City (pop., 2007 est.: 177,069), Emilia-Romagna region, northern Italy. Located on the Parma River, the site was founded by the Romans in 183 BC; it became an episcopal see in the 4th century AD. Parma was destroyed by the Ostrogoths under Theodoric I but was rebuilt in the Middle Ages. Made part of the duchy of Parma and Piacenza in 1545, it was held by the Farnese family and later passed to the Austrians. In 1815 Napoleon gave the city to his second consort, Marie-Louise. In 1861 it became part of united Italy. It was badly damaged during World War II but was rebuilt. It is the commercial centre of an agricultural region and is famous for its Parmesan cheese. Sites of interest include the 12th-century Romanesque cathedral, the 13th-century baptistery, and the university (founded in the 11th century).