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Ducal Palace

Imposing palace requested by Ottavio Farnese in 1561 and built upon the project of Vignola next to the new ducal gardens.

However, its present state is the result of various reconstructions by both Bibiena , and in 1767, by Ennemond Petitot .
Thanks to Petitot’s interventions, the monumental double stairway with the central grotta that had adorned the main entrance was eliminated giving the palace a more classical aspect.

The palace will be the representative headquarters of the European Food Authority (http://efsa.eu.int/).  

On the interior:

  • On the ground floor there are the works of Cesare Baglioni , painted at the beginning of the 1600s
  • Monumental 18th century stairway leading to the Room of Birds , named for the plaster decorations and frescoes representing 224 bird species by Benigno Bossi in 1766-67.
  • Alcina Room ”, decorated around 1568 in collaboration with Jacopo Bertoja, one of the most interesting representatives of the second Mannerist movement in Parma, depicting scenes from the VII book of Orlando Furioso. It is the oldest room in the palace.
  • Room of Aetas Felicior or the Room of the Kiss . Between 1570—1573, Girolamo Mirala and Jacopo Zanguidi (nicknamed Bertoja) did the frescoes, representing the myth of Venus and Cupid in the happy years. The two artists worked on the ceiling so closely together that it is very difficult to distinguish one from the other, while on the walls a work of Bertoja emerges, who continued the commission after the death of the maestro. On the walls there is the scene of a dance with details of a kiss between transparent crystal columns giving the room its name. It represents one of the most innovative creations of late Mannerism in which space is used as an “instrument of naturalistic illusion”.
  • Room of Orfeo . Frescoed by Girolamo Mirala e Jacopo Zanguidi between 1568--1570, where Maestro Mirala dominates with scenes depicting Cupid’s fable of Orfeo with architectural elements.
  • Room of Erminia . The theme is liberated Jerusalem by Tiarini dated at 1628. The chosen episodes are: the meeting between Erminia on horseback, a dying Tancredi and Erminia while she catches Vafrio trying to spy. The interweaving of branches that surround the room is by the stucco artist Carlo Bossi.
  • Room of Cupid . Agostino Carracci painted the ceiling with three representations of love, but he died before completing the work in 1602: the maternal love of Venus looking at her son Enea while directed towards Italy; the celestial love between Venus and Mars; and the human love between Peleo and Teti. The room was completed between 1679/80 by Carlo Cignali with other representations of Cupid with the triumph of Venus and Cupid in the rape of Europe: Bacchus offering the treasure to Arianna; Venus and Cupid’s triumph with the graces and the pleasure and conflict between Cupid and Pan.
  • Room of Legends . Gian Battista Trotti (called Molosso) decorated three walls of the room between 1604--1619 representing Jupiter who crowns Bacchus accompanied by Venus; the sacrifice of Alcesti; Circe who gives back the human form to Ulysse’s companions. In the wall near the window there are two frescoes by the Flemish artist Giovanni Sons.

Practical information "Ducal Palace"

created: 29/04/2004
modified: 01/07/2013
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Parco Ducale

European Food Safety Authority
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Efsa Parma
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