A couple days before I left Italy, I decided to take advantage of the nice weather, and the end of my finals, and spend an afternoon exploring nearby Parma - somewhere I had wanted to visit since January but never had the right opportunity. I went by myself, but I got out of the house early and came back in the mid-afternoon, so I still had the rest of the day to hang out with my friends. Here are some of the pics from my day:
The 12th century Romanesque Duomo of Parma and the famous baptistery on the right. At center is the bell tower in scaffolding.
On the inside of the cathedral, there are several paintings by the famous Renaissance painter Parmigianino, and most notably, the frescoed ceiling of the dome: the Assumption by Correggio:
After walking around the center of the city for a while, I crossed the river and headed towards the Versailles-inspired Ducal Gardens, site of the Ducal Palace of Parma, below. Parma was ruled by the French for a long period of history, and the French influence has hung around the city in a variety of ways.
Other places I visited in Parma were the Teatro Regio, the opera house devoted to the opera of Parma's own Giuseppe Verdi, and the cemetery where Niccolo' Paganini is buried. My summation of Parma is that it is a charming little city packed full of art, history, good food, and old buildings. Below you can see the lovely torrente, or stream, that splits Parma in two: