In this blog post I deal with a town, which has seduced me at the point that I have thought that it could be one of the best places where to live for its artistic abundance and tranquility: Parma.
Being so rich, for this time I will talk about the most representative area of this town, i.e. Piazza Duomo with the Cathedral and the Baptistery.
This beautiful monument built in pink marble dates back the 13th century and is one of the most important of Italian Medieval buildings. Nice, isn’t it? I heard from some inhabitants of Parma that it is not worthy to pay to enter here, because there is nothing inside. There is nothing if you have not eyes and heart to appreciate the genius and the hand of the artist who produced such a marvel! Both outside and inside, the Baptistery is so rich in details that you hardly know where to look to contemplate its beauty completely. Without losing your sight in the deed, I suggest to look at it as a whole as you approach to it and look carefully at Antelami’s lunettes over its four portals.
After a ring around the Baptistery, go inside! The receptionist has been really kind with me, giving even some books with the explanations of the frescos inside.
Looking at them, I was literally out of breath. If you like art, take a seat and enjoy this splendor. Inside, it is a whole fresco, divided vertically in 16 parts and horizontally in 5 bands. Each band represents a particular religious theme. So, to be clear, it is definitively worthy!
The Diocesan Museum
|Angel Raphael in the diocesan Museum|
The ticket for the Baptistery also included a visit in the museum in front of it. Here, you can find the reproductions of the frescos in the Baptistery, so you can see all the details. Besides, there are evidences of Etruscan period.
Here another place where you cannot avoid to look up all the time. Like the Baptistery, this one is entirely decorated with frescos either and, at least for me, it is exciting to see live works of art that I have always seen only in art books. This architectural beauty makes Piazza Duomo one of the most beautiful places of Italy. Unfortunately, when I visited it restoration work was in progress because of the damages of the last earthquake. A detail of the bell tower next to the Cathedral: Angel Raphael on the top is movable, it turns with wind! Now there is a copy, but you can see the original in the Diocesan Museum.
Once inside, I suggest to walk through the aisles towards the presbytery (always obviously looking up) and under the dome you will find a fresco that could be familiar to you: Correggio’s Assunzione della Vergine al Cielo. Believe me if I say that I passed an hour here. The good thing is that you can visit this church independently from Masses, because they are celebrated in an underground crypt.
These monuments have been the first I saw once I arrived in Parma. I have a beautiful memory of this town, which day by day became less unknown.