Hotel Farnese, Parma ****
Hotel Farnese is an excellent, modern hotel ideally situated for all major transport links and handy for Parma's trade-fair district. The historic city centre with its elegant architecture and rich history and culture, which radiates far beyond its city boundaries, is nearby and the cultural centres of Bologna, Piacenza and Cremona are close at hand. View hotel
Double rooms from €63
Hotel Tre Ville, Parma ***
The Hotel Tre Ville, Parma lies a few minutes from the historic center of town. This 3-star Parma hotel is near to the motorway tollgate and to the Exhibition or Fair area. This location, a crossroads since ancient times, is now the location for this comfortable and stylish modern hotel.... View hotel
Double rooms from €65
Parma is a small and manageable city, with the main thoroughfare of Via Mazzini/Strada della Repubblica a useful axis as it crosses the River Parma. Most of the sights are within striking distance of here. Check out the fine Romanesque Cathedral, on the Piazza Duomo with paintings by Correggio and Benedetto Antelami. There is the Palazzo del Governatore, with the Renaissance church of Santa Maria della Steccata, built by Bramante and modelled on the (original) plan for St Peter's Rome. Cross the river to the Casa di Toscanini, now a museum to the great conductor's life. There is Antelami's Baptistry, a confection of pink Verona marble, and the Monastery of St Paul, with frescoes by Araldi and Correggio.
One victim of the World War II aerial bombardment was the Palazzo della Pilotta, but it has been beautifully rebuilt to house the Palatine Library, the National Gallery, the Academy of Fine Arts with artists of the School of Parma, the Archaeological Museum, the Bodoni Museum and the Farnese Theatre. Other sights include the Teatro Regio, the Auditorium Niccolo Paganini, and the Palazzo Ducale, with the Parco Ducale around it.
You will find a surfeit of fine restaurants, though eating in Parma is not cheap. Recommendations include the Enoteca Fontana on Strada Farini, La Greppia on Via Garibaldi (pricey), and the Trattoria al Tribunale on Vivolo Politi (cheaper). And there is the opera of course. The people of Parma pride themselves as being as knowledgeable about their Rigoletto, Aida or Carmen as the Milanese or Veronese, and shaky performances at the Teatro Regio, on Via Garibaldi, are swiftly punished by the crowd. Fans of that other Italian passion, football (soccer), can go to see FC Parma at the Ennio Tardini stadium.