To begin our first full day in Parma, the group took a guided walking tour through the historic city center, visiting a few of its most spectacular churches and cathedrals. We couldn’t have asked for a prettier day; it was gorgeous!
This is the ceiling of the first church we stopped at:
(For all pictures, click on the image to see full screen view.)
Continuing on, we arrived at the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, a Benedictine complex founded between 980 and 988. This church was built between 1490 and 1519. From top to bottom, this church was stunning!
Next, we toured the Parma Cathedral, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which dates back to 1059. Between the architecture and stone sculptures of Benedetto Atelami and the gorgeous frescoes, I was amazed at the meticulous artistic detail.
We concluded our tour of the Benedictine complex at the Baptistery, which was constructed between 1196 and 1302.
The following are scenes captured as we wrapped up our tour with the local guide, and then continued on with Oscar and two others from the group to see more of Parma:
Our group dinner that night was at Sorelle Pichi, a memorable restaurant with great atmosphere, delicious cuisine, and some tasty lambrusco and malvasia wine. It is also where Oscar, Bruce, and I discovered the crazy coincidence of having met the same jazz guitarist, Richard Smith—the story I told in the “Italy #2” post. We had a lot of laughs that night, so this is a place I will remember fondly.
Coming up next: ITALY #6: PARMA HAM & THE PO RIVER