Parma (province) Travel Guide

Explore the culturally rich and naturally scenic Parma (Province) of Italy with this comprehensive travel guide. From the best places to visit, to hiking and biking routes, food and drink scene, local culture, and much more, plan your itinerary minus worries.

Parma (province), situated in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northeast Italy, is a paradise for travelers looking to immerse themselves in Italian culture, cuisine, and history. With its ancient ruins, stunning countryside landscapes, and famous food and wine, Parma is an ideal destination for a fulfilling vacation.

In this comprehensive travel guide, we have highlighted the best places to visit, the top hiking and biking routes, the best culinary experiences, the local culture, and customs, and much more.

Introduction to Parma (Province)

Parma is a beautiful province located in the heart of Italy, and is well-known for its natural beauty, excellent cuisine, and rich artistic heritage. The province is home to several small towns, historic landmarks, and scenic vistas, making it an ideal destination for all kinds of travelers.

With a sparsely populated countryside honored with olive groves, vineyards, and farmhouses, Parma is incredibly picturesque. The charming small towns, ancient forts, and historic architecture tell tales of its glorious past and give you an immersive experience of the province’s history.

List of Places to Visit in Parma (Province)

No travel guide to Parma is complete without a list of must-visit places. Here are some of the top destinations in Parma (province):

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Rocca dei Rossi: This castle is located in the town of San Secondo and dates back to the 13th century.
  2. Teatro Regio: The Teatro Regio is an opera house located in the city of Parma, which is known for its acoustic perfectness and stunning architecture.
  3. Museo Glauco Lombardi: The Museum houses a collection of age-old artifacts from the province.
  4. Palazzo della Pilotta: This palace was built-in the late 16th century, and inside, it houses the Farnese Theater and the National Art Gallery.

Natural Attractions of Parma (Province): Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Parco Regionale dei Boschi di Carrega: An enormous regional park ideal for hiking, biking, and day trips.
  2. Fidenza village and surrounding Hills: Get lost in its rustic charm with its old-world architecture and landscapes.
  3. Torrente Parma: Torne river presents an ideal spot for kayaking, fishing, and enjoying a lazy picnic.
  4. Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park: It is a UNESCO world heritage site with beautiful mountainous scenery and several hiking trails that promise a breathtaking view.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Parma (Province)

One of the reasons travelers flock to Parma is to enjoy its picturesque and rustic natural beauty. Here are the best hiking and biking routes in Parma (province):

  1. Parco Fluviale Regionale del Taro: A popular trail that attracts bikers and hikers due to its stunning scenic beauty and accessibility.
  2. La Via degli Abati: A longer hiking trail that cuts through multiple small towns within the province.
  3. Parco Regionale dei Boschi di Carrega: The perfect place to enjoy a moderate hike with natural surroundings and scenic views.

Best Things to Do in Parma (Province): Activities and Tours

There are many exciting activities and tours to indulge in when visiting Parma (province). Here are some of the best things to do:

  1. Wine tasting and vineyard tours: Parma is known for its production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and wine. Explore the beautiful vineyards and wineries, and taste Italy’s world-famous wines.
  2. Parma Food Tours: Explore local markets and restaurants and experience an authentic culinary explosion with mouth-watering local cuisine.
  3. Cooking courses: Learn how to make traditional Italian dishes and local specialties from the region’s best chefs and cooking schools.
  4. Hot air balloon ride: A unique and romantic way to experience the region’s beauty from above. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the views.

Week-Long Itinerary for Parma (Province)

To get the most out of your stay in Parma (province), we have put together this week-long itinerary:

Day 1: Explore the charming town of Fidenza and enjoy its natural beauty and architecture.

Day 2: Visit the historic center of Parma, which houses the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Teatro Regio, the city’s opera house.

Day 3: Take a hiking or walking tour in Parco Fluviale Regionale del Taro.

Day 4: Visit the Museo Glauco Lombardi, housed in the Palazzo del Governatore in Parma.

Day 5: Take a winery tour, wine tasting, and indulge in the region’s famous cuisine.

Day 6: Visit the Appennino Tosco-Emiliano National Park.

Day 7: Spend your last day cycling through the vineyards and enjoy a peaceful picnic while taking in the stunning countryside scenery.

Food and Drink Scene of Parma (Province)

No travel guide to Parma is complete without delving into the region’s food and drink scene. Here are the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Parmigiano Reggiano: This world-famous cheese is one of the most popular dishes from the region.
  2. Prosciutto di Parma: This cured ham is a delicacy and an integral part of Italian cuisine.
  3. Tortelli d’erba: A traditional local pasta, typically served with butter, sage, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
  4. Cotechino di Modena: A traditional cured pork sausage.

Local Beverages

  1. Lambrusco Wine: A sparkling red wine, originating from the Emilia-Romagna region, and perfect for pairing with cured meats and cheese.
  2. Malvasia di Candia Aromatica: Aromatic white wine with sweet flavors, perfect for a summer day.
  3. Nocino: a traditional digestive liquor made of walnuts and several herbs and spices, celebrated worldwide for its unique aroma and taste.

Where to Stay in Parma (Province): Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Parma (province) has a wide range of accommodation options, with excellent hotels, hostels, and guesthouses to choose from.

  1. Hotel Verdi: A luxurious hotel in the center of Parma, close to all the major attractions.
  2. NH Parma: A modern and comfortable hotel with excellent service and amenities.
  3. Agriturismo La Fattoria: A charming farmhouse in the heart of the countryside, ideal for a relaxed holiday.

What to Buy in Parma (Province): Souvenirs, and Local Products to Bring Home

Here are some of the best souvenirs and local products to bring home from your trip to Parma:

  1. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: One of the most famous local products.
  2. Prosciutto di Parma: A delicacy for meat lovers.
  3. Balsamic Vinegar: Vinegar originating from Modena, and perfect for dressing salads, vegetables, and meats.
  4. Local wines: A bottle of Lambrusco wine will make for an excellent gift to take home.

Local Culture and Customs of Parma (Province)

Parma is known for its festivals, traditions, and customs. Here are some of the cultural activities to indulge in:

  1. Food Festivals: This region hosts several culinary festivals, such as the Festival del Prosciutto di Parma and the Festa di San Giovanni.
  2. The Strada del Culatello: A famous culinary road where Culatello di Zibello and other fine cured meats are made and sold.
  3. Carnivals: February is the month to celebrate carnevale, and Parma puts up one of the biggest in Europe - The Parade of the Masquerades.

Best Time to Visit Parma (Province)

The best time to visit Parma is during the Spring (April-June) and Autumn (September-November) seasons, when the weather is milder and less crowded than the Summer months.

Do’s and Don’ts of Parma (Province)

Here are some things to consider for a smooth travel experience:


  1. Try local delicacies.
  2. Get a local guide to get a more immersive experience and learn about local history and culture.
  3. Respect local customs and traditions.


  1. Be disrespectful to locals and customs.
  2. Expect to find a booming nightlife like in Milan or Rome, as Parma is more laid-back and relaxed.

Safety and Health

Safety in Parma (Province)

Like any other region in Italy, Parma is generally safe for Travelers. However, it is important to keep your valuables safe and secure to avoid pickpocketing and theft.

Health in Parma (Province)

The quality of the province’s healthcare is excellent, with several hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in the region.

Getting to Parma (Province): Transportation Options and Logistics

Parma is easily accessible by road, rail, and air. Here are the transportation options available:

Airports Near Parma (Province)

The nearest airport to Parma is the Parma International Airport, which has connections to major cities in Europe.

Bus Stations Near Parma (Province)

The central bus station in Parma is the Autostazione di Parma, located near the train station.

Other Options

If you are traveling from other regions in Italy, you can always take the train. Parma has excellent rail connections to popular cities like Milan, Florence, and Bologna.

How to Get Around in Parma (Province)

The most convenient and economical way to travel around Parma is by car as public transport coverage is limited. Bikes are also a good option, and you can rent them easily in the city center.

Where to Go Next from Parma (Province): Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Parma is conveniently located, and there are several nearby destinations within an hour’s drive worth exploring.

  1. Modena: about 40 minutes by car from Parma, and famous for its balsamic vinegar and beautiful countryside.
  2. Bologna: Just over an hour’s drive from Parma and known as one of the gastronomic centers of Italy.
  3. Cinque Terre: A beautiful national park famous for its five seaside towns on the Ligurian coast.


Parma (province) has something for everyone, from natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes to fascinating history and delicious cuisine. Explore this charming destination, and you won’t be disappointed. With this comprehensive guide, plan your itinerary with ease and get ready to fall in love with Parma!