Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Bring on the Cheese!



We were sad to leave Florence but excited to head to our next destination- the Emilia-Romagna region! It wasn't a far drive but the insane curvy road and the hordes of motorcycle riders driving at break neck speeds made for a heart stopping trip. You just can't imagine how many bikes there were! Then we hit Bologna at rush hour which caused us some headaches too. Finally we made it to Modena where we were very excited to be staying at Villa Gaidello an agriturismo for 3 days- but as soon as we drove out to it (past the prison!) we knew it was not the spot for us. I have read many rave reviews but our apartment was dark and creepy and way too big for the 2 of us. It was in the middle of no where which meant driving 30 minutes for a good meal through copious amounts of highway construction that was happening. ugh.






Out came the travel guide and the bottle of wine we'd been packing around since Cinque Terre for just such an emergency as this! A few phone calls found us a room at Hotel Button in Parma. The name made us laugh so we booked it, but not without quite a hassle as the manager needed us to fax or email our credit card info to him and we had access to neither. A long text was sent back home to our friend Della who (saved us!) and emailed the hotel. And off we went to dinner in Modena knowing that we would get to move the next day.


Each of the towns in EG is quite industrial and commercial upon entering it- only when you find the center of town, park and then walk into the old areas are you charmed by these incredible cities. It took us a while to get use to that....for those of you from around Seattle they looked like Tukwilla upon driving in.


We spent the next 3 days exploring each of the towns and the amazing food they have to offer! In Bologna we found fantastic markets selling huge varieties of salumi, prosciutto, pasta, etc.



Modena is of course home to the best balsamic in the world and then there is Parma......

Once morning we got up early and drove to one of the Parmigiano-Reggiano facilities for a tour. BEST DAY EVER! We went through the entire process and were then rewarded with a huge wedge of cheese to eat! These people are the best! haha!




From here we drove to the Ferrari Museum!



and then back to Modena for lunch and cocktails. If you ever are in Parma do not miss a cheese tour, sounds hokey but is probably one of the highlights of our trip!

More pictures of the beautiful Emilia-Romagna area here!