A trip as a couple to the ducal city, capital of the Food Valley, is a perfect declaration of love for life, beauty and pleasure. The feast of lovers is the perfect opportunity to visit the Capital of culture 2020 and Creative City for UNESCO Gastronomy, taking advantage of the new fast railway connection: Parma is a trove of treasures and experiences just 48 minutes from Milan.
Just 48 minutes by train from Milan there is a “little Paris” – as its inhabitants like to call it – made of ancient palaces, Versailles-style gardens, boutiques, theaters and works of art: Parma is a perfect destination for Valentine’s Day, thanks to its romantic atmosphere and ideal dimensions. So much beauty is concentrated in a few kilometers to turn on foot or by bicycle, following inspiration.
Thanks to the new Frecciargento Etr-700 connections, which take advantage of the possibility of deviating on the high-speed line, you can go from the skyscrapers of the Lombard capital to the romantic villages and colorful streets of Parma in just 48 minutes.
After all, the chocolates end, the flowers wither, but the memories remain forever. A day or a weekend in the Italian capital of culture 2020 – and Creative City for UNESCO Gastronomy – is a truly memorable gift. There are many “excuses” for a short and intense escape for two: for example, the new Time Machine exhibition, inaugurated on the occasion of Parma 2020 and open until May 3 in the Governor’s Palace. As many as 25 rooms design an immersive path dedicated to cinematic time, including loops, stop motion, time-lapse, video editing. A journey that begins the day after the invention of the cinématographe of the Lumière brothers and continues up to the possibilities offered by machine learning and neural networks, passing through world-renowned artists and photographers.
The Governor’s Palace, home to the exhibition, is an excellent starting point for exploring Parma, perhaps relying on a local tourist guide.
The Parma City Tour is the new itinerary that allows you to discover, on foot, in two hours, everything that makes the city unique. It starts from Piazza Garibaldi, the heart of the historic center, on a walk that touches the main places of the city from the outside and also includes the entrances to the Duomo and the Baptistery.
Among the beauties of Parma then the frescoes of Correggio and Parmigianino, in the Monastery of San Paolo and in the Abbey of San Giovanni, in the Cathedral and in the Magistral Church of the Steccata. The shopping streets, Via Cavour, the lively Strada Farini, the seventeenth-century buildings of Strada Repubblica branch off. The Palazzo della Pilotta, which houses the art treasures of the National Gallery, is a monumental access to the romantic Ponte Verdi, which leads to the gate of the gardens of the Ducal Palace, among sculptures and ancient trees. Still on the “Left Bank”, there is the most bohemian neighborhood, the Oltretorrente, with its nightlife. Returning to the other side of the river, you come across the Cittadella, the pentagonal-shaped fortress which is now a public garden, with cycle paths: a green lung for the whole city. And again, museums, theaters (the Regio and the Farnese), exhibitions, monuments.
Food and love: restaurants and stays for two in the center
The romantic atmosphere of Parma can also be felt in the best restaurants, hotels and B & Bs in the historic center: for example in La Filoma, a seventeenth-century building a few meters from the Baptistery and the Duomo. Three small rooms, one in golden yellow brocade, one in green and one more intimate, red, brocades, damask napkins, refined cutlery accompany the traditional dishes prepared at the moment, reinvented with a “slow” spirit that re-elaborates precious raw materials, for example the flours. La Forchetta is also located in a nice place in the center, in the Duomo area: the director, in the kitchen, is a young Sicilian chef, Angelo Cammarata, who on the menu knows how to alternate traditional local dishes with proposals for gourmet fish, recounting the his land through flavors. The selection dedicated to pastry is also interesting.
L’Angiol d’Or takes its name from the statue that watches over Parma from the top of the bell tower of the Duomo: here an enthusiastic, young and close-knit team offers Parmesan recipes associated with a small but very good and well-stocked cellar. A lovely veranda opens the view to the most scenic square in the city. With a more contemporary atmosphere, Parizzi, a historic starred restaurant owned by the family of the same name. The current manager, Marco Parizzi, has transformed the restaurant into a minimalist and design key, supported by his wife, a refined sommelier. Next to the main room there is the “chef table”, a more intimate space for special culinary experiences.
Those who want to extend their stay to fully enjoy the beauty of the city can find hospitality in extremely suggestive places. The Terrazza sul Duomo announces it starting from the name: this b & b is in an excellent position, overlooking the Cathedral, the Abbey of San Giovanni and the Baptistery. Three double bedrooms, housed in a historic house, in the ‘700 style, with period furniture and exposed beams. In addition to catering, the aforementioned Angiol d’Or also deals with hospitality, and rents two apartments for those who want to live in the heart of Parma, between a breakfast overlooking the Duomo and a visit to the museums. Particularly noteworthy is the Il Balcone apartment, with its panoramic windows. In the center we also find the b & b Al Battistero d’Oro. access, you go through a valuable and silent internal courtyard. Beamed ceilings, terracotta floors and refined furnishings, a family legacy for generations, frame an atmosphere of times gone by. Among his proposals there is also an apartment in a seventeenth-century building. A Parma Duomo is equally strategically located in Strada Sant’Anna: its flagship is the spacious hall with frescoed ceiling, recently restored. The b & b also offers a booking service for restaurants and theaters, reservations for food and wine tours, a tourist guide and personal shopper.