April marks the arrival of the warm season everywhere and a tour at this time of the year is the best way to see nature and art jointly celebrating the triumph of Spring in Parma.
A solemn young girl crowned with flowers is the most representative personification of Spring in town. You can find her inside Parma Baptistery (it’s a must-see if you visit Parma!). She’s the only female presence which the sculptor and architect Benedetto Antelami chose to show among the young and old men embodying the labours of the months.
Spring is also the best time to visit the Botanic Garden in via Farini, a garden created in 1768 when the Bourbons were the dukes of Parma. The Garden literally comes alive in springtime and you can see different botanical species in full bloom and a display of different varieties of violets, including the famed Parma violets. Their double flowers with their intense and delicate fragrance are a veritable symbol of our city.
If you take the time to walk or cycle along the river Parma heading south, Lungoparma (literally “along the Parma”), a scenic string of avenues skirting the river, you will be able to watch wildlife enjoying the new grass and leaves in the river bed while not far away unaware drivers sprint by (or queue!)
If you choose to visit the Galleria Nazionale (National Gallery) inside the Pilotta Palace, among paintings and statues you won’t fail to notice an elaborate table centre piece, spanning an incredible length. It is made of marble, bronze and semiprecious stones and it is embellished with statuettes of pagan gods, the elements, the months and the seasons, among which there is Spring in loosely-fitting garments.
Finally take a walk in the Ducal Park and look for the neoclassical marble statues of pagan gods hiding among the greenery. At this time of the year their charm is enhanced and they seem to welcome Spring in Parma, too!