Known throughout the world for its very famous Parmigiano Reggiano and cured ham, Parma is also famous for its music. As the birth place of Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini, it is also the proud home of the Teatro Reale (Theatre Royal), commissioned by Marie-Louise of Austria, and the modern Auditorium of Renzo Piano, both of which are temples of lyrical music in particular. Look a little deeper into its history, though, and you'll find that Parma has also been a hub of architecture and figurative art. Facing one another on the same square you'll find the baptistery, an octagonal building designed by Benedetto Antelami, and the cathedral dating back to 1059, whilst the Roman-style church is particularly well-known for the frescoes in its dome. Indeed, between 1526 and 1530, Correggio painted the Assumption of the Virgin Mary here, a jubilation of clouds, angels and archangels which rose up towards the light creating a stunning perspective. The National Gallery collection, inside the Palazzo della Pilotta, meanwhile, is home to some major works including paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Tintoretto, Correggio and Fra Angelico.
Surface area : 22123.0 km2
Population : 3983346 inhabitants