trips to cute towns in Emilia Romagna and eat all of the Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto and pasta […]

  • Where to Go in Italy - Teaspoon of Adventure
    December 7, 2020 at 5:52 am

    […] to visit because it’s all about the food. I want to base myself in Bologna, do day trips to cute towns in Emilia Romagna and eat all of the Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto and pasta […]

    • Italophilia
      December 8, 2020 at 11:40 am

      Than you dear for linking my post! I really miss Italy and hope we can all travel safely soon.

  • Ilene Modica
    January 10, 2020 at 4:40 am

    We were fortunate to stay there for 90 days in 2016 and loved it. We have several posts on this amazing town. Our photos are so similar and it’s fun to know exactly where each of yours was taken!!

    • Italophilia
      January 10, 2020 at 10:49 am

      So happy you liked the pictures! I’m sure it must have been quite an experience being there for so long. My husband loved Parma more than me!

  • Snazzytrips
    April 26, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Great post. I love Parma too. My mother was from there. The food, in particular, cappelletti in brodo are my favourite! I did a blog post on Parma too. 😊

    • Italophilia
      April 26, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 That’s amazing, you must have been eating all the good food then.. Its a great dish!

  • Image Earth Travel
    March 30, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Looks gorgeous!

    • Italophilia
      March 31, 2019 at 11:13 am

      Thanks so much, hope you can visit.

  • Nina
    March 30, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Oh the food in Parma…a dream. I stayed outside of Parma in a convent for 2 nights last year and it was just such a great experience. The food was incredible and the area was just such a peaceful, beautiful region.

    • Italophilia
      March 31, 2019 at 11:14 am

      That sounds amazing. What place was it?? I love Italy for its amazing places to stay and eat.

  • coral waight
    March 18, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    I absolutely love theatres and that one is divine.

    • Italophilia
      March 18, 2019 at 10:20 pm

      Truly! Thanks for your comment Coral x

  • Tanja/The Red Phone Box travels
    March 17, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    nop, haven’t been to Parma yet:) probably will visit it at some point:)

  • KareninCalabria
    March 17, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Wow, those are some sumptuous interiors! I haven’t ever been to Parma but you’ve made it look quite inviting in spite of what appear to be cold winter temperatures.

    • Italophilia
      March 17, 2019 at 8:10 pm

      I’m glad I could “influence” you 😂😉 thanks for your comment bella. Parma Is a catch!

  • Fkasara
    March 17, 2019 at 1:37 am

    I have been MANY years ago and I must go back, given also the fact that I am not THAT far away!
    The Correggio’s cupola is outstanding and I remember I was fascinated by the Farnese Theatre (all that wood, I mean…very peculiar). Glad to hear you chose the “human” guide over the audioguide, there’s simply no comparison!

    Un abbraccio,

    • Italophilia
      March 17, 2019 at 8:09 pm

      You should definitely make a visit! Please visit Teatro Regio for me 🤗🤗 un abbraccio forte

  • Francis Pettitt
    March 16, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I agree Ishita. Parma is a lovely town and not enough people know about it. I spent a night there and went to hear an opera in that fabulous theatre.

    • Italophilia
      March 16, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      That must have been quite an experience. It looks spectacular!! 🙂 Thanks for your comment x

  • Sheree
    March 16, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    I’ve never visited Parma but it looks charming. Another one fir my list!

    • Italophilia
      March 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      You will love it! Let me know if you plan in the near future. x


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