Palazzo della Pilotta

Palazzo della Pilotta information

Parma , Italy
Piazza della Pilotta
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Looming over Piazza della Pace's manicured lawns and modern fountains, this monumental palace is hard to miss. Supposedly named after the Spanish ball game of pelota that was once played within its walls, it was originally built for the Farnese family between 1583 and 1622. Heavily bombed in WWII, it has since been largely rebuilt and today houses several museums.

The most important of these, the Galleria Nazionale , displays Parma's main art collection. Alongside works by local artists Correggio and Parmigianino, you'll find paintings by Fra Angelico, El Greco and a piece attributed to da Vinci. Before you get to the gallery, you'll pass through the Teatro Farnese , a copy of Andrea Palladio's Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. Constructed entirely out of wood, it was almost completely rebuilt after being bombed in WWII.

For a change of period, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale exhibits Roman artefacts discovered around Parma and Etruscan finds from the Po valley.