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Binging in Bologna – Three Generations Eat Their Way Through Emilia Romagna

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Jan 26th, 2010, 04:55 AM
  #41
 
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Great report! I love the image of your daughter being a caterpillar!
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Jan 26th, 2010, 07:35 PM
  #42
 
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I am still with you and enjoying the story, Sally. I can't wait til our Sept trip to Bologna.

Glad your warm weather get away is helping you finish your report I understand wanting to get away -I live in Wisconsin. Where are you going? We are heading to a week in Grand Cayman in Feb for our dose of sun and water.
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Jan 27th, 2010, 05:17 AM
  #43
 
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HappyCheesehead...

I'm just starting to plan a trip to Bologna (for November).

I'll look forward to reading a trip report from you too!
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Jan 27th, 2010, 08:21 AM
  #44
 
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LCI - Really?? We seem to have some similar travel ideas!

I will have to take really good notes then

Are you combining Bologna with any other areas?
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Jan 27th, 2010, 08:46 AM
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Happy...

We do seem to travel to similar destinations...wasn't it Turkey a couple years ago?

Yes, I'm going to spend 8 nights in Bologna doing a few day trips in the area and (since I'll be in Italy and can never ignore the Eternal City) 7 nights in Rome.

Sally...sorry to have hi-jacked your thread!
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Jan 27th, 2010, 05:36 PM
  #46
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LCI and Cheesehead, you will both have a fantastic time in Bologna. It really is a great city. Go hungry. We ate like there was no tomorrow.

We are heading to Hawaii (yippee!!). Maybe I'll finish the trip report in longhand on the plane while my perfect child sleeps for 12 hours. Or maybe not....
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Jan 27th, 2010, 07:18 PM
  #47
 
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Sally - you ARE lucky - I love Hawaii. Have fun!

LCI - yep - we were in Turkey a couple of years ago, and we also loved the Czech Republic, Croatia, and of course the Amalfi Coast! I think you are a much better planner than I, however, so I will be watching to see how your plans shape up. On this trip, besides the time in Bologna, we will spend some time in Switzerland and one of the Italian Lakes (to be determined later).

Sally - LCI and I will just keep your thread warm for you until you get back to finish. We are both taking copious notes
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Mar 20th, 2010, 03:06 PM
  #48
 
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bookmarking
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Mar 21st, 2010, 09:17 AM
  #49
 
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In-laws, spouse and child on one trip? You deserve a medal-no worries for not getting all perfect!
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Mar 29th, 2010, 06:23 PM
  #50
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Thanks! I shared that comment with my husband when he started talking about the next trip we should take with his parents. Will finish this report one day.
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Apr 3rd, 2010, 06:23 AM
  #51
 
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Please finish it before the end of the year as we are going sometime in 2011. Thanks!
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Apr 17th, 2010, 05:00 PM
  #52
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Trip Report Resuscitated - Prosciutto and Rain
My notes started to get sketchy at this point in the trip and, now, my memory even sketchier but I would like to finish this so here we go again.....Wednesday morning we set out for Parma in the late morning. We had done our homework, hoping to avoid another Florence situation, but were tired so were not in a real rush. It was raining as arrived but we were starting to run short on remaining days so we figured we'd just tour as long as we could stand the rain and then head back.

Our first destination was a food store – Gustatoria Garabaldi. It was on the way into town from the train station and smelled amazing (if you are into super stinky cheese and sausage smells like I am). A very patient young man waited on me answering all kinds of questions I had. DH got antsy and headed to the Museo di Glauco Lombardi which is a museum about one of Napoleon's wives, Maria Luigi, who I am guessing is from Parma. I was vaguely interested as I had just read a fascinating book about a Venetian woman in Napoleonic times called Lucia (http://tinyurl.com/y6rfyjq – highly recommend it especially as background for a trip to Venice) but the museum sounded way to fussy for DD, especially in the rain, so DH went alone and we agreed to meet up in an hour. DD and I puttered around the store for a while and chatted with the guy who was waiting on us. When I told him that I was from Boston, he got very excited as he is a baseball player and avid Red Sox fan. It really is impossible to get away from them! DD and I left with cheese, salame and a bag full of cookies and cakes. I let DD hold the bag with the cookies and when I bent down to take her out of the stroller at the museum, she was covered in food, sugar, crumbs and chocolate. I could see the ticket seller's relief when I just asked to stand in the lobby to get out of the rain and assured her that we did not intend to actually visit the museum.

Even in the rain, Parma is an attractive small city. There was certainly an air of prosperity and culture about it and I wished we had timed it to have had lunch there as the restaurants looked great. Although we didn't have the most thorough visit given the weather, it seemed pretty small and and far less bustling than Bologna. I have seen a few posts asking about Bologna v. Parma as a base for the region and I would absolutely stay in Bologna which has much more to offer.

I had read somewhere (I thought) that a good way to taste Parma ham is as a snack in a bar. We stopped into a bar and ordered some beer and a ham sandwich. We were expecting a tapas style small plate with some proscuitto on it and were pretty surprised when we got the equivalent of a foot long sub instead! We were the only people in the bar and didn't want to be rude so we ate the entire thing which was, of course, delicious. Overstuffed, we headed outside to the baptistery.

The Baptistery was really incredible. We were delighted to have the entire place to ourselves – such a nice contrast from crowded Florence the day before. I was glad we bought a book that explained the paintings and we stayed quite a while trying to identify the stories. Next we headed into the Duomo not expecting much as on this trip we found that the baptisteries outshone the duomos. Parma seemed to be no exception as we looked around the large dark church. A tour group was also inside and after a few minutes their guide put some change in the machine to light up the main alter. Wow, were we wrong! When the lights came on it was like a different place entirely. This doesn't really do it justice but to give you a sense, look at - http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/200...lideshow_2.htm The tour group left and again we had all this amazing art all to ourselves. We stayed until our change ran out and headed outside. The rain was still pretty bad so we decided to head back on the 6:30 train. We called MIL and FIL from the train and arranged to meet them at Trattoria al Rosso, one of Fred Plotkin's suggestions I think, for dinner.

Everyone seemed refreshed after a good day (us exploring and in-laws resting) and Trattoria al Rosso was a hit and my FIL's favorite of the trip. We started with a mortadello pate which was really good. I had my first lasagna of the trip and then didn't want a heavy main course so ordered grilled vegetables and scarmoza (a heavy cheese). I guess it is all relative! That was delicious. Intrigued by the name, my FIL had something called “Stinco al forno” which was a big piece of grilled meat that looked fantastic. We continued our new habit of ordering Lambrusco which we all really enjoyed (and have been drinking since returning home). It was especially fun going to Trattoria al Rosso because it was the kind of place (casual, mostly locals) that my inlaws would probably not have found without us and it was nice to see them enjoying it. DD had fun coloring with her markers and chatting to her grandparents, if not particularly hungry after eating all those pastries earlier. She did manage a gelato on the way back. As we left we passed another restaurant, Donatello, with lots of photos on the wall and a formal, old fashioned look that caught my FIL's eye. We walked them back to their hotel and then headed to our apartment. We stopped at Grom again for a second dessert on the way back to the apartment.
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Apr 18th, 2010, 06:58 AM
  #53
 
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Hi Sally - has your report been nagging at the back of your brain for you to finish it?

I am going to keep it in mind for future reference as we have changed our plans for our Sept trip. I was going to spend 4 days or so in Bologna during a trip to Lake Como and Switzerland but have decided that is not enough time for all we want to do. So, we are just taking two days out of Switzerland and buzzing up to Munich for the beginning days of Oktoberfest and back to Switzerland.

I will be referencing your report when we do go to Italy next, because Emilia Romagna is top of the list!
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Apr 25th, 2010, 04:10 PM
  #54
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A little, yes. Is that too obsessive of me?
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Apr 25th, 2010, 05:12 PM
  #55
 
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Sally, you just take your time. Trattoria al Rosso looks like my kind of place! Plotkin's upated book is supposed to be available this suumer.
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