He had named them Roman patricians; the latter he had placed in charge of Florence; the former, for whom he planned to carve out a kingdom in central Italy of Parma, Piacenza, Ferrara and Urbino, he had taken with himself to Rome and married to Filiberta of Savoy.
Parma, one of the finest cities of northern Italy, lies in a fertile tract of the Lombard plain, within view of the Alps and sheltered by the Apennines, 170 ft.
From south to north it is traversed by the channel of the Parma, crossed here by three bridges; and from east to west runs the line of the Via Aemilia, by which ancient Parma was connected on the one hand with Ariminum (Rimini), and on the other with Placentia (Piacenza).
The Madonna della Steccata (Our Lady of the Palisade), a fine church in the form of a Greek cross, erected between 1521 and 1539 after Zaccagni's designs, contains the tombs and monuments of many of the Bourbon and Farnese dukes of Parma, and preserves its pictures, Parmigiano's "Moses Breaking the Tables of the Law" and Anselmi's "Coronation of the Virgin."
The royal university of Parma, founded in 1601 by Ranuccio I., and reconstituted by Philip of Bourbon in 1768, has faculties in law, medicine and natural science, and possesses an observatory, and natural science collections, among which is the Eritrean Zoological Museum.