Parma About this sound listen (Emilian: Pärma) is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its prosciutto, cheese, architecture and surrounding countryside. This is the home of the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world. Parma is divided into two parts by the little stream with the same name. Parma's Etruscan name was adapted by Romans to describe the round shield called Parma.

The Italian poet Attilio Bertolucci (born in a hamlet in the countryside) wrote: "As a capital city it had to have a river. As a little capital it received a stream, which is often dry". The district on the far side of the river is Oltretorrente.

Parma was already a built-up area in the Bronze Age. It has been verified by now that in the current position of the city rose a terramare. The "terramare" (marl earth) were ancient villages in structural wood on pile-dwelling built according to a defined scheme and squared form, built on the dry land, generally in proximity of the rivers. During this age (among the 1500 BC and the 800 BC) the first necropolises (placed where stand the present-day Piazza Duomo and Millstone Square) rose also.