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Getting to and around Busetto (Verdi) and Modena and Parma (food)


Aug 19th, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Getting to and around Busetto (Verdi) and Modena and Parma (food)

We will be in Bologna for 4 weeks (Sept. 16 - Oct. 12) and plan to visit other cities during the weekends. We would like to go to Busetto to see the various Verdi sites and to Parma and Modena for the food factory tours/museums (vinegar, prosciutto/salami, cheese, ?tomato?). It appears that many of these are not easily reachable by public transportation. Would it be better to rent a car? Perhaps we would try to see all of these during one weekend and spend the night somewhere in the area. Where might be a good place to do that? If all of this is too much for one weekend, we could come back some other time by train and see the sights we missed that are close to a train station.

For the Verdi stuff, I don't know yet if we'll try to go to the Verdi Festival in Parma. If we don't, I presume it would be better to see the Verdi sights in September, before the crowds arrive for the festival. Correct?

For the food factories, I presume if we have a car, we can see them on our own and not need to go on an organized combo tour. I know that I need to contact each factory separately and make my own arrangements
judilie is offline  
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Aug 20th, 2012, 09:56 AM
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I would rent a car for the weekend and arrange your own visits to the factories. We stayed at Hotel Della Rosa Prati in Parma and loved it. However, if you want something more rural, you should look at Antica Corte Pallavicina. In addition to making amazing culatello, they also have a wonderful restaurant and lovely rooms for rent.

If you stay in Parma, I highly recommend a meal at Trattoria ai Due Paltani on Via Budellungo in nearby Coloreto. One of the best meals of that trip.
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Aug 20th, 2012, 02:39 PM
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Why don't you contact the food producers or food tours that interest you and see if they provide transportation from the train station.

Also, check out when the proscuitto fair is in September in Parma. It may have a negative effect on touring food producers in that time frame -- or you might want to go to the trade fair.

Parma and Modena have many more sights of interest beyond food. If you are at all interested in art and architecture, it is worth taking the train to Parma separately one day just to see those sights. The same is true of Modena, but it is smaller and with fewer unique things to see, and it is so close to Bologna (20 minutes by train), you can go there on a weekday to stroll around before dinner, then have a nice Modenese meal and take a train back to Bologna after dinner.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 02:07 PM
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Thanks. I heard back from the people in Busseto and they also recommended that we rent a car. Does anyone have any recommendations of a local company in Bologna that has reasonably priced car rentals for a couple of days?
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Aug 21st, 2012, 02:46 PM
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Prosciutto Festival is Sept. 7-16. We will arrive in Bologna late on Sept. 15 (after flying from Los Angeles via Frankfurt and Rome), so probably won't have the energy to go to Parma the day after we arrive, but I'll keep it in mind in case we feel up to it.

I looked into Hotel Della Rosa Prati and Antica Corte Pallavicina for Saturday-night stays during our time frame, and no rooms are available. I'd welcome suggestions of other lodgings in the Modena/Parma/Busseto area writ large.
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