In mid-January, we decided to spend one day of our three-day Bologna trip in Parma, with the force of our football passionate one. Although one of us was reluctant, we were both very happy when the trip was over. If you are near by you must visit Parma due to the energetic, colorful streets, parmesan cheese and other delicacies of the city. Also if you like to discover more local and less touristy places, you should add Parma city to your route.
On the way to Parma, we saw the sign of Reggio Emilia and planned to stop in this area after visiting Parma. It was interesting for us to learn that the name of this small city turned as a training approach. After World War II, the parents established a school where their children could be educated, and the quality of school, family and community cooperation for quality education turned into a world-wide approach. Since our return is more late than we anticipated, we decided to breathe the air of this educated town on our next trip. If you have time, you can stop in this small town and find the differences in civilization.
What is PARMA famous for?
Before we arrived, we knew that Parma was famous with the football team, parmesan cheese (parmigiano reggiano) which was said to have been produced since the 12th century, and with the salted and dry-out Parma ham (prosciutto di Parma). On the other hand, we read that the pastas, especially those filled ones were very tasty, . We didn’t try the ham because we don’t like it and we don’t have any comments. But we loved the parmesan cheese we had in Parma. Their pastas were delicious, and we saw the administrative center of Barilla. Even in the eataly market on the way back, we were attracted from the pasta varieties that we had never seen before, and we bought pastas with mushrooms, nettles and cheese. Also, as tiramisu lovers; the answer of the ‘where is the best tiramisu?’ question is still ‘in Parma’, and the taste is still on our palate.
Transportation and Accommodation in Parma
There is currently no direct flights to Parma from Turkey or Istanbul.
After arriving by direct flight to Bologna, you can reach Parma in about 1 hour by train. If you wish, you can buy your train ticket about 8 euros for one way from this link.
If you do not have time to plan in advance, this is not a loss, there are trains with 20-minute intervals, you can get your ticket from the train station directly.
Another alternative is to reach Parma in about 1.5 hours by car you rent, like us.
Once you reach the city, you can visit the city on foot. After we parked our car in a proper parking lot, we didn’t use any transportation vehicle within the city.
Although we did not experience accommodation, we had a short research. In January the best choice was the 4 star NH Parma hotel, regarding the location, comfort and benefit-price balance aspects. You can evaluate NH Parma or hotels near it according to your expectations.
How many days should I spend on my visit to Parma?
Parma is a small city. Since the historic center spread over an area of about 2,5km², one day will be sufficient. If you stay for one night, you can experience the city’s atmosphere better or you can complete your trip from morning to evening like us.
Parma Travel and Eating Guide
You can view the search results for the top 10 destinations in Parma and check out the top destinations in applications like tripadvisor.
After we did our pre search like this, we left ourselves to the flow, we caught beautiful visuals and we enjoyed exploring on foot. If you want to see a verified beautiful route, let’s start.
We parked our car in a parking area near the Parma stream (Torrente Parma) and started walking along the river to the historic center.
After a short walk, we see the Garibaldi square (Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi). Parma’s governor’s office (Palazzo del Governatore), the clock tower and the statue of Garibaldi attract our attention. We continue to walk in front of these colorful buildings from the 17th century.
Exploring the Streets of Parma
While walking in, we see a small cute street on the left. We continue to walk on Borgo XX Marzo street with the charm of remaining Christmas ornaments. This street takes us to the Duomo square (Piazza del Duomo). By the way, we like to warm up with the winter sun while walking.
We reach the backyard of the baptistery structure (Battistero di Parma) made of marble. The baptistery of the Parma Cathedral (Battistero di Parma) is architecturally built in a Romanesque and Gothic style and is one of the most important medieval monuments in Europe.
We follow the Duomo street in front of the Baptistery and then the street of Cavour, and when we turn left, we come to the puppet castle, the puppet museum building (Il Castello dei Burattini – Museo Giordano Ferrari). We keep walking because we don’t want to tour the museum.
Then we see the Piazza della Pace square. In this green area, where children can play, people can relax, there are prominent central structures like Palazzo Ducale, Teatro Regio, Teatro Farnese, Galleria Nazionale di Parma and Palazzo della Pilotta.
We had also chance to travel around the nearby university of Parma (Università degli Studi di Parma). We get hungry and need to rest. We find the best restaurant in the surrounding area from mobile applications, and we find an excellent restaurant with the right choice.
A Delicious Break in Parma
We chose Trattoria Corrieri, located in the conservaterio street, just across the University of Parma’s Faculty of Law and Politics (Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza, University of Studi Politici and Internazionali University). This is the restaurant where the local flavors are very well done and the prices are average. When we get in, we see that each table is full although the inner place is quite large. The delicious taste of the dishes is seen from the pleasant conversations of people. After waiting 5-10 minutes we finally find an available table.
After looking at the menu and receiving suggestions from the staff, we want parmesan cheese as a starter. Since we’re so hungry, we finish the big piece of parmesan cheese and the crispy bread without taking any pictures. We don’t normally love the parmesan cheese much, but it’s really different and delicious here. Then we order mushroomed pasta and risotto with cheese. The pasta with mushrooms was better than the similar ones. But the mash-like cheese risotto was excellent in its intensity and taste.
This is the only meal we have here,so we should try a dessert. As tiramisu lovers, we order a perfect tiramisu that is difficult to describe. The portion of Tiramisu was quite large, did not contain alcohol and the sugar taste was ideal. We still haven’t eaten any better one. That’s why we can say that the best tiramisu is eaten in Trattoria Corrier. We strongly recommend you to try this restaurant in Parma.
Parma Shopping Streets
After the great meal, we want to spend our energy by visiting the shops. We are following the shopping streets which starts from the side street of Trattoria Corrier. We start with Giuseppe Mazzini and continue walking through the Della Republica street. Since the common stores we know are generally more expensive in Europe, these stores are not attractive for us. We enter into a few local shoe stores, but we don’t like any models. We also think the prices are high comparing with Turkey.
On the Della Republica street, we enter a charming patisserie (Pasticceria Cocconi Parma) for coffee. The showcase is nice but we are not satisfied with the service and products. Maybe if you’re too tired, you might prefer for only coffee. The cookies served with coffee were stale and tasteless. We were also surprised that there was no wi-fi in the pastry shop. We saw that this café, which we went without making any research, received low scores in the well known applications. The verified scores are important, please check before selecting a cafe.
Parma Public Park
As we approach the end time, to get fresh air, we pass through the Parma stream (Torrente Parma) and reach the public park (Parco Ducale), which has a small lake (Fontana del Trianon). People are running, walking and we get fresh air. In Europe, we always visit one of the most beautiful parks in the city where we visit, and even if possible, choose our hotel near it in order to start the day energetically. This place was one of the beautiful living areas to relax.
It’s time to leave. With beautiful memories, we leave from Parma to Bologna. Halfway down the road, we’re visiting the huge Eataly market at Esso, where we stop for a break on the A1 motorway. We buy variety of pastas we had not seen in Eataly Turkey. For those of you who are curious, we leave the Google maps link of this great market.
Parma is neither touristy nor very local, but it is obvious that it has its own charm. The fact that the university is located in the city center has brought a vibrant atmosphere to the city. We loved Parma very much with bikes in the middle of the street, adorned stores, narrow charming streets and delicious local foods. We also found the best tiramisu. We wish you a good trip in Parma.