Parma is a city with a long and colorful history. As such, the center is full of interesting historical buildings, some of which date back to the eleventh century, such as the Baptistery and San Paolo. Other notable sights include the Palazzo della Pilotta, which is home to the Academy of Arts, and the Santa Croce.
Expats living in Parma can also enjoy its famous native cuisine, including tortelli d'erbetta and anolini in brodo, in addition to Parma ham and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. And there are many bars, restaurants, and cafes where such culinary delights can be enjoyed at.
The city also has a famous soccer team, Parma FC, currently playing in the top division of Italian soccer, Serie A.
Living in Parma means that you will need to use the Italian healthcare system, which has both public and private options. Public healthcare, managed by the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), is funded through tax collection; however, some treatments do require co-payments from citizens.
Your ability to use this system depends on your nationality — EU citizens living in Parma have open to access to public healthcare. However, expatriates from outside the EU are required to apply for an Italian identity card (carta d’identità) and an Italian health insurance card (tessera sanitaria) via their local health authority. These cards should be renewed yearly. You can then apply to register with a doctor and start using the system.
Additionally, public healthcare in the north of Italy is considered the best in the country, which is good news for expatriates living in Parma. The private system is regarded as one of the best in the world, and many expatriates living in Parma opt to use it if they can afford to do so.
When opting for the private system, expatriates need to get a private insurance policy or pay the required usage fees directly. Regardless of the system, many doctors in Parma speak English at least to some degree.
For more information on healthcare and insurance in Italy, please take a look at our corresponding article.
Parma has a number of schools that would be suitable for the children of expatriates living the city. Whereas the public system is well regarded, public schools typically offer English only as a second language and teach in Italian.
Therefore, many expatriates living in Parma choose to send their children to international schools like the British School Di Pickthall Charles Edward and the Scuola Per L'Europa, which also teaches in French.
The city is also home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Parma, which has existed in some form since 1117 A.D. The university offers programs across all subjects, and is one of the most prestigious in Northern Italy. The city also has the European College of Parma, which trains students for work in the European Union and offers courses in English and other European languages as well as Italian.