A must-do tour for you all art lovers, especially if your main interest is for Late Renaissance and Mannerism. Wow will be your word of the day looking up at the artistic gems hidden in churches, galleries and castles and you’ll also find out about the strong bind between Parma and Rome in the 1500s and 1600s.
09.30 am – Meet your private guide and discover the Duomo, with stunning frescoes in total-look mode covering the whole of its walls and vaults, as well as the breath-taking Assumption of Mother Mary masterfully painted in the cupolaby local artist Antonio Allegri, aka Correggio, in such a way as to even go beyond Michelangelo’s rules and manners.
10:15 am – Go find Correggio’s first and even keener masterpiece in the former benedectine Convent of St. Paul: a pure fusion of sacre and profane, classicism and modernity! Alternatively: step in the magic shape of the Baptistery (untouched since the 1100s) and look up to admire the oldest frescoes of Parma, dating back to the late middle ages.
To follow – Just 10 steps ahead will lead you to the so-called ducal district: here is a very specific corner from where you can catch almost all the different architectural styles that have made Parma one of the fundamental stops of Europe’s Grand Tour from the 1600s to 1800s!
11:30 am – Try at least a short wowing look at the controversial and utmost sophisticated Wise and Foolish Virgins depicted by Francesco Mazzola, aka Parmigianino, in the Sanctuary of S. Maria della Steccata, true icon of the town since it was founded in 1521 to celebrate the glory of Parma.
12:00 pm – Typical lunch at one of the restaurants downtown.
02:00 pm – Unmissable stop at the Galleria Nazionale, one of Italy’s richest art collections, for a panoramic tour of Correggio’s and Parmigianino’s masterpiece paintings such as the latter’s Schiava Turca: with her sibylline pose, the enigmatic eyes and the profusion of winking details she will probably remind you of a certain Monalisa…
By the way: Leonardo’s Scapiliata is housed permanently in Parma’s art gallery !
03:30 pm – End of activities.