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Parma & Piacenza

Getting there

By plane

Parma has a small airport, named for Giuseppe Verdi, (PMF) which is about 3km from the city centre. It is served by Ryanair, Fly One and Mistral Air, and can be reached by bus number 6 from the station every hour from 6:30 to 20:00.

By car

Take the A1 Milano-Bologna motorway and take the exit for Parma. From the A15 Parma-La Spezia take the Parma Ovest exit.

To get to Piacenza, take the A1 motorway from Milan and exit at Piacenza Sud or Piacenza Nord; from Turin take the A21 and exit at Piacenza Ovest; From the A21 motorway take the Piacenza Sud exit.

By train

Parma’s railway station is well-connected to most Italian cities and to the major European capitals. It is located on the Milan-Bologna, Turin-Bologna and Genoa-Bologna lines. Several Intercity and Eurostar trains go to Parma from Rome and Florence.

Getting around

On foot and by bike

The historic centre of Parma is a pedestrian precinct where you can conveniently get around on foot or rent a bike. The central streets in the centre of Piacenza (Via XX Settembre, Via Calzolai, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza Duomo, Piazza Cavalli) are also reserved for foot traffic twenty-four hours a day.

By car

The historic centres of both Parma and Piacenza are ZTLs (restricted traffic zones); there are paid car parks for leaving vehicles, which you’ll find you won’t need for getting around the city, but only for driving to other towns.

By bus

The urban and extra-urban transit service in Piacenza is operated by SETA. The company TEP operates in Parma.

When to go

Spring

There are numerous spring festivals, food festivals and markets to take part in. Spring is the perfect time to tour the Castles of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, and to explore the natural surroundings of the Trebbia Valley.

Summer

How about a dip in the Trebbia River after a bracing bike ride along breathtakingly beautiful routes? Piacenza’s historic centre comes alive every summer with itinerant events. In Parma, you’ll find outdoor films, concerts and local food festivals not to be missed.

Autumn

Autumn offers numerous food and wine events visitors can attend to taste the traditional products. Don’t miss the Giuseppe Verdi festival, with events in places in Parma and throughout the province.

Winter

The best way to fight the cold is to warm up with culture by visiting the Galleria d’Arte Moderna Ricci Oddi, the Duomo and Palazzo Farnese in Piacenza. And if you’re still cold, a nice hot dish of anolini in broth will be just the thing to warm you up!

What to bring

If you’re travelling in the winter, be prepared for harsh temperatures. Bring warm clothes with you: gloves and wool hats and scarves. It gets rather warm in the summer, though. Bring a swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the Trebbia River and a visit to the spa in Salsomaggiore. Comfortable shoes are a must, so you won’t have to miss any of the art and culture that Parma and Piacenza offer in the churches and museums. And you might want to leave space in your suitcase for any wine and food purchases.

Budget

Accommodation

In Parma the average price for a 3-star hotel is €65; for a 5-star hotel you’ll spend an average of €135.

In Piacenza, the price of a bed and breakfast starts from €40 per night, €60 in a 3-star hotel with breakfast included.

Food

In these cities of “gusto”, where the cuisine is simple and authentic, you’ll always eat well and enjoy excellent value for money. Prices in a trattoria will be around €15-25. In Inkiostro, Parma’s Michelin star restaurant, you’ll find prix fixe menus for €120; eating à la carte ranges from €75 to €140. The Michelin star restaurant La Palta in the countryside outside Piacenza is also worth a stop; you’ll spend between €45 and €80.

Getting around

A one-way SETA ticket valid for 75 minutes costs €1.30. A 12-trip ticket costs €15.

Local Cuisine

Anolini in broth</ strong>: This old recipe is originally from Piacenza but common in Parma as well, where the filled egg pasta rounds have the amusing nickname “salvagenti” or “galleggianti”, meaning life preservers. The dish is traditionally served at Christmas dinner. It is hearty, yet refined.

Trippa alla Parmigiana: A humble but definitely tasty dish of Parma tradition. It must be cooked very slowly, and is served with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Pìcula d’caval: This typical dish of Piacentine cuisine is made with horse meat. It is excellent with polenta and DOC Colli Piacentini Gutturnio red wine. Its origins can be traced to the city’s military tradition, which was the reason for the easy availability of horse meat.

Fun facts

Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, known as Parmigianino, one of the greatest Mannerist artists, was born in Parma, as was Arturo Toscanini, one of the greatest conductors of the twentieth century, as well as director Bernardo Bertolucci, director of successful films such as the sensual Last Tango in Paris. Giuseppe Verdi was born in the province of Parma, in Le Roncole, now known as Roncole Verdi.

Salsomaggiore has hosted the finals of thirty-nine editions of the Miss Italia national beauty contest.

Because of Parma’s extraordinary wealth of food and wine specialities, the European Union selected the city to be the headquarters of the European Food Safety Authority.

the 10 reasons to visit Parma & Piacenza

castello dell'arquato a bobbio
1

Visit the delightful medieval towns of Bobbio and Castell'Arquato, among the most beautiful in Italy

Salsomaggiore Terme Parma
2

Relax in the Salsomaggiore Terme spa, with its rejuvenating salso-bromo-iodic springs

Prosciutto Crudo Parma
3

Enjoy a Prosciutto di Parma sandwich and a glass of wine DOC Colli Piacentini Trebbianino Val Trebbia wine

Museo Parmigiano Reggiano musei gastronomici Parma
4

Take a tasty tour of the museums dedicated to Parma's food specialities

Archeologia Emilia Romagna Travo, neolitico
5

Dive into history with the archaeological finds from the excavations of Travo and Veleia

Parma affreschi di Correggio al Duomo
6

Gaze in amazement at Correggio's marvellous frescoes in Parma's Duomo

Shopping a Piacenza via Nazario Sauro
7

Go shopping in Via Nazario Sauro at the vintage shops and the monthly antique market

Cattedrale Piacenza affreschi del Guercino
8

Follow an artistic itinerary of Guercino's works in Piacenza

fegato etrusco museo di piacenza
9

Admire the Liver of Piacenza in the civic museum at Palazzo Farnese; this bronze artefact is the only object in the world that documents Etruscan religious practices

Credits Wikimedia commons
10

Take to the clear waters of the Trebbia River for sports or a swim

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