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Best known for its incredibly edible contributions to world gastronomy (especially parmigiano cheese and Parma ham), Parma has also been revered by opera lovers (who flock to its Teatro Regio) since the days of Verdi, who was born in nearby Roncole. Parma’s many historic sights include the 11th-century cathedral and its baptistry. Begun in the 12th century, it's considered one of medieval Europe’s most important buildings for its straddling of the Romanesque and Gothic architecture periods.