Parma, Italy

Renowned for having one of Italy's highest standards of living, located in the Emila-Romagna region, Parma features an affluent environment and virtually every type of facility for which one could wish. Located northwest of Reggio, the city boasts numerous restaurants, hotels, attractions and entertainment venues, including its impressive opera house.

Parma’s history dates back to Etruscan times, when its existence may have begun as encampment. The city gained wealth and importance throughout the Middle Ages, when it came under rule of the French. In 1545 it became a duchy, which it remained until 1731. In the 1800s the city was ruled by Napoleon's second wife, Marie Louise of Austria, and in 1888 became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Ducal Palace, Parma, Emilia-Romagna, ItalyAlways a favorite vacation destination of affluent European travelers, Parma is gaining popularity around the world as an ideal place in which to indulge in some enjoyable time away from home. Due to its outstanding architecture and unique landmarks, the city is also perfect for sightseeing, and presents many photo opportunities for visitors.

Parma's Cathedral is arguably one of the greatest examples of Romanesque architecture in the world today. Built during the 12th century, the structure boasts an octagonal dome, which was an unusual feature for that era. A gilt copper angel rests on the cathedral's tower, while lions guard the porch. The interior of the structure is ornate and features intricate detail and artistry, making this landmark a good choice for one's must-see list.

Not far from the Parma Cathedral is the Diocesan Museum, where various displays of Medieval artifacts can be viewed. The museum is opened throughout the year and many times, especially on religious holidays, admission is free. The Stuard Gallery, located in a centuries old Monastery, is also a great choice for museum lovers, and the establishment showcases artwork from the 14th to 20th centuries.

In Piazza Garibaldi, one can tour the Governor's Palace. This spectacular structure features an ornately detailed facade ,which was designed in 1760. The bell tower has an impressive astronomical clock that fascinates many visitors due to its generous size and beautiful appearance.

The Baptistery, built during the 1100s, boasts an octagonal shaped dome made from pink marble and featuring genuine bronze accents. The structure's doors are elaborately decorated, and ornate sculptures depicting seasons and zodiac signs adorn the entry hall.

With several theaters, clubs and the aforementioned opera house, the city offers something for virtually every visitor. With its beautiful scenery, attractions and stunning landmarks, it is easy to see why Parma is a favorite vacation destination of travelers everywhere.


Bologna, Italy

Bologna, a cosmopolitan Italian city tucked into the northern Italian mountains in the Emiliano-Romagna region, is a city stuffed with diverse ethnic cultures and a rich history. Bologna is also infamous for its rich art, cuisine, and music, making it a cultural capital of Italy.

The city, over a millennium old, has a sundry history. Fist ruled by the Etruscans, the city eventually dwindled until it was conquered and ruled by the Romans. Roman culture’s impact is still quite apparent today in the city’s breathtaking architecture. Under the rule of the Romans, Bologna exploded. Its rapid expansion, in part due to its central location, breathed a wave of culture into the city. Part of Bologna’s allure is its diverse history, proudly displayed in monumental architecture and its extensive set of museums.

Bologna, ItalyBologna is squashed between the Savena river valleys and the breathtaking Apennines, a series of mountain ranges in northern Italy. The city itself is located in the relatively flat Padana Plains.

Bologna features a slew of historical points of interest. Until a substantial renovation project in the late 19th century, Bologna was renown as one of the best-preserved cities in Europe. The archaic history is still prevalent, with numerous churches and other landmarks spread throughout the city. San Petronio Basilica, one of the largest churches in the world, draws visitors from across the globe. San Giacomo Maggiore basilica, a 13th century church, features Renaissance works from many of Italy’s prominent painters.

One of Bologna’s main attractions is its University of Bologna. The oldest university in the world, the University of Bologna hosts thousands of students, which contribute to Bologna’s economic prosperity and rich cultural. The university, founded in 1088, has been masterfully preserved and is often considered a hallmark of Italian architecture. The city has often been dubbed “the learned one” after its world famous university.
Dining in Bologna is an experience within itself. World cuisine meets debatably the best Italian cuisine offered in Europe, fusing into truly world-class eatery experience. Bologna, renown for its traditional cuisine, has sparked the meat based Bolognese tomato sauce. A series of nearby wine vineyards provide some of Italy’s highest regarded wines. Local specialties include ragu, lasagna, tortellini, and mortadella, a local original sausage.

A rich combination of arts and music are omniscient throughout Bologna. Numerous jazz fests are hosted at Bologna, and the theatre has a very prevalent presence. Film festivals and art shows are common throughout the city, and opera, jazz, classical, electronic, and folk music can be heard at one of the cities many venues. A host of artists and musicians live in Bologna, furthering its culture and adding to its sense of culture.
Bologna, a city full of culture, is sure to please even the most veteran travellers. From the breathtaking architecture to the world class dining and fine arts, Bologna is sure to appeal to almost every traveler.



Rimini, Italy

Along the Adriatic Sea, within the Italian province of Emilia-Romagna, the city of Rimini can be found. Home to more than 140,000 residents, Rimini has been a popular tourism destination for well over 150 years. In addition, the city boasts a rich and diverse historical background, including Roman and Renaissance inhabitants in the past. While most visitors today appreciate the city for its stunning white beaches and pleasant climate, it has much more to offer those interested in the heritage of Rimini.

In 286 BC, Rimini was founded by Romans in an area that was previously inhabited by a great number of different cultures. However, the Romans claimed the land and gave it the name Ariminun, which was the name of present day Rimini for hundreds of years. Remaining under Roman control for centuries, Rimini was transformed in the middle ages. Under rule by the Ostrogoths and later Lombards, the city became a significant destination within Italy, and many merchant families flourished, building elaborate structures and homes that can be seen today. Although there was serious damage as a result of fighting during World War II, much of the city was rebuilt for tourism immediately following the end of the war.

Tiberius Bridge at Sunset, Rimini, ItalyAs a seaside resort, Rimini is perhaps best known today for the long stretch of sandy beaches located along the coastline. The beaches is roughly 6 miles in length, and visitors can walk from one end to the other easily. While this is a noted tourism destination, most of the guests are from other areas of Italy. To native residents, it is almost the secret hidden resort that other nations have yet to discover. With over 1,000 hotels within Rimini, it is clear that accommodation is plentiful for the large number of guests that visit each year.

Aside from the attractive beaches and incredible cuisine, Rimini also boasts many historical landmarks that remain standing after hundreds, and even thousands, of years. Some of the most popular attractions include the Augustus Arch, Federico Fellini Film Museum, Tempio Malatestiano, Tiberius Bridge and the Domus of the Surgeon.

During the summer months the climate is comfortable and suitable for dips in the Adriatic, but in the winter as the colder weather approaches much of the city shuts down. As it is very reliant on tourism, it can also seem like a ghost town in the cooler months. However, this is the perfect time to see the historical sites without the crowds.