We have been enjoying one of the better “foodie” areas of Italy around Bologna and Parma. As yet this area isn’t on everyone’s itinerary but well worth visiting.
One of the highlights was our visit to Bologna which has stunning arcades, arched walkways right through the city centre. Think: kilometres of buildings with covered walkways. It did have an important church, San Stefano, with 7 inner connected chapels. Architecturally, very interesting. However, it was the crowded laneways with delightful little restaurants and delis which really were fun. We snacked on, perhaps an underestimation, ham, fresh ricotta cheese and fig jam! A great combination especially with a glass of red wine to wash it down.
We were staying in the hills about 45 minutes from Bologna and were treated to a visit to the local Parmigiano Reggiano factory. It was interesting but also fun learning to tap the cheese with a metal hammer to listen for “hollow” sounds which indicate poorer quality due to holes. The cheese wheels are stamped with the license details and dates. Being in the storage area was terrific.
We are now in Parma. Home of Parma ham, (delicious as wafer thin slices on puffy
fried bread) Lambrusco (drunk early evening in bars spilling onto the streets) and Parmigiano cheese (completely changed my perception of parmigiana). On the way, we stopped at an Aceto Balsamic factory near Modena. Interesting too, but hard to part with more than 60 euros for a small bottle!
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