An elegant and open house city, famous worldwide for its Art, Music and Culinary traditions, Parma is situated between the Padana valley and the Apennines and is divided into two by the stream Parma, an affluent of the river Po.
It became a Roman colony in 183 B.C., for its loyalty tributes during the years of the Roman Empire with the name Augusta Parmensis; around 1140 the Town Council started the building of the Town Hall, whilst through the last centuries the city was ruled by the Farnese Family, the Borboni and also was part of the Dukedom of Maria Luigia of Austria.
The magnificence of the buildings are due to the strategic and cultural importance of its location. Worth of consideration is the Cathedral in Padano-Romanesque style with a large hut shaped façade with three orders of lodges and three doorways. It was consecrated in 1106 and inside there is an important collection of Italian Art masterpieces such as the bas-relief of the Deposition from the Cross, accomplished by the architect and sculptor Benedetto Antelami and the famous dome with a fresco of the artist Correggio, which depicts the Assumption of the Madonna, surrounded by angels, ephebes and Apostles.
Next to the Cathedral lies the Battistero (Baptistry), one of the major expressions of Italian Art. Built in an octagonal shape and covered by a dome, it was edified under the supervision of the architect Antelami, who also completed the sculptural decoration.
Of major interest are: the room dedicated to Saint Paul, which houses the famous frescos of Correggio and to take a rest in the botanical garden (inside the Benedictine Monastery of Saint Paul, which hides a treat for the children: the Puppet Castle, a museum that hosts a collection of puppets and marionettes that represent characters of the Ferrari team); the Stuard Art Gallery, where paintings between the XIV and XV centuries are on exposition, the Ducal Palace and the Palazzo Pilotta, that houses the Accademy of Fine Arts.
Not to miss is the Oltretorrente a popular quarter of the city center, rich of colours and ambience with important architectonic buildings such as the Old Hospital, the Church of the Annunziata and the Church of Santa Croce.