Monday, May 23, 2016

Parma, Italy: The Parma Cathedral and its Stunning Monochrome Frescoes

Italy is home to grandiose and exquisite age-old churches filled with mind-blowing display of antiquated frescoes, sculptures, paintings, mosaics and stained glass art. It’s one of the treasures of the country that remains free of charge to the ordinary people.

Cattedrale di Parma.

The pictures don't do it justice really.

I have seen a lot of churches in my lifetime, and Italy is hands down the best country to do church hopping and sightseeing. The places of worship in this country, especially the cathedrals are the best there is in the world. It is no wonder because the seat of Christianity was here before.

It had been raining in Parma since late in the afternoon but this did not stop me to go around and discover the city. The core city centre is small and is pedestrianised so that was quite easy to navigate around. Still drizzling, I walked to the Piazza del Duomo where the Cattedrale di Parma and the octagonal Battistero di Parma are located. I quickly sought refuge inside the big romanesque structure. When I stepped inside, I was totally caugt by surprise of what I saw.

I stood back in awe. Wow! I did not expect to see these stunning and unique frescoes on the nave of the cathedral! Just plain wow.

This is the first time I have seen dark hues of frescoes. So very gothic. Melancholic. Mysterious and intriguing, it makes you wonder why these renaissance painters picked the dark choice of colours. I found out that Lattanzio Gambara and Bernardo Gatti were responsible for the paintings on the nave and apse of the Parma Cathedral, while the famous Antonio da Correggio painted the dome of the church with the illusionistic Assumption of the Virgin.

The Parma Cathedral has become one of my unforgettable churches that I have visited.

Do you find the frescoes stunning as well?

The Parma Cathedral and Baptistry on Piazza del Duomo.

The striking monochrome frescoes on the nave and ceiling of the cathedral in dark grey hues. This is the first time for me to see dark frescoes inside the church. The grey palette is very dominant.

The paintings on the arch walls are dominantly executed with the grey palette. They tell the stories of the Old Testament.

 On the side corridors of the cathedral are chapels.

The nave of the church is quite busy with the paintings depicting the Old Testament, they are stunning. These pictures I assure don't do them justice. You have to see them with your 2 sets of eyes.

The diamond shape stone slab flooring in different colours.

The apse and altar of the cathedral with the fresco painting, 'The Christ and the Judgment' by Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli


This is the dome of the cathedral with the illusionistic fresco of Antonio da Correggio, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

The apse of the cathedral and the cupola with Correggio's painting.

The frescoes in the Valeri Chapel were painted by Bertolino de'Grossi.

The rear part of the church with the stained glass.

I look like a muslim woman here. Well it was raining-drizzling and I have no umbrella with me so I used my black shawl to cover myself from getting wet!

Travel Period: May 2016
Destination: Parma (Emilia Romagna), Italy

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Parma, Italy: Palazzo della Pilota on Piazza della Pilota

For my Emilia-Romagna trip last week I went to 3 cities in the region: Bologna, Modena and Parma.

Moi at Piazza della Pilota with the Palazzo della Pilota in my background.

I had to think about which of the 3 cities was my favourite which I found to be a bit difficult to choose. I thought I was leaning towards Modena. But then I think about Parma. And I have to say that it was Parma that really surprised me of the 3. It was also here in Parma that I was blown away at the magnitude of art displayed inside the cathedral. Oh, I cannot wait to show pictures very soon!

It all started with finding a parking place in Parma. I did my online research well and found that Parcheggio Toschi is the best place to park outside the city centre. In Italy, you cannot just drive into the core city centre without any repercussions. There is the ZTL rule (Zona Traffico Limitato | Limited Traffic Zone) which means only locals living and working in the core city centre with registered ZTL cars can freely drive in and out. Everyone else stands a chance of being shot (cameras everywhere) and fined. The fines are not cheap.

The Toschi underground parking is located beside the Torrente Parma River and is just a 100 metres away form the dramatic city entrance to Parma city centre: the Palazzo della Pilota on Piazza della Pilota. I was really awed when I saw the enormous arched entrances. I walked under the palace onto the piazza and exiting to a green park and Piazza della Pace. The whole ambiance was lovely and I thought that Bologna and Modena did not have something like this.

People were out and about and there was an outdoor art exhibit on the park. I slowed down a bit to check out the art displays. Quite interestingly there were a good number of black guys hanging out in the area and I wondered if the exhibit had something to do with their culture. Or maybe not.

Here is my walking direction from Parcheggio Toschi to Palazzo della Pilota on Piazza della Pilota.

Across the Torrente Parma River is Parco Ducale which has a great connection to the core city centre through the bridge, Ponte Verdi. I saw many people coming and going to the park and back to the city centre through Piazza della Pilota.

So this was just the beginning of my Parma discovery. I have more pictures and stories to tell in the coming posts!

It was so busy when I arrived in Parma. The queue to the parking was very long.

Street art just above the Toschi parking lot.

Ponte Verdi leading to Ducale Park.

The entrance to Parma via Palazzo della Pilota.

Walking under Palazzo della Pilota to Piazza della Pilota.

 Piazza della Pilota.

The park in front of Piazza della Pilota.

Cool lounge chair. I think this was one of the art installations.

Palazzo della Pilota.

Art exhibit on Piazza della Pace in front of the palazzo.

I had coffee at Matis Dinner Lounge Cafe facing the palazzo and piazza later in the afternoon when it rained.

Travel Period: May 2016
Destination: Parma (Emilia-Romagna), Italy

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)
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