Ham, cheese, opera, history, and much, much more. Bellissima!
Another major Emilia Romagna city 98 kilometres (61 miles) northwest of Bologna, this urb of 150,000 inhabitants at the feet of the Appenine Mountains dates back to the Bronze Age, and today also can give Bologna a run for its money in terms of this region's culinary crown, with the jewels of said crown being its prosciutto cured ham as well as the famous cheese named for it. Food for the soul is amply provided, as well, as with its Teatro Farnese, the world's oldest opera house (not to mention that it gave the world the immortal composer Giuseppe Verdi). Its compact Old Town centres around the Piazza Duomo, whose cathedral includes a baptistery which is one of Italy's medieval glories and stars frescoes by 16th-century master Correggio. The best time to see it is sunset; when you view this, you'll understand why Parma is one of Italy's best kept secrets.