Situated in the Po River valley and in the Emilia-Romagna region, the Italian Food Valley, crossed by the via Emilia, an ancient Roman road founded by the Romans in 183 BC, Parma is a city of 189,000 inhabitants.

Parma and its territory are universally known for their ability to preserve an unrivaled gastronomic heritage that delivers worldwide products such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma. Over the centuries, the territorial and cultural concomitance have allowed not only the elaboration of excellent typical products, but also the development of an industrial knowledge and of technologies for the preservation of food. A real culture of food.

The agro-food sector is represented in Parma and its territory through the whole food chain: typical products and their protection Consortia, renowned and starred restaurants and chefs, Italian cuisine teachers, food museums, research and food safety, agro-food industries, cultural projects and educational events, exhibitions and international, national and local fair events.

A strong cultural component has always been associated with the food tradition. The succession of European dynasties such the Farnese (1545-1731), the Bourbon (1732-1808) and the illuminated management of the Duchy by Maria Luigia d’Austria (1815-1847), favored the culinary and cultural attitudes of opening towards contaminations and innovations from abroad, transforming Parma, over time, into an integrated and synergistic system of food, culture, art and music.

There is more than 350 different pasta types
Pasta fresca and prosciutto di parma two essential ingredients in the Italian cuisine.

Contribution to the network

As a Creative City of Gastronomy, Parma envisages:

  • promote, enhance and share the gastronomic heritage, meant both as a set of physical environmental and landscape resources, and a combination of anthropological expressions which constitute the identity, the culture, the history and the know-how of the local community

  • make the city-region dialogue real: in the candidacy the city of Parma is identified as the leader or ambassador city of the Emilia Romagna region, defined as “Italy’s greatest gastronomic treasure” by the US magazine Forbes

  • open the city and engage the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in a system of educational and formative experiences that make the city of Parma an innovative center for education and training in the food industry

  • transmit the values of Made in Italy agricultural and food expressed by the Mediterranean Diet (Intangible Heritage of Humanity UNESCO), promoting the basic elements of Mediterranean food culture such as the respect for tradition, the protection of the territory and the conservation of biodiversity

  • propose models and expertise exportable on the international scene, thus making the city’s resources available not only to the territory, but also to international stakeholders who have interest in seizing the opportunity of a shared cooperation

Facts and figures


260,6 km²


 195,222 (2017)


Designated Unesco Creative City in 2015

Host of the meeting “Parma Welcomes UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy”, May 2016

First Italian city for Agri-food Qualitative Supremacy

“Designated Italian Capital of Culture 2020


30.5% of the labour force is working in the agri-food and gastronomic industry


What’s on?

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7 – 10th may 2018
International Food Exhibition in the agri-food sector with commitment to “made in Italy”

Rural Festival

2 – 3 september 2018
Gathering between heroic farmers and ranchers around Parma who grow ancient vegetable cultivars and races.