Tucked behind the Duomo off a tranquil square in a traffic-free zone is this grand two-storey yellow palazzo, Patrizia’s home. You enter via a double ‘portone’, then take a lift from the cobbled courtyard to the first floor. In the dining room, awash with light from tall windows, are family antiques and a big oriental rug, serene pictures, a long table at which breakfast can be served, and a cosy fire for winter stays. Your hostess, accommodating and delightful, lives here with her teenage family and gives guests two elegant bedrooms: a very private double, ‘Duchessa’, down a steepish but well-lit stair (it’s also reachable from the entrance floor), and a twin/double ‘Reina’, close to the dining room with an as-private feel. Beds are handsome, mattresses are inviting, pillows plump, lighting is excellent, and discreet, and mini safes, fridges, WiFi, satellite TV, fluffy towels and beautiful toiletries are de rigeur. And then there’s history-rich Parma, with its wine bars, delis, trattorias and passion for gastronomy, and the Teatro Regio, one of the three great homes of Italian opera.