Best Things to See and Do in Parma, Italy: Castles, Museums, Wine Bars, and Stunning Countryside

Parma, Italy Isn’t Only Famous for Its Ham and Cheese, It’s Also Home to Beautiful Architecture and Centuries Old Churches and Palaces

Cassandra James Review , Yahoo! Contributor Network
Jan 11, 2011 “Share your voice on Yahoo! websites. Start Here.
Before I visited Parma, Italy, the only thing I knew about it was the ham my family and I ate on sandwiches. Famous for its ham, cheese and incredible cuisine, Parma is also known for its centuries-old churches, palaces and theaters and its 3,500 year history. Tourists flock to Parma to eat some of Italy’s best food, listen to world-class opera and, of course, to see Parma F. C. football matches. When my family and I were there, we did all of that and so much more.
Visit the Baptistery of Parma – If you enjoy beautiful and unique architecture, a visit to Parma isn’t complete without seeing the Baptistery of Parma – still considered one of the most important Medieval buildings in Europe.The Baptistery of Parma is a pink marble, octagonal-shaped building over 800 years old. Famous for its architecture, as well as its incredible frescoes and mythical animal statues, the Baptistery is home to paintings and sculptures by famous Italian artist, Benedetto Antelami, who was instrumental in designing the building. There’s a small entrance fee but it’s well worth the price.
The National Gallery – For art lovers, or those who appreciate history, the National Gallery should not be missed. It’s located on the second floor of the Pilotta Palace and is full of artwork from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The Pilotta Palace is quite stunning too.

Bardi Castle – There are several Medieval castles to visit in Parma, but Bardi Castle is one of the best. Its gorgeous location on top of a hill, looking out over a fairytale valley makes you realize what these amazing buildings were actually used for – protection and security. At Bardi Castle, which is still in superb condition, you can tour the castle and learn about how people actually lived, see the rooms they ate in, danced in, worked in. There’s also a lovely garden and don’t miss the small museum.

Drink Wine at a Parma Wine Bar – Famous for its food and drink, you have to spend time at a Parma Wine Bar. Not only do you get to enjoy a superb local wine, but the farm-style food many of the bars offer is inexpensive yet very tasty. We spent several nights sitting at one or more wine bars, as they’re a superb place to people watch, soak up the atmosphere and see what life in an Italian town is all about. You’ll find the best wine bars around Via Farini and Via Gramsci.

Visit Parma’s Beautiful Countryside – Parma is known throughout Europe for its lovely countryside, so don’t miss venturing out into it when you’re there. We hired horses one day at a local stable and took a short pony trek through the area, stopping off for lunch at a local cafe, drinking wine and eating farm-made sandwiches. Unbelievable. You can also hike, cycle, mountain bike or just take a leisurely stroll. It’s all accessible within a few minutes of Parma city limits. Your hotel reception can tell you the best places to see.

More Information:
Baptistery of Parma

The National Gallery website
Bardi Castle – the site is in Italian, but the video shows just how beautiful Bardi Castle and the surrounding area is
Parma Tourism

Parma Food n Wine tours, Best Tour in Parma
Parma Food n Wine tours

Delicious Delicious Delicious Italy!! – welcome to Food n Wine tours Balsamico, Parmesan and Parma Ham tours

TRULY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL Parma tour – with Food n Walk Tour bookings manager Nick

Angelo and Nick serve up a great day in the Food Valley

Welcome to real Italy … 

 

Angelo, Parma’s much mooted tour guide will ease you around this beautiful Italian gourmet food tour.

Food n Walk Tours Parma consist of superior quality self drive guided visits, to the production sites of some of Italy’s most famous DOP food products such as Prosciutto di Parma Ham, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese as well as breathtaking strolls through Traditional Balsamic Vinegar studios of Reggio and Modena.

 

THE BEST PARMIGIANO REGGIANO CHEESE TOUR

Parma FWT Parmigiano Reggiano cheese factory visit. Visiting a “Caseificio” is like going back in time. The “King of the cheeses” actually has very old origins and today, like 7 centuries ago, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is still made following the same traditional and genuine methods. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is protected by the European Union and can only be produced in a restricted area, the so called “zona tipica”, which includes the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and a part of Bologna (left of the Reno river) and Mantova (right of the Po river). It takes about 2 hours to see the whole production, preferably early in the morning.
 
 
parma ham parma golosa
 

 


NEW Budget Tour – with Profile


 Streamline tour!  Same places as 3 Kings – simple lunch stop UBuy – lean prices!!!

COUPLES BUDGET BEATER TOUR!!!  a new optional Food n Walk Tour!

A budget tour taking in Parmigiano Reggiano Parma Ham Balsamico with a picnic lunch atop a mountain vista!!!

84.00 per person!!! SEPTEMBER OFFER (for tours booked after Sept 1 2012) – Couples Only – inc Balsamico tour n taste, Parmigiano tour n tasting, Parma ham tour n picnic…

The Best Pricepoint Food Tour in Parma!

torrechiara langhirano parma1

Torrechiara Castle Parma – Photo call in the heart of our Food Valley Golosi tour day

The BB day tour

Profile 

1. Parmigiano Reggiano – visit a small family producer
2. Parma ham – one of Parma’s leading Prosciutto makers
3. Balsamico Tradizionale – dropping in on a regal estate and truly artisan maker

Light Lunch is your call – not included in the tour total

Balsamico Vintage tastings 6.00 per person

Scenic Drive n Picnic or Light Lunch (you choose on the day in our langhirano Deli Cafe – )

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PARMIGIANO REGGIANO

Your FWT day starts with an incredible visit to one of the most revered makers of the famous Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

COOKING
SALTING
AGEING

How they test the cheese

LIFTING THE CHEESE

TASTINGS
You will be amazed when you enter the cooking room to watch behind the scenes, the master and his family, cooking, separating the rich whey and lifting this magnificent DOP product.

Cheese Tour starts 9am (duration 2 hrs)

Food preparation takes place 365 days per annum. Non-slip footwear is advised – thong flip-flops are not suitable as some floor areas are wet.

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PROSCIUTTO DI PARMA

…Langhirano Parma Ham 100% natural, it’s in the air!

SCENIC DRIVE
SALTING
CURING
AGEING
BRANDING ROOMS
RESERVE ROOM

It is the along these Apennine foothills that conspire to create the unique conditions necessary to cure only genuine Parma Ham.

They say just salt, air and time is needed…

Please Note: most days the Prosciutto workshop is a buzz with activity – On weekends this may not be the case. We have access to the factory and will see all the processes for the gourmet Parma Ham.

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PICNIC

Choose from our delicious local quality gastrononia Cafe a selection of food as we head into the hills for our Ham Tour.

If it’s raining or a tad cool, we’ll choose to stay in the cafe.

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Balsamico Tradizionale Tour

SCENIC DRIVE
PHOTO SHOOTS
IN THE LOFTS
3 AGES TASTINGS – 6.00 euros per person
(Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia)

First mentioned in historical writings in 1046 (da Piacenza), Balsamico is a real elixir for all Gourmet lovers, chefs or slow food fans.

Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale it is produced solely from the finest grapes and never from soured wine vinegar like its Modenese industrial counterpart.

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PRICES (in euros)  84.00 per person
Tour Starts
8.45am finishes around 3.00pm

MEETING POINTS – Bar Gianni

We can come to you at your Parma Hotel or meet at the 3 Kings meeting point

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SELF DRIVE PRICES

89.00 euros per person min 2 ppl

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TASTING OPTIONS

Balsamico 3 ages tastings – Red, Silver and Gold vintages

6.00 euro per person

Special diet requirements can be catered for… Just let us know prior to booking.

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LUXURY DRIVING OPTIONS      

4 people 280.00

Mini bus 360.00

For special tour request please just ask.

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FWT Links – Click image for magical food days article


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