A Foodie’s Guide to Parma

Icon Share


Advisor - Claire Ruscitti
Curated By

Claire Ruscitti

  • Italy

  • Food & Wine

  • Arts & Culture

  • Outdoors

  • Relaxation

  • Sightseeing

stacks of parmesan cheese
Curator’s statement

Parma is an essential stop on the foodie’s tour of Italy. Located in Italy’s “Food Valley,” the cities of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and Bologna and their surrounding countryside, Parma is known for its cured meats like Prosciutto di Parma and Culatello di Zibello, Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh pastas and more. In between meals, be sure to check out Parma’s beautiful architecture, parks and vibrant music scene. If you’re trying to channel your inner Stanley Tucci on your next Italy trip, add Parma to the itinerary.

The Fora Difference

Book with Claire to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Parma

Unlock perks by contacting Claire to book your trip.

Things to do in Parma

Beautiful city buildings

Take a Parmigiano Reggiano Tour

Visit a cheese factory and see how the magic happens. They’ll guide you through the process, answer any of your questions, then let you try the product! They’ll let you try cheese that’s aged 12, 24 and 36 moths - it’s a must do for foodies who visit the region. Check out Caseificio Ugolotti for an option that’s not too far from the city center. You can enjoy a bite to eat and a glass of wine after the tour at their beautiful café.

Take a Prosciutto di Parma Tour

If you love cured ham and you don’t mind going a little outside the city, consider visiting Salumificio Conti, a family-run company about 40 minutes from the city center. You’ll learn about the production process, then taste the delicious D.O.P.-certified product.

Visit the Parma Baptistery

This beautiful pink marble octagonal structure with painted domed ceiling is one of the most magnificent buildings in Parma.

Listen to music

Visit the neoclassical Teatro Regio to take in a performance at one of Italy’s most famous opera houses (if you’re really into the opera, check out the Festival Verdi, a celebration of the life and legacy of Giuseppe Verdi, who was born near Parma).

Explore a park

Parco dello Cittadelle is a beautiful park on the outskirts of the city. It’s set inside a 16th-century pentagonal fortress surrounded by a huge wall (hence the name). It’s a beautiful spot to go for a stroll, but don’t miss the gorgeous restaurant and bar, Lostello di Emc2 Onlus, run by a local co-op with a strong mission.

Places to eat & drink in Parma

Parma Cheese

Ristorante Cocchi: A beautiful, traditional restaurant just outside the city center (about a 25-minute walk from the Piazza del Duomo). They serve excellent preparations of the area’s classics, including anolini in brodo (stuffed pasta served in a rich broth), torta fritta (a classic, pillowy fried bread) with cured meats and cheeses and seasonal meat dishes. Save room for the delicious zambione!

Officina Alimentare: A casual restaurant with a contemporary twist on the region’s classics. Located right in town and run by three women, their seasonal menu changes all the time. In the summer, their fried pumpkin flowers, tagliolini with tomato confit and grilled pork belly were to die for (TDF).

Trattoria Ai Due Platani: A truly picturesque Italian experience just outside Parma. From the linens to the tableside presentation of the day’s stuffed pastas, you will feel like you’ve just walked onto the set of a classic Italian movie. The servers are friendly and the atmosphere is inviting. Don’t miss out on the tableside gelato! Also, their delicious house lambrusco is a steal at 12 euros a bottle.

Da Pepen: A panini shop that’s been around for three generations. The menu has a great selection of sandwiches that feel both traditional and contemporary. With a solid selection of meat and veggie options, there’s something for everyone. Order your panino and a glass of lambrusco and enjoy it at the counter inside or at one of the small tables outside.

Enotecca Tabarro: A restaurant and bar with a beautifully curated wine list and a delicious seasonal menu to pair with your drinks. Sit outside at a barrel-turned-table and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.

Enoteca Bacco Verde: This charming spot is filled with locals. Join them for a bowl of lambrusco (for about 2 euros) and they’ll serve you late-night eats – for free.

Ciaccio Lab: The best gelato in Italy. Hands down. Their award-winning gelato comes in both traditional and inventive flavors.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspo? Check out Fora Travel Advisor Lori Turoff's guide, The Insider's Guide to Bologna.

Advisor - Claire Ruscitti

Travel Advisor

Claire Ruscitti

Get in touch with Claire

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Claire within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Italy.