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2021 Italian Capital of Culture: Parma

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Parma

What makes a city in the Italian province, of just over 200,000 inhabitants, the Italian Capital of Culture 2020-2021?

Mainly its history, which sees it as the capital of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza for more than 400 years, as well as being the seat of one of the oldest universities in Europe, founded in the 11th century.

The imposing palaces, such as the huge monumental complex of the Palazzo della Pilotta and the Palazzo del Giardino, the vast gardens, squares and municipal and religious buildings, bring back to the splendor of the period in which it was the capital of the duchy.

Home to numerous theaters and libraries, as well as the birthplace of writers and great musicians, it was magnified by Stendhal in The Charterhouse of Parma and by Proust in Swann’s Way.

This dynamism, which influenced by historical events has made it a surprisingly modern city, has also led it to be the capital not only of Culture but also of the art of knowing how to live and above all of the agri-food sector.

The numerous outdoor restaurants and bars, which attract tourists all year round, offer some of the most famous and copied products of this territory in the world.

Parmigiano Reggiano, the King of Cheeses and symbol of the city, and Prosciutto di Parma, are products protected by their respective production protocols, which certify their origin and quality.

The sincere wines of the area, such as Lambrusco, accompany every occasion and every lunch.

Not for nothing Parma, in the heart of the Italian Food Valley, was also designed Unesco Creative City of Gastronomy in 2015.

The history of the Italian people has always been closely linked to culture, and for Italians, culture also means food culture, knowing how to eat well, enhancing typical and traditional products.

A trip to this magnificent city that can also be done through its products and wines, which with their aromas, their characteristic flavors and their uniqueness lead us to appreciate the ancient traditions, as well as the desire to live that this city expresses through its history, its culture and its surprising modernity.

Photo by Bernard Hermant, Nik’s