Sunday, October 21, 2012


The area of Emilia-Romagna that we were staying,
with Bologna being the capital has so
many great choices for a day trip.
Our first choice was Modena, a half
hour train ride. 

I had just read that the Duomo in Modena
was considered one of the top five Duomos
in Italy.  We fortunitely have been to the
other four so I was looking forward to seeing
this one.  It did not disappoint.

On the surface Umberto Panini's dairy
farm and organic Parmesan cheese factory
looks like any other in the northern province.

Walking into the warehouse where they
store the wheels of Parmesan was over whelming.
The fragrance was better than any perfume.

Hidden away in one of the farmhouses
is the most complete collections of
Maserati's in the world.

He also has vintage tractors

wonderful collection of bikes, both motor
and petal

This was a very impressive place to visit.
I loved the sculptures. This was a tree
with a sense of humor.

It had these brass plates hung on the
branches that were in all different

This dog was so still I had to make
sure he wasn't part of the ornamentation.

I couldn't agree more.
"Never forget the stupidity of humanity."

The following day we took the train to
Parma.  This is generally reckoned to
have one of the highest standards of
living in Italy.  It was a Sunday so
all of the stores were closed but
the streets were full of strolling families.
It is so clean you think your on
a movie set.

This area was struck very hard earlier
in the year by two earthquakes.  We could
see the evidence of repair going on.

This was the home to the painter Correggio
where one of his most famouse works,
Assumption is in the Piazza del Duomo.

It was a very hot day and John needed
a rest and also some nurishment.

Nothing like a pizza and a glass of wine
to fix that.  Now he's smiling.

After lunch we found a parade was going on.
Everyone was decked out in these great
medieval costumes.

We saw this sign and could tell it was
a museum, but had no idea what kind
and decided to explore.

This holds the largest collection of puppets
in the world.  We were awe stricken. 
It is a fasinating place.

They have regular puppet shows on Sunday
with guest puppeteer's.

The parade ended in this area where
they had all sorts of entertainment.
It was a very festive crowd.

We felt a little like this dog and were
ready to get back on the train.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


One of my favorites things to do when in
a new place is to go out early in the
morning and explore before the
place is filled with people.
I couldn't wait to do that in Bologna.

We stayed in an apartment in the city
center a short walk from the Piazza Maggiore.
There are enough monuments and curiosities
in this area for several days of leisured

This young couple took the opportunity
to get an uninterrupted picture of
themselves before the area was
swarming with people.

No other city in Italy has as many
porticoes or covered walkways as found
in Bologna.  In the city center there are
barely any stretch of pavement not topped
by an ornate, arched covering.  I was totally
taken by them.

In Italy visiting the food stalls are on the top
of our list.  Here they were surrounded by
small food shops.

We found this charming little trattoria to
have our favorite lunch.

Grilled Vegetables and pasta, and wine
of course.  Yes we are on vacation.

John and I are not meat eaters but
in Italy we will eat ham, and the
prosciutto in this region is the best.
Topped with some arugula and parmigiana
reggiano with a splash of some
of the best olive oil.  One word, Heaven.

I got a little obsessed with this
fabulous rusted fence.

Besides being known for their ham,
this region is second only to Sicily
for the amount of fish caught in its waters.
Trying new things is half of the
fun of traveling, we could not
resist ordering octopus ceviche.
It was incredible to say the least.

A little creative photography from our waitor.