"Parma, Salsomaggiore and Appennino" Parma by lichinga
Parma Travel Guide: 254 reviews and 741 photos
Parma is the most important centre for Italian agro-food sector: peeled tomatoes, parmesan cheese, Parma's sweet ham as weel as many other different kinds of <i>salami</i> (coppa, fiocco, culatello) all come from this area - though not <i>only</i> from there. Many people may also realise one of the most invading UHT-milk distributors in the world is from Parma, less people know their most important competitor is based a few tens kilometers away: briefly, Parma is the territorial basis for that kind of Italian food tradition which managed to become an industry, evolving from familiar style production. Please, note, I'm not saying this is always good, because most very important traditions and food habits will never be able to transform into industrial product without paying too high a price and - consequently - loosing their peculiarities.
As this is my original profession, let me also say producing for a vast number of consumers - far from the producing areas, overwhelmed by advertisements, squeezed by budget restrictions - is not at all an easy task. I am compelled to admire the fact French agro-food marketing system manages to sell French wines and cheeses all over the world, while pretending they are "genuine" and "traditional" high-class products, but they have to allow for powdered milk to be added to chees when it's necessary, or sugar to be added top wine when the alcoholic grade is too low: this is not allowed by Italian rules. The fact is you need to find teh best compromise you can, and this is still difficult for Italian food products.
Parma is also the motherland of composer <i><font color=green>Giuseppe Verdi</font> (Aida, Nabucco, Traviata ......)</i> and it is now one of the richest provinces in Italy.
I'm not able to write many things about the city of Parma itself, but I consider the Appennini surrounding it are very interesting to be visited, driving relaxedly.
Salsomaggiore is a very important spa centres 30 km away from Parma, at the foot of the hills. It is not the spot... more travel advice
Several rural centres still resist the temptation of abandoning everything and move down to the city and the plain. more travel advice
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