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Parma, Province of Parma, Emilia Romagna, Italy

Parma is a medieval city with splendid architecture and a fine countryside around it. Stendhal set much of his masterpiece, The Charterhouse of Parma, in the city, even though there is no "Charterhouse" in Parma. The town is also famous for its cheese "Parmigiano Reggiano" (which pride it shares with Reggio Emilia), for its Parma ham, for its international commercial brand Parmalat. It was the native town of Arturo Toscanini, and hosts the Teatro Regio, a famous opera theatre.

province of Parma

Info

Altitude: 57 m a.s.l -- Population: about 178,000 inhabitants (in 2013) -- Zip/postal code: 43121-43126 (formerly 43100) -- Phone Area Code: 0521 -- Patron Saint: Sant'Ilario from Poitiers celebrated on 13 January -- Demonym: parmigiani

Administrative division

Districts (quartieri): Parma-Centro, Oltretorrente, Molinetto, Pablo, Golese, San Pancrazio, San Leonardo, Cortile San Martino, Lubiana, San Lazzaro, Cittadella, Montanara, Vigatto

"Frazioni" & Localities: Alberi, Baccanelli, Baganzola, Baganzolino, Beneceto, Botteghino, Carignano, Carpaneto, Cartiera, Casagnola, Casalbaroncolo, Casarola di Ravadese, Case Capelli, Case Cocconi, Case Crostolo, Case Nuove, Case Rosse, Case Vecchie, Casino dalla Rosa, Castelletto, Castelnovo, Ca' Terzi, Cervara, Chiozzola, Coloreto,Coltaro, Corcagnano, Eia, Fognano, Fontana, Fontanini, Gaione, Ghiaiata Nuova, Il Moro, La Catena, La Palazzina, Malandriano, Marano, Mariano, Marore, Martorano, Molino di Malandriano, Osteria San Martino, Panocchia, Paradigna, Pedrignano, Pilastrello, Pizzolese, Ponte, Porporano, Pozzetto Piccolo, Quercioli, Ravadese, Ronco Pascolo, Rosa, San Donato, San Pancrazio, San Prospero Parmense, San Ruffino, Scarzara, Ugozzolo, Valera, Viarolo, Viazza, Vicofertile, Vicomero, Vicopò, Vigatto, Vigheffio, Vigolante

History

The city was most probably founded and named by the Etruscans, for a parma (circular shield) was a Latin borrowing, as were many Roman terms for particular arms, and "Parmeal" "Parmni" and "Parmnial" are names that appear in Etruscan inscriptions. Diodorus Siculus reported that the Romans had changed their rectangular shields for round ones, imitating the Etruscans.

Parma, like most northern Italian cities, was nominally a part of the Holy Roman Empire but locally ruled by its bishops until the commune gained strength in the early Middle Ages. It fell under the control of Milan in 1346, was ceded to the Holy See in 1511. The Farnese pope, Paul III, detached Parma and Piacenza from the Papal States and gave them as a duchy for his illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, whose descendents ruled in Parma from 1545 to 1731, when Antonio Farnese (1679-1731), last male of the Farnese line, died.

The combined Duchy of Parma and Piacenza was given to the House of Bourbon in a diplomatic shuffle of the European dynastic politics that were played out in Italy. It remained separate until the unification of Italy in 1860.

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