On my way back to Bologna from Monterosso Al Mare, I stopped off in Parma for a few hours and met up with Jacques, Laura, and Emily. Emily is on of my nieces, and Jacques and I are her godparents. She had arrived that morning from Montreal for a 2 week visit. I was supposed to have been gone by the time she arrived, but what the heck, the chance to see her seemed like another good reason to stay even longer, so I extended my stay…again… She didn’t know I was going to be in Parma when she arrived, so it was a nice little surprise.

And yes, we did all have prosciutto di Parma, in Parma. From the train station we walked into the centre of the old town – it’s maybe a 10 minute walk. We were all hungry, so we quickly found a little cafe and sat outside. Prosciutto y melone to start – for all of us. Now, I’ve had a lot of really good prosciutto while in Italy, some of it even labeled Prosciutto di Parma on the package,  but this really was that much better. They must keep the best for themselves. Strangely enough I didn’t take a photo of it…but luckily Emily did so I’ll get that from her later.

Once our bellies were full, we explored the old town. Much like all old towns in Italy, it is so pretty, and has its own distinctive look.

Each town has its Duomo – the central church – with a piazza around it. The Duomo in Parma is gorgeous. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which people went in constructing and decorating these old churches. I don’t have any shots of the inside to show you – there’s no way I could do it justice.

Parma still has buildings where the original wood supports are intact – which is unusual as the majority have burned down over the years. It’s great to see, and really gives you a sense of how truly old these buildings are. I should have taken more care in photographing it…but it’s the dark part under the roof that juts out on the top left.

Parma also has amazing lanterns throughout town.

As we sat having lunch we all noticed the bike and thought it was perfect. Turned out it belongs to the girl who served us at the restaurant. She has great taste in bikes!

Of course Parma also has its share of beautiful balconies and windows.

Simply beautiful.

And last, but certainly not least…a photo for my gorgeous niece Olivia. Look at what I found in Parma.

And with that it was time to walk back to the train station and hop a train back to Bologna. Thanks for a wonderful few hours discovering Parma Jacques – it’s great to have such a savvy travel consultant!