Published: May 23rd 2007May 23rd 2007
Off to Parma!!! First the train station in Bologna—relatively easy to navigate, busy but the ticket agents are helpful. Another scorching day but the town historic center seemed quite beaucolic. We had lunch at Il Trovatore, a small restaurant off a side street near the train station. The walk there was lively with market vendors lining the streets. For an antipasti, Chris ordered prosciuto di parma which is actually absolutely fantastic and melts in your mouth like butter when you order it in Parma. Jose had steamed shellfish tossed with faro and corn which were cooked to perfection. Jose was not done with the mollusks as he ordered the squid ink ravioli with clams (a wonderful taste of the sea). Chris paid homage to her grandmother who knew the beauty of pasta with butter and cheese (in this case, parmesan) and had the ravioli with ricotta in a simple butter sauce and parmesan cheese (a regional specialty and quite recommended). Our waiter was formal but friendly and the meal ended with a regional digestivo- noccino. We walked to the Piazza della Pace next to the gigantic Pilazzo della Pilotta. The green space in the Piazza was a welcome sight after
many days in Bologna where the grass is scarce in the inner city. We worked our way to the Duomo walking through some cobbled streets, whether due to the heat or the lunch hour, Parma really seemed to have a more relaxed pace which was a welcome change. The one group of tourists in the Piazza del Duomo did not disturb the peaceful tranquility. The frescos are magnificent and worth stopping here for. The Baptistry next door is also beautiful and worth the 3 euro each to enter (one of the few entrance fees we’ve paid so far). We spent the rest of the day ambling the quiet streets and enjoying the local culture before leaving by train back to Bologna. Of note, the train trip was not without incident and it is worth noting that if sitting on the platform and it suddenly becomes desolate - start looking for your train on the next platform over as it has likely changed (this of course was announced but our Italian was poor and Chris made a mad dash for the conductor at the last minute getting us on the train).
There are more photos below