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The Five P’s of Parma

Marjorie Eisenach shares her experiences with all things Italian during her international travels.

Duomo_e_Battistero_di_Parma

Prosciutto, Parmigiano, Parmigianino, Pilotta, e Pizza…

We have loved visiting Parma for many years and have often wondered why it is not more frequented by tourists. We enjoy eating as much prosciutto and parmigiano as is humanly possible, but this trip we have to mention that we ate the best pizza of our three months in Italy in an upscale pizzeria in the center of Parma, Al Corsaro, www.ristorantealcorsaro.com.

My other P is for the Palazzo della Pilotta, often simply called the Pilotta. It took me a few years to figure out that “pilotta” does not mean “pilot” but rather comes from the word for an ancient Basque game called pelota or pilotta in Italian. The game was played by Spanish soldiers in the courtyard of the palace. Today the palace and surrounding buildings are a museum complex which include the amazing Teatro Farnese, plus he Galleria Nazionale di Parma as well as several other museums.

The Galleria Nazionale typically houses Parmigianino’s “Schiava Turca,” a painting of an unidentified woman with bewitching hazel eyes and a mischievous semi-smile, currently on loan to the Frick in NYC. My daughters’ favorite paintings in the collection is of a young maiden by Leonardo di Vinci called “La Scapigliata.” Time to add Parma to your list of cities to visit in Italy!

Marjorie helps American and British travelers build their Italian language skills and learn about Italian culture, sites and events so they can get the most out of their time spent in the country. Visit www.italyanditalian.com to get in touch with her!

About Marjorie Eisenach

Marjorie Eisenach brings a unique perspective to the Italian travel experience, drawing from her years spent residing, working and traveling in Italy. She helps American and British travelers build their Italian language skills and learn about Italian culture, sites and events so they can get the most out of their time spent in the country. She currently lives in Minneapolis where she teaches Italian language courses and helps travelers prepare for visiting Italy. Marjorie earned her M.A. in Italian and her B.A. in Italian and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin. Additionally, she studied at the University of Bologna, focusing on Italian literature and political science. For more information, visit www.ItalyandItalian.com.