Literary itinerary in Parma and surrounding areas

Discover Parma and the Lower Parma area through its authors

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In this itinerary you will go to discovery the places in Parma connected to famous authors from Parma, but not only.

From the Middle Ages to today, the city has always been linked to the world of literature, thanks to authors such as Salimbene de Adam, Petrarca, Renzo Pezzani, Luigi Malerba and Giovannino Guareschi.

“In the heart of Parma there is a stage”: this is what Alberto Bevilacqua loved to repeat about his hometown, an inexhaustible source for his literary and cinematographic production. In fact, many books by this multifaceted artist (author of novels, poet, director) are set in Parma.

A literary itinerary suitable for everyone, which takes place partly in the city center and partly in the province, in the fascinating "small world" of the Lower Parma area.

  • Duration
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Culture & Castles
  • Target
  • First stop - Piazza Duomo Parma

    The literary itinerary begins in Piazza Duomo, a unique place, rich in art and history as well as an important place in the life of Fra Salimbene de Adam, one of the most notable medieval chroniclers, born in Strada al Duomo 7, where today Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati is located and where a plaque commemorates him.

    Here we find the Cathedral of Parma, with the famous Deposition by Benedetto Antelami, evidence of Romanesque art and Correggio's frescoed dome. Entering this place means opening yourself up to art and getting closer to one of the most precious treasures of the city.

    Here we also find the Baptistery, where Fra Salimbene de Adam was baptized in 1221; the monument, built between 1196 and 1216 with pink Verona marble, also has Antelami's signature.

  • Second stop - Via Petrarca Parma

    It is a surprise to discover that Petrarca lived not far away. From Piazza Duomo we take Borgo del Correggio and from here, on the right, there is the street dedicated to him, Via Petrarca. 
    Parma was a privileged place of retreat for the poet; Petrarch lived here for 10 years starting from 1341: here he learned of the death of his beloved Laura, here he wrote some of the most beautiful poems in his Canzoniere. He lived at number 9 and above the first floor balcony a plaque with a small bust is still visible today. 

    Looking back, you can admire the bell tower of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, which with its 75 meters of height is the tallest in the city. The monastic complex also includes the Cloister and the Library. The origins date back to the 10th century, although it is the Baroque façade that defines its appearance. The interior of the church is an emotional journey, in the central nave the continuous frieze painted by Correggio who also created the lunette with Saint John and the Eagle, and the cycle of frescoes in the dome stands out. Finally, the vision of Saint John the Evangelist is surprising with an extraordinary play of perspective.

  • Third stop - Oltretorrente - Via D'Azeglio Parma

    Continuing to discover Parma, from poet to poet, with a chronological leap of five centuries we find ourselves - crossing the Parma stream from the Ponte di Mezzo - in Oltretorrente, to discover Renzo Pezzani, who wrote books for children and elementary schools, poems in the Parma dialet and musical works.
    He was born in Via Bixio in 1898, in the heart of Old Parma, a neighborhood where houses with thousand-coloured façades still overlook today, embraced by the great mass of the Franciscan Church of the Annunziata which for the Parma people is considerated the Duomo d'Oltretorrente, for the its very original shape and for the richness of the baroque interiors.

  • Fourth stop - Oltretorrente - Piazzale Santa Croce Parma

    Again in the Oltretorrente, walking along Via D'Azeglio with the medieval tower houses and the elegant fifteenth-century front porches of the Old hospital, we arrive with a pleasant walk in front of the medieval Church of Santa Croce which remember the passage of pilgrims along the Via Francigena.
    Renzo Pezzani was a narrator of these places; his works remembered with love by the people of Parma, but not only, are the 3 books of poems in dialect, "Bornisi", "Tarabacli" and "Oc luster", in which the poet expressed all his love for his city.

  • Fifth stop - Piazza Garibaldi Parma

    Parma was also the protagonist of the literary and cultural life of the Italian twentieth century thanks to Luigi Malerba, journalist, writer and screenwriter who often sat in the cafés of Piazza Garibaldi, with the splendid view of the Governor's Palace and the dome of the Basilica della Steccata.
    Piazza Garibaldi is the crossroads of the "dolce vita" of Parma, with open air tables, aperitifs, fashionable shops and shops selling local gastronomic excellence.

  • Sixth stop - Roncole Verdi Busseto

    We conclude our itinerary in the Lower Parma area to discover the places linked to Giovannino Guareschi. The writer and journalist and father of Don Camillo and Peppone set the "Small World" of his stories right here.

    In Roncole Verdi, where he lived and where he is buried, there is Casa Guareschi, where an anthological exhibition created by Guareschi's children, Alberto and Carlotta, together with the Club dei 23 is hosted. With the exhibition you get to know the most intimate and familiar Giovannino.

    Not far away, housed in the ancient bell tower of Diolo di Soragna (halfway between Verdi's places, Busseto and the Castelli della Bassa) there is also the Centro del Boscaccio, a small and fascinating museum where memories, testimonies, writings and objects are preserved dedicated to Guareschi and his “Little World”.

Last update 28/03/2024


Tourist Information and Reservation Office Parma
Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi Parma (PR)
+ 39 0521 218889

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