I don’t even know if that’s a word but…..that was the impression of one of the main streets in the city center, usually crowded for shopping, but for one day, a few weeks ago, crowded with flowers….This is the street I walk along going to work when I use the bus from home….
Since 1882 (the year of the odonym earthquake of the city) is called Via Farini and now is known as “the nightlife street.” I bet not all the young people (and not) “movideros” knows that this street was once called Strada dei Genovesi (Genoese Street) and that it has a rich history………..
It was given this name because in the initial part, by the then Piazza Grande (now Garibaldi Square) to the square of St. Uldarico (where in ancient times stood theTeatro Romano), had settled shopkeepers and craftsmen coming right from Genoa. And the first arcades from the square were called “Crociferi”, or “New Discipline”, named after the religious congregation which they belonged in various times. On the first pillar of these arcades was in fact attached the picture of Our Lady of Humility, so venerated in Parma in ancient times during cholera epidemics, and still not forgotten as you can see (sorry but I couldn’t avoid some reflections….)
And also in the initial part of the road, and specifically in the Palazzo Tarasconi-Smeraldi, in 1860 opened its first offices the “Cassa di Risparmio Parma”, the current Cariparma, one of the biggest bank in the region.
Now the palace is private and not open to visitors, you can just have a glimpse of the courtyard…inside the palace there is a wide courtyard with an arcade dominated by a renaissance portico, built in 1604. The helicoidal shaped staircase, with a brickwork parapet on which are doric columns, has been recently attributed to Testa. Among the rooms should be mentioned two of them on the ground floor because of the vaults with frescoes of the 17th century and the lounge on the first floor with a caisson ceiling and fresco with scenes from the Bibles.
This below is Nazzani Pettorelli Lalatta Palace, not open to visitors, being a private residence, and the wooden gate is almost always closed. The palace was rebuilt in the 18th century by Feneuille but, from a romanic capital, sculpted in Verona marble and recently discovered, it can be presumed that it was originally raised in the 13th century. Various rooms still have frescoes and decorations of the 17th and 19th centuries, while a room with ornaments and medallions seems work of Girolamo Magnani.
The second stretch of road that from the square S.Uldarico comes to the former New Gate, was called, precisely, Strada di Porta Nuova (New gate). This gate was built by Ferdinand I of Bourbon and designed by Cristoforo Bettoli on the same site of the destroyed Porta Santa Maria. In 1901, after two centuries of loyal service, the City Council approved its demolition because “for its location prevented not only the transit of vehicles, but also the movement of the air” (no comment, please…..)
This is Palazzo Carmi, a private residence now, open to visitors only for the Week of Culture and European Days of Heritage. Fine example of 18th century aristocratic dwelling, Carmi palace, built between 1825 and 1830, was designed by architect Paolo Gazzola from Piacenza. Gazzola was inspired for the facade by palace Corradi-Cervi and managed to obtain a light effect, elegant and solemn at the same time, by mixing good taste and neoclassical elements. Inside, a large entrance hall and a neoclassical staircase with a decorated vault lead up to several exquisite rooms: among them, the mirror hall, the music room and the octagonal room, Pompeian style. All ceilings were decorated by G.B. Borghesi and Bertolotti
At the very end of the street (its wall actually delimits a big part of the intersection) there’s the Church of St Mary of Angels and Monastery of Clarisses.
The Church is open every day in the morning for mass and in the afternoon only by appointment. It is not possible to visit the Monastery, because it’s an enclosed order, but I was fortunate enough, during my school days to be there with our religion teacher and talk to some of the nuns – a very moving experience. The church of Saint Mary of the Angels, commonly said of the Jesus Child, featuring an arcade with domed arch and two orthogonal sides, was built on a project by architect Gian Francesco Testa between 1565-69. The rectangular interior is divided into three aisles separated by eight marble columns. The prophets, the Sibyls, the puttos on the vaults and the saints on the lunettes were painted by Giovanni Maria Conti and his apprentices. The medallions made of cloth depicting episodes of the life of Jesus and Mary, set in the vault, were decorated by Pier Antonio Bernabei in 1620.Above the high altar, in a 17th century stucco ancon, can be admired the Pity by Sebastiano Ricci (1685-7).
The dome, depicting Mary assumption surrounded by musicians and hosanna singing angels was frescoed between 1588-89 by Giovan Battista Tinti. In the plumes the same Tinti has represented Gedeone, Moses, David and Ezekiel.
In the street I have my own personal reference points….These are the guys at the Grom Ice-cream shop, a must for all the gluten-free flavors they have!
This is maybe the best pastry in town, their tiramisù won lots of awards….
…just side by side with “my” bookshop, lots of lunch-break spent there!
The best Parma ham in town? Here, and not just the best “prosciutto” but so many italian specialties as well….
Probably the best beef tenderloin you could have, below…. a little expensive maybe, but once you try it you’ll never come back.
And the bar I stop by in the morning for a very good coffee…..
Practically, my all life in just 800 mt (0.500 miles)