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If you enjoy your cheese, ham and wine full of flavour, your fashion smart, your streets old and cobbled and your architecture dramatic then Parma is your kinda town. Most of Parma's highlights are within a leisured walking distance of the centre of town, with just a little more effort required to reach the attractions on the far side of the river. This is where you'll find several of the best places to stay in Parma. You'll find cycling is popular, so join in if you fancy. Otherwise just admire the attitude of folk who'll cycle in Prada.
Parma has real Italian style, in summer the air wafts with classical music - this is Verdi's home - and people sip brightly coloured aperitivos on Via Farini - and in winter there are numerous cosy cafes and restaurants in which to escape from the dazzling splendour of the white light and architecture.
The Piazza Duomo with its fresco filled cathedral and pink marble baptistry - one of the most famous medieval buildings in Italy - is a good place to start your explorations. Or Garibaldi Square, where you'll find the Governor's Palace, and where the original Roman colony had its forum, if you come upon that first. Make sure you swing by the Palazzo della Pilotta, a wonderful Renaissance palace, the Galleria Nazionale and the Teatro Regio, the opera house - and see a Verdi opera if it's at all possible!
Obviously you'll also want to eat. But as well as fitting in as many stops for cheese and ham as you can, it's also worth trying the local stuffed pasta
Our Guru's pick of the best places to stay in Parma are all in the surrounding area, but are nonetheless ideally placed for exploring this great Italian city.
- Antico Borgo di Tabiano Castello is a wonderfully romantic castle-hotel nestled in amongst Parma's hills. As well as the elegant decor, the castle has wonderful views from its numerous terraces, a pool and Turkish hammam, and an excellent restaurant serving local specialities.
- Locanda Del Re Guerriero is another chic castle hotel, this time slightly further away from Parma, but a great choice if you want to escape to the countryside. The Locanda has just 12 rooms and suites - suites are split across two levels. There's also a library and a garden set with modern art. You're also close to Cremona.
Best Hotels in Parma
Pio Rooms 3 rooms from $91Parma
A charming and intimate B&B situated in the heart of Parma. Its rooms are traditionally decorated with exposed beams, warm lighting and a cosy feel. Be sure to fuel your daily sightseeing trips with their wonderful breakfast served each morning. A quiet, chic city hideaway.City Style - This wonderful B&B located in the heart of Parma is a perfect location for getting to know the cityLocal exploring - Only a short walk away from the city's sights, you've really got no excuse not to go exploring!Sights nearby - The Cattedrale di Parma and Basilica di Santa Maria della Steccata are well worth a visit as well as a handful of other sightsGreat walks - Wander leisurely around the historic old town to truly get a feel of Parma
Palazzo dalla Rosa Prati 11 rooms from $102Parma
Elegant guesthouse featuring traditionally decorated rooms and apartments in the heart of Parma. Grab a coffee at the café before setting off for a spot of sightseeing and unwind at the end of a busy day by booking yourself a massage. Smart rooms feature colourful palettes and are great value.City Style - The hotel is situated in Parma's medieval square, a perfect base to explore the city fromValue chic - Large rooms, ideal for families, are great valueLocal markets - There are plenty of local markets to check out, most notably on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in Piazza Della GhiaiaSights nearby - Only a short walk from many of the city's sights such as the Parco Ducale, Stadio Ennio Tardini and Piazza Duomo Parma
Borgo Casale 16 rooms from $114Albareto Parma, Emilia Romagna
A rustic chic hotel in a rural location. Charming rooms have a cottagey feel; wooden beam ceilings, pastel colours, and adorable little balconies. Fabulous spa facilities and a traditional restaurant that serves modern cuisine. Ideal for couples on spa breaks.Spa breaks - Fantastic spa therapies a la carte and by weekend package.Romantic BreakViews - Great views from hotelRestrictions on children
Antico Borgo di Tabiano Castello 40 rooms from $137Salsomaggiore Terme Parma,, Emilia Romagna
A wonderful castle nestled in the hills of Parma. Traditional elegance throughout romantic bedrooms. Wooden beams, stone walls, marble floors, soft linens. Stunning valley views from terraces, Turkish spa and pool, regional cuisine, and lots countryside exploring. Romantic, rustic, and laid back.Country EscapeSights nearby - Mazzini Park, Salsomaggiore Convention Bureau, and Thermae Di Salsomaggiore.Spa - TERME DI TABIANO Spa.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Locanda Del Re Guerriero 12 rooms from $149Emilia Romagna
A chic castle hotel in the rolling countryside. Rooms are elegant and modern with wooden beams, soft drapes and chandeliers; suites split across two levels. Gardens with modern art pieces, a library, stone fireplaces, and antiques. A great choice for an escape to the countryside.Romantic Break - Walking or riding tours along the River Po, medieval castles and meadows to see, sleep under a chandelier in this castleFamilies - Bigger suites set on two levels are perfect for families, cycling, riding, and sights of the cities Cremona and PIacenzaSights nearby - Piacenza, Parma, Cremona, Verona, Bologna, VeniceRomantic - Good for couples.