Parma About this sound listen 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 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.