Almost directly in front of the church in Piazza della Steccata, you will find the Teatro Regio, or Royal Theater, one of the most important theaters in Italy for its musical tradition.
Built on land once occupied by the abbey of Saint Alexander, the theater was commissioned by Marie Louise and designed by the court architect, Nicola Bettoli.
Girolamo Magnani elegantly decorated the exterior, while Giambattista Borghesi painted the interior vault and stage curtain.
The theater was inaugurated in 1829 with a performance of “Zaira,” composed by Vincenzo Bellini for the event.
The music hall witnessed the growth and triumph of musical genius and Parma native, Giuseppe Verdi, and the extraordinary musical sensibility of the great Arturo Toscanini.
Next to the Theater, you will find a piazza.
Before the Second World War, the piazza was home to the Ducal Palace, which was bombed during the war. Today you can visit the Palazzo di Riserva, which contains the Lombardi Museum, a rich collection of antiques and personal belongings of Marie Louise and Napoleon.
Also look for the twentieth century façade of the palazzo delle Poste. Hidden inside is a large room decorated in the art nouveau style of Paolo Baratta.
Just past this building, you will find the street that takes you to the piazza del Duomo, or the Cathedral square.
The piazza itself is an architectural masterpiece, built in the medieval period. In this piazza, you will find the city Cathedral, Baptistery and Bishop’s Palace.