We were in Parma 21, 22, 23 September, 2013
Tom and I are in Parma. We've got three nights here.
WOW is all I've got to say. There are some pretty amazing things to see and do here. My enthusiasm is dulled, nee tempered just a bit because there are LOTS of youth here. The University of Parma is here, and it is one of the oldest universities in the world, founded in the 11th century. The University of Parma has currently over 30,000 students. We just happen to be in the historic center, which also happens to be in the vicinity of the University.
And so far, where there have been an abundance of youth there has been trash, and loitering, and groups of youth , and tagging. Not graffiti, which I happen to think is creative and artistic, and which I happen to like, but tagging, which is ugly.
So far I can't brag about the food, when we got here, yesterday, at about 3:30pm I had only eaten several palmfuls of these candied nuts that Tom had purchased the day before. Consequently my blood sugar was causing me some issues, and unfortunately the food options that time of day are limited, and vegetarian options even more so. We found a little kebab shop close to the hotel and I had a tortilla stuffed with vegies; lettuce, tomato, cabbage, a bit of yogurt dressing and a little spicy sauce. Tom had a piadine stuffed with meat and veggies, consequently we really weren't up for a big meal later on so ate a little picnic in the room with some stuff we had picked up.
Today after walkabout, and visiting a few sights we had lunch at a restaurant, that although gorgeous with white linens and lovely place settings I found to be less than satisfactory, although the wine was very good.
There is a train strike going on. Train strikes are apparently a common occurrence, but rarely last more than 24 hours. Reminds me of Senior Skip Day in high school.
Parma has a Museo Nazionale located in the Palazzo Pilotta along with the Teatro Farnese. These two are absolute must sees when in or near Parma.
Teatro Farnese is in Baroque-style. It was built in 1618 by Giovanni Battista Aleotti, by order of Ranuccio I, Duke of both Parma and Piacenza.
The theatre was almost destroyed by an Allied air raid during World War II (1944). It was rebuilt and reopened in 1962. We. Saw photos and the interior was virtually gutted.
The Teatro Farnese is one of the most breath-taking sites we've seen. Constructed completely in wood so you know Tom was slacked jawed through the entire area. It is massive.
After you have gaped and gawed over the Theatre You pass over the theatre stage and through a back door to enter the Museo Nazionale. One of the highlights, just in case the art work displayed doesn't do it for you is the use of space. I wish I had the words to describe how they've used the interior of this monstrously large old palace.
We saw a number of other things while in Parma - the basilica, the baptistery, the camere de sao paulo, an old farmacy/apothecary shop, and the Parco Ducale which I liked quite a bit. A number of interesting things, but by far the highlight was the palazzo Pilotta.
The morning of departure day we tried to see the Teatro Reggio, but the sound and light guys were setting up for an event so we only got a peek, it looked gorgeous.
Ok, so here are some photos.