Under the rule of Napoleon's Empress, Marie Louise, Parma was influenced by Enlightenment French artists and philosophers.
Today, Parma is known as the Italian city most influenced by French culture. Perhaps because of its illustrious past, the locals are well known for their elegance; it is not uncommon to see well-dressed locals in the central streets or boutiques at any day of the week.
Parma is also a byword for fine living that abounds in civic pride and splendid architecture. No towns of its size in Italy is more devoted to theater and music. Parma's culture contributions to the world include artists Antonio Allegri (better known by art lovers as Correggio), Paolo Toschi, and is also the birthplace of Francesco Mazzola, called Parmigianino; film director Bernardo Bertolucci, and composers Giuseppe Verdi and Arturo Toscanini.