Contemporary architecture by day, ancient ways by night
If you wish to stay in a central location in Parma, choose the Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati, an ancient home now converted into seven suites overlooking the cathedral square with views of the baptistery and the bishop's palace. With the added prestige of the “Tcafè” lounge where visitors can enjoy light meals, buy half-price books and visit contemporary art exhibitions. Alternatively, outside the city is the Locanda del Lupo di Soragna, where the music of Giuseppe Verdi is in the air and in everything you touch. The Relais Fontevivo, 20 kilometres from Parma, is an ancient Cistercian abbey with its basic floor plan still intact, with 17 rooms in what were originally the monks cells.
For visitors who enjoy having a wellness centre at their disposal, the right place is the Relais de Charme Tabiano Castello, offering a natural cave, a hammam, a sauna, an emotional bath and the spa waters of Tabiano only a few kilometres away. Visitors wanting to enjoy a meal surrounded by the atmosphere of the Middle Ages ought to stop at the 'Antica Corte Pallavicina Relais in Polesine Parmense. The castellan Massimo Spigaroli is the true king of "culatello", and takes his guests to see the ancient cellars where thousands of “strolghini” hams, traditional salami and coppe are hung up to cure. Spending a night or enjoying a meal in the area around the city of Parma with its charm of days gone by is the best way to prepare yourself for our architecture and design itinerary in the city.
The first stop is Paganini Auditorium, in the old Eridania sugar factory converted by Renzo Piano.
The project is part of an urban redevelopment programme offering an innovative example of conversion of industrial archaeology into a place to enjoy music or a stroll in the park. You can even sunbathe in your bathing suit in the park. To stick with the theme of music, stop at the Casa della Musica built in 2002 on the initiative of the City of Parma between the walls of fifteenth-century Palazzo Cusani. An important centre of musical education and promotion, the Casa della Musica hosts a series of concerts. But the true attraction for young people is Piazzale della Pace, recently transformed into a green area bounded by the austere Palazzo della Pilotta. The redevelopment project was entrusted to architect Mario Botta, who redesigned the space with a large lawn, trees and a fountain and pool reflecting the ancient buildings.
The project implemented in Piazza Ghiaia, initially planned by Paolo Portoghesi, is highly controversial. Piazza Ghiaia has been the site of Parmaâ€™s market since the sixteenth century, particularly the slaughterhouse and butchersâ€™ market, a traditional focus of the city's commercial and social life.
The redevelopment project entrusted to Portoghesi was intended to preserve the identity and role of this place in the city, which had gradually been lost due to the diminished importance of neighbourhood life. The final project, due to be inaugurated by the end of this year, includes shops on the first floor and a roof over the square so that it can be used year round. The new project departs from Portoghesi's original project in that the roof of the market is a sail-like glass structure supported by a series of pillars. Drawing our inspiration from the covered market, we continue our itinerary through the many places to eat and drink in the city of Parma. We highly recommend Trattoria Rangon in Via Borgo delle Colonne, a merry family-run restaurant offering high quality food and 120 different wines. The city's nightlife centres around Via Farini. Among the many bars on the street, the Tabarro merits special attention for its aperitifs and small selection of hot meals.
At Le Malve the focus is on the “lighting”. Coloured leds create an intimate atmosphere, while blades of light define the division of space inside the bar. A historic bar is Enoteca Fontana, offering an excellent price to quality ratio with its delicious sandwiches made with various cured meats and cheeses.
Parma is a city built on a human scale, ranked as the first of the top ten sustainable cities in Italy by Il Sole 24 Ore.