Thursday, June 16, 2011

Modena and Parma

I have had to combine Modena and Parma into one blog entry because the internet connections in our previous hotels has been shaky.
Italy is known for great food, fine and fast cars and great shoes and clothes, but I can't say that internet connections or strong showers can be attributed to Italy's fame. Zev likes fast cars...... 
So yesterday we spent another wonderful day in Modena, home to Balsamic Vinegar, AWESOME porcini mushroom risotto, which I had the pleasure of enjoying at lunch and of course, FERRARI autos.
Yes, Mr. Ferrari as well as Mr. Maserati and other auto enthusiasts apparently grew up in this area which is now fondly known as "Auto Valley."
We stumbled across a great restaurant in a side alley in Modena called "Restaurant Danieli." I had the best porcini mushroom risotto I have ever experienced in my life; I have been raving about it ever since and actually had a DREAM about it. Yes indeed. Bon Appetit advised to eat and drink stuff that is locally produced in Italy and that is exactly what we have been doing on this trip. Porcini mushrooms are a speciality in Modena and this risotto show cased them perfectly. Zev had tortellini and the Osso Bucco and we enjoyed a local Spumante. Now I see why both our families enjoy this sparkling red wine; it is so refreshing on a hot summer's day!
So Modena was fun. And beautiful and old and historic and warm and the food was great and the company (my awesome husband) was simply perfect. Zev and I have repeatedly said to each other that this is one of the best, most relaxed holidays EVER. So low key. And yet so enjoyable. After lunch we headed out to the Ferrari museum and then enjoyed some of the best, creamiest gelato we have ever tasted at a local "gelateria" and ended the day at a local park, just listening to music and enjoying a "Negroni"which was made with the typically Italian liqueur, Campari.
Today we travelled to Parma, home of Prosciutto, Parma ham, and Parmiagiano- Reggiano cheese. We had good intentions to go and visit the salami museum, as well as the Prosciutto and Parmiagiano cheese museums, but they were each about half an hour away from each other and we really wanted to explore the historic downtown, so we headede to the supermarket, picked up some local specialties and a slice of pizza for lunch and then headed downtown to watch the locals go about their day. Simple and yet fun things to do!
The prices were good too!
We thought that this Milk Dispenser (1 euro for a litre of milk) was cool. Literally and figuratively.
Each hotel and restaurant has one of these....a bidet. Leslie from Louisiana, what do you think of this one!? Miss you, girl!
We saw so many ladies wearing SKY HIGH stilettos and walking across the cobblestoned streets, or even better, riding bicycles. I "stealthily" took this picture without it seeming obvious.
I like this picture. I love how my Zev is wearing his red back pack, socks with crocks and is so happy just walking along, swinging his arms, while the Italian guy next to him is looking serious and well, typically Italian! Black pants, white shirt and tie. Italian men like their black pants and white shirts I think....
Can you see the four monks in the background? They were young monks, too!
We went in this door...
I love to travel. Whether it is in Europe, or our next destination in Virginia. Zev and I are already checking out historical places to visit at our next posting. The point is, you have places to explore from exactly right where you are. Go explore. Walk down a new street and just watch people go by. Take pictures of something new. I bet that these people don't stop to realize how beautiful their bike riding looks...
On that note, Zev just turned to me and said "It's 10.30 at night. We need to go get gelato." How DOES this man know the right words to say? The language of love I tell you.
Hasta manana!

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