The Ducale Parma city and the Farnese Family

The period between the middle and the end of the sixteenth century. marks the final decline of the ideals of the Middle Ages and the rise of national monarchies.   In this context the state, created in 1545 by Pope Paul III and donated to his favorite son Pier Luigi Farnese, is almost a symbol of composite reality that characterizes the first century of the modern age.
The state “born in a night like a mushroom,” as he said the Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga, did not seem to have the conditions that would ensure stability and durability. Instead, the Farnese family and state authority were able to establish and persist for nearly two centuries.  The system of the Farnesiani’s States included, in addition to the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza, the state Pallavicini, the Marquis of Novara, the Duchy of Castro and the fief of Ronciglione in Lazio, other estates in southern Italy.   It ‘during the Farnese Duchy of which are built the most magnificent palaces in which to showcase the splendor of a court that exorcised so the frequent famines.   Duke was the center of life Ducal Palace – built in 1547-86 by Ottavio Farnese on the model of the Medici court in Florence – which communicated with the Rocchetta – now destroyed and built by Galeazzo Maria Sforza – via a bridge and then to the Summer Residence (1561) by means of a Runner (1580), sort inside the Ducal Garden.    But the ducal palace, which was a simple adaptation of existing private buildings, it was not enough to satisfy the ambitions of grandeur of the house.
Thus in 1601 began the construction of Ranuccio Pilotta, a large building services that also redeem the narrowness of the Doge’s Palace. The Farnese theater becomes a place emblematic of this court that, in the last century of its existence, mask the political and economic decline through the sumptuous celebration of tradition, the theatrical re-enactment of a classic scenic and baroque.