Friday, March 14, 2008

Italy Part 8: Parma, Maranello, Bologna

Towards the end of our stay in Italy, we went on a bit of a road trip, hitting three cities in one day.

The first was Parma, where we took a whole bunch of pictures of things that we know nothing about.

We had essentially stopped there to taste Parmesan cheese at it's source, so we got down to the business of lunch straight away.

Lunch did not disappoint, and besides the buttery Parma Prosciutto ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano (which go so well together because the pigs eat the whey by-product of the cheese making), we also had the best tortelloni that we have ever put in our mouths. It was sweet, salty and savory -- each a different kind, each equally pleasing. We wish that we could remember more about what they were actually stuffed with, but we failed to carefully read the menu.

Our next stop was Maranello, home to the Ferrari factory.

The gallery wasn't enormous, but it was cool, because there are no barriers around the displays, letting you get as close as you want -- although heaven help you if you touch any of it! The staff is friendly, but very watchful (and who could blame them?)

Our third and final stop of the day was in Bologna.

Oh, Bologna, we wish we could have had more of a chance to explore you. We also wish that the food we ate there wasn't crap.

Really, it was kind of our fault that we had a terrible dinner here. It was late by the time we got there -- the children were hungry, it was cold outside, and by the time we'd walked around a little, they were more than ready for dinner. We had to stop at the nearest place...on this particular occasion that decision did not serve us well.

However, we did discover two leaning towers we'd never heard of. I found these a good deal more impressive than the much more famous one in Pisa, as the one of them was taller, with more of a lean. I wish that we could have seen them in the daylight.

Bologna is a college town, and seemed full of art, music and life. We hear that there is excellent food on the opposite side of town from the one that we were one. Next time.

Click on any of the above mosaics for more info on the pictures within.

Next post: Venice

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