Parma may need no introduction to millions of serious food lovers around the world. The origin of the sought-after Prosciutto di Parma ham and the highly-prized Parmesan cheese, the city, meanwhile, is attracting the attention of more people because it also possesses a wealth of cultural treasures and architectural landmarks.
“Two years ago, Parma was named Italian Capital of Culture by the government. That gave us an opportunity to intensify the focus on the city’s rich culture. Aside from this, we also have an economic base that is internationally strong. Companies like Barilla and the Chiesi Group have invested in the culture and arts. We have strong ecosystem that closely connects culture with the economic and social development of Parma,” Mayor Michele Guerra told GMI POST.
Having seen the benefits of this interaction, the city government has forged closer contact with the private sector to promote the cultural heritage of Parma.
“I'm very proud of this kind of involvement between the cultural side and economic side of the city. We work very well together,” the mayor stressed.
Apart from becoming a cultural and economic center, Parma is evolving into a leading center of education and research. The University of Parma, opened in the 14th century, is among the oldest in the world
“The University of Parma is an international university and very well connected. We are also the headquarters of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the only Italian city to host an EU agency. Because of this, there are scientists from all over the European Union who work and live here, sharing their skills and knowledge here. That has helped raise the profile of the city among Europeans,” Guerra said.