Parma mia! is a blog for ex-pats and English-language speakers in Parma as well as for tourists who want to learn more. We've got lots of tips and tidbits to share: where to buy your foreign foods, favorite restaurants, what's on for kids during the weekends, local agricultural fairs, where you can find a babysitter or chiropractor and hints on how to make it through the bureaucratic maze that is Italy (see tabs below). This forum is for you: please share your ideas/events with us at or on FB at Parma Mia.

And remember to like Parma Mia on Facebook for weekly updates. Buon divertimento!

April 28, 2012

May in Parma

Our selection for May:

1st May "Vieni a giocare con noi" a Sala Baganza, a full day dedicated to kids, free activities and games in the castle park and in the city streets that will be closed to traffic on this occasion. Possibility to picnic on site.

5-6 May De Gustibus

Workshop at the Archeological Museum on 6 May.

13 and 20 May fattorie aperte: farms open their doors to the public. We recommend cheese farms (early morning...) to see the making of Parmigiano.

9-13 May Festa dell'Europa. A rich programme of events including La Festa dell'Orto Botanico, one full day of activities in the botanical garden on 13 May.

4-10 May Cibus in Città: events for the general public will take place downtown. Visit the website for updates.

Giornata nazionale "Bimbimbici" (national day of "kids on bikes"): visit the website of FIAB-Bicinsieme to know more about specific activities in Parma. Due to bad weather, has been postponed to June 2.

17-20 May: Salone del Cavallo Americano in Reggio Emilia, a fun idea for the weekend.

19 and 20 May: the rescue center for wild animals of Salsomaggiore will exceptionally open its doors to the public. A rare opportunity to approach owls, deers, etc.

19 and 20 May: Festa delle Maschere, a festival dedicated to the traditional art of masks.

19 May Notte dei Musei (museums open till late): Casa della Musica, Museo archeologico (Pilotta), etc.

20 May festa delle Oasi WWF: in the provincia of Parma, it will take place at the Oasi dei Ghirardi, Borgotaro. Guided tours at 10 am and 4:30 pm, live music at 1:30 pm, theater show at 3 pm.

May 27: Casa dei Bimbi is back piazza Garibaldi.

27 May Cantine Aperte, vineyards open their doors... and their cellars. Visit the website for updates.

New activities at Laboratorio Famiglia located strada Quarta: art on Tuesday and Wednesday (ooooh noooo, we want cooking classes for the kiddos back!) and special events (follow link).

Bibliomondo is collecting used (but still usable) toys and books in order to support the library Baia del Re.
For information tel. 3334505309 e-mail
They can pick up the stuff at your home (please call to arrange appointment).

Visit the "April in Parma" post for ongoing events, as well as our "Tourism", "Kids" and "Nature" pages for suggestions.

April 20, 2012

Summer camps / schools

If you consider staying part of the summer in Parma, here are a few proposals to keep your children busy while you enjoy the swimming pool (or your air-conditioned flat...).

Different structures offer summer camps or classes. Enrollment will open in May for most of these structures.

Club Mary Poppins offer summer school for kids up to 12. Open 11 June-27 July and then from 20 August, provided 20 kids have been enrolled for each period. Weekly cost from Eur 80 to 130 according to kid's age and number of hours per day.  Enrollment already open.

Leitmotiv language school propose intensive courses of English, French and German. Enrollment already open, deadline 31st May.

The city of Parma has published a guide with summer camps available for kids aged 6-14. Enrollment will start in May for summer camps "in città".

Biblioteca Ilaria Alpi propose activities in English and Spanish for kids aged 8+. Only in the morning, though.

Different didactic farms also offer activities. Google "centro estivo".

The WWF also offer summer camps for kids and teenagers. Usually one week long.

After having booked the kids' activities, visit our 'Me time' page for suggestions of outdoor swimming pools!

April 18, 2012

Whale watching

If you're looking for an unusual experience, you should consider the whale watching mini-cruises proposed by the acquarium of Genova and the WWF.

Every Saturday, 1 pm-6 pm, in July and August every Tuesday and Saturday.

Cost Eur 42 for adults and Eur 21 for children aged 4-12 including entrance ticket to the acquarium of Genova.

Booking information:  Incoming Liguria, tel. 010/2345.666 or   in this section “Prenota e acquista”.

PS: the presence of whales or dolphins is not guaranteed! This is not a show, but a cruise to approach wild and free animals.

April 13, 2012

Mary Poppins Club

Currently considering opening a class (nursery school/scuola materna) taught entirely in can contact them at if you want to learn more.

Will also offer summer school for kids up to 12. Open all July and August.
Weekly cost from Eur 80 to 130 according to kid's age and number of hours per day.