PARMA CITY TOUR, 07 September 2019
15:00 Meeting with the guide in front of the Conference Venue
(Department of Economics and Management in Kennedy street 6, 43125 Parma in front of the “Nuovo Polo Didattico”, University of Parma)
- The guided tour of Parma, beautiful town built on the ancient route of the Via Emilia and crucial junction during the Middle Ages, starts with an itinerary into the heart of this elegant capital. The old town centre of Parma is still livable and it can be pleasantly walked across. It’s hard not to be fascinated by the elegance of its churches, squares and buildings, which evoke its ancient splendour, and the innate passion for food, wine, music and opera which is in the air. There are many surprises that this tour has in store for the curious visitor!
Visit to the Ducal Palace (outside) in the Ducal Park of Parma. Parma is a small city but very rich in history, with many important monumental evidences such as those relating to the ducal period. The creation of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, founded by Pope Paul III of the Farnese Family, dates back to 1545. The city of Parma was the capital city of the Duchy for three centuries, despite various vicissitudes, wars and dynastical successions. Built during the second half of the 16Th century at the bidding of the Farnese Family and conceived as the entertainment ground for the court, the Ducal Palace is surrounded by a great park, which was originally characterized by woods of different kind of plants, fishponds, a labyrinth, and a small zoo but was radically transformed during the second half of the 18th century according to French taste. The tree-lined avenues are nowadays embellished by statues by Jean Baptiste Boudard (1710-1768), ducal sculptor of the Bourbon Family since 1749, and by the great Trianon Fountain by Giuliano Mozzani (1712-19), which imitates the French model by Mansart.
Visit to the Pilotta Palace. Conceived as a Palace of facilities serving to complete the Ducal Palace, it is a vast complex of buildings, the construction of which involved a number of architects in different periods, which still bears witness to the Farnese family wish to boast its grandeur and power. During the Farnese duchy the rooms on the west and east sides were used as Library and Gallery of Antiquities. Philip of Bourbon’s Prime minister Guillaume Leon Du Tillot extended the cultural use of the palace by creating the Academy of Art (1752), The Archeological Museum destined to house finds from excavations of Velleia (1760) and a large Library (1761) open to the public in 1769. These art collections formed the core of the major institutions that grew up in the first half of the 19th century and are still housed in the building: The National Gallery (1822), The National Archeological Museum, the Royal Library (1834).
Visit to the Farnese Theatre. Constructed in what used to be the large armory room in the Pilotta Palace, the theatre was built and decorated between 1617 and 1619. It is considered the prototype of modern theatres, a turning point between classical Renaissance culture and the culture of baroque fantasy. It was opened on 21st December 1628 with a mythological performance entitled “Mercurio e Marte”, set to the music of Claudio Monteverdi.
The tour continues with a visit to the National Gallery of Parma, to admire the masterpieces of the great masters of Parma (Correggio and Parmigianino), the works of the Academy of Fine Arts and the famous portrait of Marie Louise in the guise of the Greek Goddes of the Concord made by Antonio Canova, the works of the Antelami’s workshop, the medieval Tuscan altarpieces bought by the Bourbons in the late 18th Century, the works of the Bolognese and Venetian artists, such as Francia and Cima da Conegliano, arrived in Parma in the early 16th Century, and Leonardo da Vinci’s famous sketch “La Scapigliata” . The North wing of the National Gallery, corresponding to the premises of the old barns of the palace, restored in the early ’90s and characterized by fascinating scaffolding designed by Guido Canali, houses the works of artists of the 16th Century Parma such as Gerolamo Mazzola Bedoli and Jacopo Bertoja and masterpieces by Carracci, Bartolomeo Schedoni, Lanfranco, Ricci, Tiepolo, Piazzetta and Canaletto.
Walk through the historical center of Parma. The route takes us to the Church of Santa Maria della Steccata, a splendid example of Renaissance architecture, built to house a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary feeding the child, originally painted on the facade of a small house, which contains valuable works of the parmesan school and the masterpiece of Parmigianino’s maturity.
The tour continues with a walk through the historic centre to reach Piazza Garibaldi, also known as Piazza del Comune or Piazza Grande, corresponding in part to the ancient Roman forum chosen later as the seat of municipal power, which still represents the centre of the city life today, overlooked by beautiful buildings such as the Captain’s Palace, the Town Hall and the Governor’s Palace, and also shops, restaurants and cafes which have earned the town the title of “UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy”.
Visit to the Cathedral Square (Piazza Duomo) with the Cathedral. The Cathedral, one of the most outstanding Romanesque works of art, houses an important work of Benedetto Antelami: the precious marble slab with the Deposition of Christ from the Cross, now walled in the right transept of the church. The interior is embellished by a great cycle of 16th century frescoes, that culminates in the dome frescoed by Correggio with the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, one of the masterpieces of early Sixteenth Century Italian Painting, from which the new decorative campaign of the church began.
18:00 End of service.
Michelle Valeria Costa
Artemilia Società Cooperativa
Strada del Conservatorio, 2 – 43121 Parma – Italy
CellPhone: + 39 348 4559176
Numero REA: PR – 265769