Parma Hotels,Parma Italy Hotels,CCIN's Guide to Parma Italy Hotels,Parma Italy Parma Hotels,Parma Italy Hotels,CCIN's Guide to Parma Italy Hotels,Parma Italy



Parma  Italy Parma  Italy
Parma  Italy Parma  Italy
One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Parma Italy is often overlooked by travelers visiting Milan (80 miles north) and Florence (120 miles south). Blessed with colorful Parma hotels, restaurants, art and music, the city's cultural contributions to the world include artists Correggio, Parmigianino and Paolo Toschi, film director Bernardo Bertolucci and composers Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini.

Parma has the highest standard of living in Italy, an affluent town even by Emilia Romagna's elevated standards. The heart of the city is Piazza Garibaldi, which stands on the site of the former Roman court. From here the historical centre develops, the area brims over with beautiful palaces, shops and elegant bars. The Cathedral, located in Piazza Duomo, was built in the 11th century on the ruins of an earlier structure, is a renowned example of the Romanesque style in the Po valley, with a cupola painted by the artist Correggio in the sixteenth century. also located in Piazza Duomo is the ancient Battistero, an octagonal structure made of pink marble, an expression of the transition to the Gothic style. Other important parts of Parma include the Old San Giovanni Pharmacy, Chiesa della Steccata, the Camera di San Paolo, Palazzo Ducale and Park, the incredibly beautiful Teatro Regio, the Pilotta and many other sites. Parma is also home to a university dating back to the ninth century, now with about 20,000 students. With a population of 200,000, Parma is nestled in the fertile valley of the Po River deep in the heart of the richest of all Italian provinces - the Emilia-Romagna. The region is famous for many of its local culinary delights including Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Parma ham (prosciutto), Balsamic vinegar, white truffles and Porcini mushrooms.

History: Parma was founded in 183 B.C. by the consul Marcus Emilius Lepidus and 2000 Roman citizens as part of a colonization project in which the nearby towns of Piacenza, Modena and Bologna were also established. During the Imperial Age of the Roman Empire (27BC - 400AD), Parma had a forum in today's Piazza Garibaldi (photo upper left), a theater, an amphitheater, public baths and a basilica. In the Byzantine period (400AD - 1400AD), Parma became known as Chrysopolis - The Golden City. The flourishing town saw the rule of the Visconti, the Sforza, the French and the Papacy from the 14th to 16th Centuries. In 1545 Pope Paul III established a Duchy with his son Pier Luigi Farnese as its ruler. The years between 1802 and 1814 were a time of Napoleonic rule and in 1816 the city's administration was passed to Bonaparte's second wife, Maria Luigia of Austria, whose influential power propelled Parma to become one of the great cultural centers of Europe. Parma joined the newly unified Kingdom of Italy with a plebiscite on March 18, 1860.
David J. Castello



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