Centro storico di Parma
Centro storico di Parma is part of the Tentative list of Italy in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
The Centro Storico di Parma ("historic centre of Parma") is a city located in the Po Valley, first founded a Roman colony. At its heart lies its Romanesque Cathedral, one of most significant achievements of Romanesque architecture in the Po Valley, later decorated with celebrated frescoes by Correggio. Alongside the cathedral stands the pink and white marbled Baptistery, whose external decorations are the most significant Italian Romanesque sculptures.
Map of Centro storico di ParmaLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
Prior to my visit to Parma, I heart already about the ensemble of Tower, Baptistery and Duomo with Romanesque façade and Baroque decoration of the dome by Corregio, and, of course, about prosciutto crudo and parmiggiano reggiano… So, I was very curious. Eventualy, I was slightly disappointed by what I have seen in Parma (but definitely not by what I ate there…)
It is true that the highlight of Parma is the ensemble of Duomo with Bell Tower and Baptistery (PHOTO). The latter is really masterpiece - especially interior. The cathedral has the west façade comparable to churches in Pavia or Arezzo. Its shape is quite special: it has three apses, which are not parallel to each other but perpendicular - as seen also in Pisa. The bell tower reminds me S Zeno in Verona. Almost every inch of interior is covered by Baroque frescoes (go also to nearby S Giovanni Evangelista to see something comparable!) with the focus point in the dome with famous Assumption of the Virgin (I must frankly say that I expected that it would be more spectacular…)
But the rest of town lacks something that would make the historical center really exceptional. The frame of streets is compact and quite big, but besides few other large churches and Galleria Nazionale there is nothing that would compete with the ensemble seen in Piazza del Duomo. There are better examples of historical towns in Emilia such as (already WHS) Ferrara or even Bologna. The Duomo with Baptistery has also no chance to be inscribed, because this is already well represented even in Italy such as Pisa, Florence, Siena, etc.
Parma is a gem of a city. Culture, history, gastronomy. Bliss! However, you have to draw a line somewhere. Italy's WHS make up almost 5% of the total list! The Baptistry and the Duomo's steeple are my personal highlights (apart from the several trattorie serving local cheeses and cold cuts).
Includes former TWHS Baptistery of Parma
2006 Added to Tentative List
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