Although relatively modest in size, Parma has much to offer any visitor. The city has put its name on the international culinary map not only as the origin of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, but also as the birthplace of Prosciutto di Parma or Parma ham. Those travelling to Parma will be able to enjoy the city's rich history from architectural masterpieces such as the Romanesque Cathedral and the Baptistery, to exquisite opera performances and exploring one of the world's oldest universities, the University of Parma. By booking a car hire in Parma, you can also take in the bountiful and varied countryside surrounding the city. Auto Europe offers some of the most affordable car rental rates on the market, and you are certain to find a package matching your travel plans among our offers!
When driving your car hire in Parma, make sure that you make note of the restricted traffic zones (ZTL) in the city. These are mostly found in the historic centre, and access is limited to specific times of day to certain areas. Some areas can only be accessed by public transport, emergency services, residents, or other individuals who have acquired a special permit. These areas are signposted, but please do note that they are monitored by cameras, and unauthorized vehicles will have their licence plate number noted, and receive a fine. If your accommodation is within a restricted traffic zone, please contact your hotel to make arrangements for your rental car to be allowed within the zone. You can find a full list of rules and ZTLs on the city of Parmas website.
The city of Parma has also established traffic restrictions to reduce pollution. These are in force from October to March, and dictate that no access to the historic centre is permitted on Thursdays, nor can the area within the ring roads be accessed on the the first Sunday of each month, excluding December.
If you would like to explore the surrounding cities, this can be done with ease. Bologna lies about 61 miles from Parma, and can be reached via the A1/E35 motorway, heading south-east, in about an hour. If you take the A1/E35 in the northwestern direction, you can drive to Piacenza (about 41 miles away) in 40 minutes. Continuing in the same direction for approximately another hour after Piacenza will get you to Milan. Find out more about driving in Italy by visiting our Italy driving information page.
Parking is permitted in spaces that are marked with blue lines, and you can pay for parking at meters on the street or by buying a ticket at a tobacconist. Farther from the city centre you may also find some free and unattended parking spaces. There are numerous paid car parks located in Parma, such as Central parking Repubblica car park, which is close to the historical centre and open 24 hours. If you wish to avoid taking your car hire into the centre, there are park and ride car parks on the outskirts of the city, from where you can board an affordable shuttle bus to the centre.
Parma is in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, surrounded by a beautifully diverse landscape including the Po river and the Appennines mountain range. The Parma stream flows through the city and divides it into two parts. Parma has a mild climate with a relatively high likelihood of rain year-round. July is the hottest month of the year with an average high temperature of 30°C, while January is the coldest, when temperature can even fall slightly below 0°C.
Only 1.5 miles north-west of the city, Parma Airport serves Ryanair flights from Stansted Airport. The airport opened in 1991 and is also sometimes called Giuseppe Verdi Airport after the composer who was born in the province of Parma.
Parma Airport (PMF)
Address: Via Licinio Ferretti, 50A, 43126 Parma PR, Italy
Telephone: +39 0521 951511
Parma is served by the trolleybus system, local and suburban buses, as well as the Parma railway station.
Four intracity trolleybus lines operate on the Parma trolleybus system, which has been in use since 1953. There are 17 other local and suburban bus lines operated by Tep. The routes have services from 6.30am to 8pm, but there are also two lines in operation at night from 8pm to 10pm.
You can find the Parma railway station in the city centre's northern part, on the Piazzale Carlo Alberto dalla Chiesa. The station is on the Milan-Bologna railway line, and has services to Milan, Bologna, Brescia, and La Spezia, among other destinations.