Passing through the Palazzo della Pilotta
30th November 2011
I arrived into Parma in the early evening having spent the best part of the day carrying out a detailed inspection of the Duomo in Milan. The train journey had been uneventful, but pleasant as always as we rolled across rural Italy in waning late afternoon sun. With bag hoisted over shoulder, I found the main street of Strada Giuseppe Garibaldi and headed along towards the city centre in search of my hotel. Along the way, old traditional storefronts opened up to an eye-catching green space leading to the unfinished construction of the Palazzo della Pilotta.
The Palazzo consists of a series of interconnected buildings which house a miscellaneous collection of official-sounding entities. The Galleria Nazionale di Parma, Teatro Farnese, Museo Archeologico Nazionale… All good stuff, albeit slightly aimed more at the occasional visitor. For the locals, the Palazzo is a link from the city side to one of a few bridges to cross the mighty Torrente Parma and onwards to the Parco Ducale.
A constant stream of folk on foot or on bike pass through the arches, onto the courtyard, and through to the Piazza della Pace. Sometimes pausing for a minute or charging straight on through, this place is a thoroughfare and a picturesque one at that.