Parma Italy apartment

Dec 30th, 2010, 07:23 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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Parma Italy apartment

My husband and I would like to spend a month or more in one town in Italy. We think that Parma would be a good place as there are interesting places within the town and countryside around Parma also has a lot to offer. However, i am having trouble finding a place to stay. We'd like an apartment so that we don't have to eat out every night. There seem to be places near the town but being in a town is important to us so that we can get to know the town itself without getting in the car every day.
If any of you can recommend places to stay that would be great. Also, we are not totally committed to Parma so if you have suggestions re. other towns around that area (emilla Romana) I'm interested.
giannetta is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 02:39 AM
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On behalf of a friend, I looked at apartments in Parma, so I know what you are talking about. The apartments that are located on the periphery of the Parco Ducale are just a stone's throw from the historic center. You only need to take a 15-minute, pleasant walk through the park to arrive at the river and the original gate to the city.

My friend ended up choosing a hotel, so I can't offer any personal recommendations. This is the best one I tracked down, but I was unable to track down user reviews:

If you could live with a limited kitchen, this b&b might work for you -- but perhaps not for a month

As for other towns in Emilia-Romagna, Bologna jumps out as the obvious choice and if you stay in the historic center, it is surprisingly quiet and intimate, plus it has good rail connections for towns in every direction. Modena is a thriving town as is Reggio nell'Emilia. I have no idea if vacation rentals are easily found.

Ferrara is a very cozy town with a very small town feel. If you like to bicycle, you could get right in the swing of things. But it quite a bit different from Parma (incredibly, the delcious food is even richer) and its neighboring countryside is also different.

The little known and very small town of Pontremoli is a gem, but then you are in the countryside with few good rail options. You would surely need a car all the time -- whereas in Bologna or Ferrara (or even Parma), you could rent one on an as-needed basis.

Some place I have never been but which has always intrigued is the hills near the Adriatic, southeast of Bologna. The best town there I would imagine is Santarcangelo di Romagna, but you'd have to be very curious about this unknown region and not too turned off by the development along the flat Adriatic, and quirky towns like Cesantico or Dozza. But that's all just on my wish list!

You don't say what time of year you are going, but if it is summer, and you like air conditioning, you will surely want it in humid Emilia-Romagna. You might also want to keep yourselves within shooting distance of a sea. It is not far from the Parma area to the Mediterranean.

In autumn and winter, you need to be mindful that thick fogs often fill the valleys and make driving on certain days unwise.

Finally, you might want to read up on Cremona and see if it has any appeal to you as a base.

Have a great time in Italy!
zeppole is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 02:54 AM
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PS: I should add that Pontremoli is actually in Tuscany, just over the border with Emilia.

And I misspelled Cesenatico!
zeppole is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 02:58 AM
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There are 16 listings for apartments in Parma, some in the historic center, here:

And one or two here:
Zerlina is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 04:09 AM
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I have these apts marked for my own future trip:
ekscrunchy is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 08:52 AM
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Maybe it will be obvious when you begin to go through the homeholidays site, but the 16 apartments listed "in" Parma are in the Province of Parma, which extends quite a distance beyond Parma city proper. Of the 9 or so actually within the city limits proper, there are some in the historic center, and perhaps one of them would be suitable for a couple for a month's stay. Some look to small, or too big.
zeppole is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 09:21 AM
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Many thanks to all of you for your suggestions re. apartments as well as other places we might consider staying. I had not thought of Cremona and am reminded that I did a series of SKYPE Italian lessons with a woman who was in and lives in Cremona and, in fact, is now a licensed guide in that city. SO - what is the general opinion out there re. a month in Cremona?
Thanks again for good suggestions.
giannetta is offline  
Dec 31st, 2010, 10:01 AM
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Have you stayed at 1 location for a month in Italy before? We normally stay 2 weeks per location...long enough to get a good feel of the "town"...and long enough to get a good price on an apartment rental. You could for example stay in Parma ( or Cremona) and then stay in Bologna and get an entirely different perspective
ourjetboat is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 10:58 AM
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Yes, we stayed in Rome last January from 1/2 until 2/4 and it was wonderful - even though the apartment we rented in the area of Trastevere was tiny and dark! I like the month stay as it also allows us to take day trips or even an overnight without needing to resettle and reacquaint ourselves with new neighborhoods..we end up feeling "at home." We discovered, to our surprise, that even a month was not enough time to get to know a place other than superficially.
Re. Bologna: we were there for one week during that unbearably hot summer (4-5 years ago). I did not like Bologna but it very well might have been due to the heat. Our hotel was on the other side of the bridge over the RR track. That area was a good place for us as it was residential but it was a HOT hike back and forth across the bridge. One other disappointment though re. Bologna was the unusual number of scruffy and seemingly drugged young people literally lying about around the area of the university. Even in large cities like Rome, yes there are the gypsies, but not seemingly homeless very "down and out" kids hanging around the university (Sapienza). This felt more like San Francisco Haight-Ashbury in the 60s and I found it uncomfortable - not frightening, just unpleasant. I guess we SHOULD give Bologna another chance!
giannetta is offline  

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