Parma is located in northern Italy (Emilia Romagna region) at midpoint between the cities of Milan (130 km) and Bologna (100 km). The strategic position of Parma allows to easily reach in short time several Italian cities (Venice, Florence, Ferrara, Verona, Mantua, Turin as well as the Ligurian and Adriatic coastlines, Garda Lake and the mountains).
How to reach Parma
From the Giuseppe Verdi airport, only 5 km away from the heart of the city, downtown can be easily reached by taxi, rental cars or by bus n. 6. Unfortunately, only few flights reach Parma directly. More likely landing airports are Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Milan Orio al Serio (located in Bergamo, hub for many low-cost airlines) and Bologna Marconi (advised). All these airports provide shuttle buses or train services to the corresponding central stations in Milan or Bologna where you can find frequent connections to Parma. As an alternative, many local and international car rental companies can be found in all the airports.
Train connections to Parma from Bologna Centrale and Milano Centrale are very frequent and run from the very early morning to around 11 pm. Travel times are between 45 minutes (Trenitalia Frecciabianca trains) and 70 minutes (very cheap regional trains) to/from Bologna and between 55 and 80 minutes to/from Milan. Tickets can be bought at vending machines, ticket booths inside the stations or on-line. Train time-tables can be found at this link (regional and high-speed connections by Trenitalia) or at this link (high-speed connections by NTV).
High-speed trains reach Parma (few), Bologna Centrale or Reggio Emilia Mediopadana stations. From Reggio Emilia Mediopadana high-speed train station, Parma can be reached by the Italobus service (included in the train price if you have traveled by NTV Italo high-speed train). Be aware that no direct train connections exist between Reggio Emilia Mediopadana station and Parma station.
Parma railway station is in the northern side of the city, 10 min walk from the city center and at walking distance (up to 15 minutes) to most hotels.
Parma is located along the motorway A1 Milan-Bologna and along the A15 Parma-La Spezia. Parma has two motorway exits:
1. exit “Parma” from A1;
2. exit “Parma Ovest”, from A15, about 10 Km from the city.
Located at the access points of the town there are the exchange car parks, free and open 24 hours a day. You can leave your car there and reach the city center by shuttle buses.
Indoor toll parking is available closer to the center of town, as well as outdoor parking along the city streets marked by blue lines: toll parking in the mornings and afternoons using park meters, free around lunchtime and at night. Prices may vary depending on the location.
The historical center of Parma is a Limited Traffic Zone (ZTL) controlled by cameras working every day, including festivities. During the day, access to the city center is allowed only to residents or to foreigners lodging in the hotels in the center; do not forget to state your license plate at reception on arrival.