Parma, the city of Duchess Maria Luigia

An itinerary in Parma and its province among the places linked to Duchess Maria Luigia

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It was April 19, 1816 when Maria Luigia d'Asburgo arrived in the small Duchy of Parma, changing the city forever.
The Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla entered into the hearts of the people of Parma and they loved her, the signs she left are still visible today, in the elegance of the places, and in the perfumes she loved, such as Violetta di Parma.

The creations in Parma by the government of Maria Luigia were many, but the main architectural work is the Ducal Theater begun in 1821 and completed in 1829. And then, she transforms the Ducal Garden into a public park, and began, between 1838 and 1840, the restoration work of the Ducal Palace.

The itinerary we propose is suitable for everyone and can be followed all year long; it takes place mainly in the historic center of the city, but also includes places just outside the city such as Colorno and the Carrega Park, for a relaxing walk.

  • Duration
    48 hours
  • Interests
    Culture & Castles
  • Target
  • First stop - Glauco Lombardi museum Parma

    The itinerary dedicated to the "beloved sovereign" starts from Piazzale della Pace. The palace where the Duchess lived was located in the heart of the city, in front of the big Monumental Complex of Pilotta, but unfortunately it no longer exists, infact it was destroyed by a bombing during the Second World War.

    Just in front, along Strada Garibaldi, there is the Palazzo di Riserva, an eighteenth-century building in the colour "Parma Yellow", a color chosen by the Duchess for many buildings in the city.

    Inside, there is the Glauco Lombardi Museum which preserves and displays memorabilia from those years, from the Duchess and her beloved-hated husband Napoleon Bonaparte: the visit allows you to take a journey to discover her role as wife and Duchess.

  • Second stop - Regio theatre Parma

    Just next to the museum we reach the Regio theatre, a ducal theater in neoclassical style built by Maria Luigia and inaugurated on 13 May 1829 with Vincenzo Bellini's Zaira.
    From the atrium you can access the elliptical stalls and on the top you can admire the spectacular chandelier made in Paris, which weighs up to a ton.

    Every year the in Teatro Regio the Opera Season and the Verdi Festival are on stage.

  • Third stop - Ducal Parc Parma

    Now, from the Theater after Pilotta Palace and after passing Ponte Verdi we find the entrance to the monumental Ducal Parc, a true beauty of nature. Thanks to the Duchess this park has the form of an English garden and today, in addition to the beautiful spectacle of nature in every season, walking you can admire the ancient statues of Boudard, the Trianon Fountain and, even if only from outside, the spectacular Palazzo Ducale.

  • Fourth stop - Monumental Cemetery of the Villetta Parma

    From the historic center a nice walk takes us to the Monumental Cemetery of the Villetta, built durig the government of the Duchess starting from 1819, when - in line with current rules in in France - she decided to establish the "suburban" cemetery, intended to replace the burials inside churches practiced in previous centuries.

    In the monumental cemeteryyou can find 6 itineraries into the history and the illustrious people buried there.

    Here rest, among others, Niccolò Paganini, Ildebrando Pizzetti, General Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, Pietro Barilla, Father Lino Maupas, Paola Borboni.

  • Fifth stop - Royal Palace of Colorno Colorno

    In her happy years, Maria Luigia spnded time in the tranquility of places outside the city, such as the Royal Palace of Colorno, about 15 km north of Parma.
    Called "The Versailles of the Dukes of Parma", regal and with a large French garden, the Royal Palace of Colorno, former residence of the Farnese and Bourbon families, became one of her favorite residences and his leisure home.

  • Sixth stop - Carrega Park Sala Baganza

    Among the favourite places of the Duchess we find Carrega Park, on the hills of Parma, about 15 km from the city, in the municipality of Sala Baganza.
    The Park was a hunting reserve for the Farnese family and then Maria Amalia, wife of Duke Ferdinand of Bourbon, had an elegant new building built in neoclassical style, the "Casino dei Boschi".
    The complex was enlarged by commission by the Duchess Maria Luigia, who added the "Casinetto" and the "Extension".

    Today the Park is part of the Duchy Parks and it is the ideal place for nice walks.

Last update 29/03/2024


Tourist Information and Reservation Office Parma
Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi Parma (PR)
+ 39 0521 218889
Tourist Information Office Colorno
Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi Colorno (PR)
+ 39 0521 521370
Tourist Information Office Sala Baganza
Piazza Antonio Gramsci 2 Sala Baganza (PR)
+ 39 0521 331342

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