Covering an area of over 260 square kilometers in the north of Italy, Parma had a population of almost 180,000 people in 2013. As a major industrial city in close proximity to other European countries, it has a diverse population, with expats moving to Parma from around the world.
Most expatriate residents of Parma are European (3.61% of the population), and are mainly of Albanian, Moldovan, or Romanian origin. Parma also has large groups of Sub-Saharan Africans (1.86%) and North Africans (1.44%). Almost 18% of all children born in city have one parent not born in Italy, above the Italian average of 10%.
This means that whilst Italian is the administrative and spoken language of the city, areas with a high concentration of foreigners and expatriates may also use their relevant native language to communicate. It is highly recommended that expatriates moving to Parma learn some Italian, though, even if many people are able to speak at least some English.
Parma has a humid subtropical climate and is significantly affected by the urban heat island phenomenon — this means that the city center experiences far hotter temperatures than surrounding rural areas due to the effects of human activity like traffic and industry.
Expatriates moving to Parma from colder countries may need time to adjust to the hot climate, as average temperatures have been known to reach 30°C in the summer, which lasts from May to September. The winter is far cooler, however, with temperatures ranging around of 9 °C. Annual average precipitation for the city is 777 mm.
The visa application process for Italy depends on your country of origin. As Italy is a member of the European Union, expatriates moving to Parma with an EU passport do not need to apply for a visa before they arrive. This is also true for citizens of Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and Liechtenstein. However, while no visa is required to enter the country, expats are still required to apply for a residency permit if they wish to work and stay in Italy for more than 90 days.
Expatriates from another country will need to apply for visa before arrival – you will need to contact your local Italian consulate or embassy to submit the application. Be aware that the time it takes to obtain a visa can vary, so you are advised to begin the process well in advance of your move to Parma.
For more information on visas, please also consult our article on Moving to Italy.