The city of Parma can be considered female for its elegance, beauty and welcoming manners. Many are the ways to pay a tribute to women when visiting our city, not only on March 8 but all along the year.
The most famous woman of the Duchy
Undoubtedly, the most famous woman, parmesan by adoption, is Maria Luigia of Austria, second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte who arrived in town as a dominator 200 years ago, but ended up conquering the residents’ heart with her strength and benevolence, so much that she left a memory that is still alive today and a permanent trace in town, as the Regio theatre, built on her will, the Old hospital, the Villetta cemetery, beside many improvements to various other places and art acquisitions. At the Glauco Lombardi museum are preserved her remains and her hisotry is on display. As a souvenir we suggest the violet of Parma, flower that she adored so much that it is always on her grave in Wien still today.
A female itinerary
Talking about strong women, there is an itinerary called “The city of women” that takes you around 10 of the most significant places in town for the recostruction of the history of women in Parma . Through some panels – totems that can be activated through an app for smartphone or tablet, you can download pictures, videos, reports and insights about the history of the female workers at the end of the 19th century, of the first women to be elected in the Municipal council in 1946, of the rebels during the fascist regime or the feminists of the ’70s, the partisans or the women who in the ’80s founded the Antiviolence centre.
The portraits by Amedeo Bocchi
Amedeo Bocchi (1883-1976), parmesan painter among the protagonists of the first half of the 20th century, had a very personal style in which light seems to flow from inside the figures. The feminine world, painted in many different expressions, and the portraits are his favourite genres, yet he represented also the rural world, when he took part of the Group of Twentyfive landscapers of the Roman countryside with Sartorio and Cambellotti, as well religious and allegorical themes.
Family is the main character of his works: parents, wives, his daughter. Don’t miss his femail portraits, a real art gem that can be seen at the Ape Parma museum.
Women at the National gallery
Talking about women on canvas you cannot skip a visit to the National gallery, beside a magnificent collection of art, you can pause to take a look at the face of the Madonna di San Girolamo by Correggio, the intriguing glance of the Schiava turca by Parmigianino and the perfect portrait of the Scapigliata by Leonardo Da Vinci, to name only a few masterpieces.
Musicians and muses
The musical tradition of Parma bosts the ancient Conservatory Arrigo Boito, where Arturo Toscanini studied, which features concerts with its students and teachers all year long, The concerts of Boito. This year’s events focus on women in music, not only as muses inspiring artist but also as composers themselves. Musiciste e Muse èis the title of the sixth edition of the concerts season with 37 free events.
In the imaginery of the parmesan food tradition there are the so called “rezdore”, moms and grandmothers custodians of ancient recipes, able to make the dough to eprfection, but not only that. In the kitchens of many restaurants in Parma and in the province you can still find the traditional rezdore who cook homemade dishes, and in more modern times, women chefs inherited their knowledge and turn it into excellent results. Do you want to taste under the sign of Parma City of Gastronomy Unesco? Here you’ll find some tips: www.parmacityofgastronomy.it
Women in the Castles of Duchy
The Castles of Duchy also celebrate women with specific events, at the Reggia of Colorno women are the protagonists of culture, between political marriages andinternational alliances, guided tours about women who were not just pawns on a political chessboard but witnesses and main characters of their time.
At the Castle of Montechiarugolo, a toast with Fata Bema, a night tour with final toast under the 16th century frescoes in the Renaissance halls to spend an hour with Fata Bema and cheer to all women who are a bit witches and a bit fairies. In Torrechiara Bianca will take you around the castle’s halls, a gift she received from her lover Pier Maria Rossi.