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Trip Report: A quick jaunt through Emilia-Romagna with a BIG emphasis on food.

Trip Report: A quick jaunt through Emilia-Romagna with a BIG emphasis on food.

Oct 5th, 2007, 01:40 AM
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Trip Report: A quick jaunt through Emilia-Romagna with a BIG emphasis on food.

This trip was a little surprise for me since I had been on a family trip to Italy over December/January and was not expecting to go back again for quite some time. Still maybe I had inkling about it before it was planned because I had decided to continue to learn Italian after the winter trip. To explain, my mother was planning a trip to France to see the Rugby World Cup in October with my father. Then she discovered that there was a tour with the art gallery that she guides with to go to the Venice Biennale and the Documenta in Kassel (Germany). This was to be at the beginning of September.

But her problem was that she would be left with two weeks on her own so she wasn�t so sure about going on the art trip. �I wish I could go and meet you� I said sort of jokingly. Well next thing I know my DH, my father and my daughter are all pushing me to take the opportunity to travel with my mum (something I had never done). Mum is not old (68) but she is not getting any younger either and I decided that if I was going to want to travel with her it might be good to start now while she was still active. Added to this she was so thrilled with the idea that she contributed to some of the cost of the trip.

Mum booked a food tour with Martin Randall in Emilia-Romagna for the first week. I then handled the planning of the second week, which we did independently. Let me say that I was a little apprehensive of going on the tour, as I had not done a tour since some alcohol fuelled ski trips during my university days. I was also nervous that being in my mid (okay late) 40s I would be quite a bit younger (and poorer) than my fellow travellers. This turned out to be almost true but made no difference to the enjoyment. There was in fact one other person travelling with his mother (and he was in his 30s. One of the tour leaders was also in her 30s. But even the rest of the tour group were all great fun. It would be hard not to enjoy a Martin Randall food tour assuming you have at least a passing interest in food (you like to eat for example) and there was also one very direct comparison with my early tour group experiences as there was no shortage of wine. I will detail meals and experiences of the tour later.

The tour was to end in Bologna so I decided that the next week should begin here. We were to spend a day in Bologna already on the tour but I wanted to see more and also to use it as a base to see the mosaics of Ravenna. We were then to go to Lake Como for a few days and have a final couple of nights in Milan before I was to fly home and mum was to travel to France to meet my father.

Well I warn you all, the emphasis on food truly is big. As my daughter said while I was away �wow all you seem to do is eat�.
aussiefive is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 01:44 AM
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I arrived at Bologna Airport after an uneventful trip of some 30 hours (three planes). Met up with Mum and we sat for a couple of hours in the airport until the group finally arrived from London. We were on our way on the bus about an hour behind time. We had a brief introduction to some of the group, nearly all English except for one other Australian couple. An enormous traffic jam put us 2 hours behind time and so we went straight to the restaurant at 10pm. I was grubby, smelly and very tired but nevertheless it was still good. We had a very large meal that was to indicate the pattern for the trip. We began with several different types of cured ham which the wait staff kept offering so we kept taking. Then came a delicious salad of lettuce, baby tomatoes, mozzarella, sultanas in balsamic vinegar. I probably should have paid more attention to this course as the only criticism I would have of the tour was that we really didnt eat many greens. Next I tried agnelli in brood for the first time, and just loved it. Then came Rosa di Parma (veal fillet stuffed with proscuiutto and parmesan cheese with a marsala cream sauce and then desert! Luckily desert was fruit salad. This meal was accompanied by what felt like a never ending supply of wine. Those English sure can drink! Only the good stuff of course. All the wines we had during this tour were local. Emilia-Romagna is not known so much for their wines as their food. The signature wine I Lambrusco a fizzy red and not to everyones taste. Having spent some time living opposite an Italian Bottle shop during my 20s I had acquired a taste for this wine, which was lucky for me.

I fell into bed at 1am. The hotel Grande Hotel de la Ville (attached to the Barilla Centre in Parma) was nice but a business style hotel on the edge of Parma Centro.

The next day we began with a cooking demonstration at Accademia Barilla. We learnt how to make taglietelli Bolognese - the real way, Rosa di Parma and Zuppa Inglese. All dishes are specialties of the area. Then we ate it (served with wine as everything we eat is). After this we went on an excursion and visited the castle at Torrechiara, a prosciutto factory and a winery. All of this was in the hills near Parma, which is the area they need to make prosciutto di Parma. The prosciutto factory was very interesting and of course we had a tasting (with wine). The winery was fairly interesting and in a pretty spot, but I did not love their wines - oh well, plenty more to come. That evening we went to an award-winning restaurant Ristorante Parizzi, quite an interesting a modern style restaurant and had about 6 courses of various fish dishes selection of raw and cold seafood dishes, Mediterranean mackerel with burrito cheese and sea urchins, past with anchovies and olives, roast lobster (except I did not have this as I am allergic so I had fish), a tasting plate of parmigiano cheeses of different stages of maturity followed by a fruit yoghurt. .

Wednesday we went to see the Parmigiano Reggiano being made. A real highlight for me. Besides seeing the process we learned a lot about Parmigiano cheese including that it is a perfect food once aged for 30 months or more. We had a tasting of course with 3 different aged cheeses. After visiting an old cheese-making museum we went back to Parma and had the afternoon to wander around, visiting the beautiful pink and white Baptistery, the Duomo and the Camera di San Paulo with its wonderful frescoes by Correggio. Also went shopping (mostly window). Dinner on this night was at Al Tramezzo (it used to be a sandwich shop but certainly not any more). This was wonderful, starting with risotto with porcini musghrooms, followed by stuffed quail and then milk ice cream with chocolate sauce.

We had all been looking forward to the day we were to go to a pig farm at Polesine Parmense where they make Culatello (or more accurately Culatello di Zibello). It was very nice to be out in the countryside on a beautiful day and we were shown around the farm and a new guesthouse they have there. Actually we were all under the impression that we were very much encouraged to see the new guest house in the hope that we would book later. We had a delicious lunch in the restaurant (Il Cavellino Bianco) tagliolini pasta with home made butter, fillet of black port with Fortana grape must, amaretti semifreddo with zabaglione sauce. Then we visited the pigs that are bred for the culatello.
First we had to spot the pigs in the wild like a kind of pig safari, then we saw them in their pens. Hhmm delicious! Had no trouble eating pig again which is lucky because it is a very popular meat in this part of the world.

That night we had free evening in Parma which was lovely. Parma has a very nice feel to it. After a little rest Mum and I walked into the town and visited the San Giovanni di Evangelista church quickly. Actually evening vespers were on but we could see the Coreggio ceiling. Then we walked around the streets and across the dried up river (Torrente Parma) into the gardens. We stayed just a little while before walking along via Farini. We spotted Kate (our tour lecturer, Claire our tour co-ordinator, and other tour members Charles, David and Vicki and joined them for a drink at Bar Fontana. They left for dinner and Mum and I had a second drink there. Drinks came with some chips and pizzza so we made that dinner and had a reasonably early night.

Next: Modena, Bologna and 2 star Michelin
aussiefive is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 02:54 AM
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It really is a shame that you can't edit titles after you have posted. I know that Lake Como and Milan are in Lombardy.

Also I would like to clarify a few points about the wines. Unfortunately I did not write down the names of most of the wines we tried. We mostly dran red from Emilia-Romagna but we only seemed to drink Lambrusco in the mornings (it must be a breakfast food!).

We most often drank sangiovese - which were pretty good.

We only had a couple of whites - albana's which are typical of the Emilia region.
aussiefive is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 04:59 AM
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Lovely report so far, aussiefive - looking forward to the rest as food is my favourite subject ! Also we are planning to visit some of the same places next year. The foodie tour sounds fantastic.

I love the Aussies' casual attitude to travelling vast distances - "an uneventful trip of some 30 hours"

Did your mum enjoy the Biennale and Documenta ? We've been to the last 2 Biennales (or Biennali, I suppose) but haven't been to Documenta.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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Caroline thanks for your comments.

You have to be casual about travelling a long way or else you just never go anywhere (even in Australia). And I am sure you know Aussies like to go somewhere often.

Mum loved both exhibitions but enjoyed the Biennale more I think. She is a real modern art buff - has been a guide at the Museaum of Contemporary Art in Sydney since its beginning and knows a lot about it. I think she is glad she has been to Documenta. It only coincides with the Vencice Biennale every 5 (or was it 10) years so this was the time she had to see it. I don't think she will mind if she does not go again but I suspect she just might try to get to Venice again.

aussiefive is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Aussiefive, this sounds like a delicious tour! Several years ago, we too saw how Parmigiano is produced and it was one of the highlights of our trip.

My mouth is watering, just thinking about all that delicious food you ate. What a wonderful experience to learn how to prepare that great food at the Accademia.

Looking forward to the rest of your report.
sognodfn is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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Friday morning dawned as our last morning in Parma and we set off for Modena. We had not got very far when one of the couples on the bus realised they had forgotten the Parmiggiano cheese. The group was consulted, will we go back for them, after all you can buy cheese in London. During the banter our bus driver informed us that Parmigiano is known as poor mans Viagra. Anyone game to try? You can imagine the comments flying around the bus after this revelation. So off we finally went to the Aceto Balsamico factory in Nanantola (sp?). We saw how the tradizionale balsamic is made and then tasted three different vinegars. A 6 ear old, which is not actually tradizionale, a 12 year old which is the youngest tradtional vinegar sold and a 25 year old. We realised that we have probably never eaten proper balsamic vinegar. The tradizionale is used sparingly on vegetables or fruit (or anything really). It is an out of this world taste. I bought a bottle of 12 yo vinegar only for special occasions but also some wine vinegar (which is for salad dressings) and some balsamic jelly which should be delicious with parmesan cheese.

We had one of the best lunches of the trip in the garden of the azienda. We had roast pork (very plain but perfectly cooked) and potatoes with 25 yr old balsamic vinegar drizzled on them. We had Lambrusco wine (not so good) but the dessert was delicious dolce accompanied by several different types of liqueurs. I tried Noci (hazelnut), arancia (orange) mandarino (mandarin) and grappa.

After this visit we stopped at the Abbey in Nanantola then went to Modena to see the Cathedral. Apart from Pavarotti having just had his funeral there it is also a very old and extremely fine example of Romanesque architecture. Just been put on the UNESCO world heritage list and I can see why.

After this we headed up into the hills to our accommodation in Dozza (near Bologna). We stayed in a converted old monastery now a 4 star hotel. It was quite nice but the service was not great. It had a pool but I never did swim in it. Still, it has beautiful views over hillside countryside. We had dinner in hotel that night: ravioli, turkey and a mousse for desert. Prosecco was served before the dinner and then red wine of course.

The next morning we went to Bologna and walked through the famous food markets. We visited Tamburini and had a tasting of meats and cheeses (including mortadella which is from Bologna) accompanied by Lambrusco. This was at 10.30am. We spent about an hour wandering around visiting markets and the cake shop.

Next we went to Trattoria Bentivoglio to learn how to make pasta. The old woman who demonstrated was over 80 years (but looked 60). She made the pasta so quickly and simply that we were all inspired to try ourselves when we got home. Time will tell of course. We got to make a few shapes ourselves but it will take a bit of practice (and perhaps the purchase of the right equipment) before I can replicate. We then had lunch of pasta: tortellini in brodo, fusilli with vegetables, lasagna, followed by a rare (for this trip) salad and then Tiramisu. Red wine of course. This lunch was delicious but unfortunately on our sixth day of eating continuously many people had to take their leave.

We had some free time to wander around Bologna then so Mum and I went to the Morandi museum to see the still lifes. Morandi comes from Bologna and this is the largest collection of his artwork. It was a real treat.

On the way back to the hotel the group had the option of stopping in the old town of Dozza for a wine tasting. Only 6 of us went but this was really worth it. Dozza has a biannual art exhibition painted on the walls of the town. It is a pretty little hill town. We noticed a hotel with its dining area on the terrace with a lovely view. It would be a nice lunch spot. The wine tasting was not only informative but delicious. It was held in the castle in Dozza which is the centre for all wines in the Emilia Romagna region. Apart from tastings they have a fabulous cellar from which you can buy. We had the first and only DOCG wine from Italy - a white Albana, then tried a Lambrusco which was really pretty good, then a very nice Sangiovese. I would say if you are going to Bologna then a day trip to Dozza is definitely worthwhile.

We had a quick change into our glamorous gear ready to go to Imola (of the racing fame) for our dinner at the 2 star Michelin Ristorante San Domenico.

This was a treat. We started in the wine cellar with champagne and delicious little snacks. The wine cellar had bottles of 1928 wine among others. Then we had dinner which was several courses - goose liver and pistachio pate, risotto with lard (tastes better than that sounds), others then had lobster but I had quail, then we had veal with a vodka cream sauce and finally a desert of apple tartin and strawberry gelato in a chocolate basket. You could even eat the spoon. All accompanied by very nice wines. The service as you can imagine was excellent.
aussiefive is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 09:24 PM
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Sunday morning was time to say goodbye to the tour. We accompanied them to the airport and while they boarded their plane for London (and home) Mum and I took a taxi to Bologna to our hotel. Albergo Orologio is very nice and perfectly positioned near the Piazza Maggiore.

We visited St Petronius and I went to Mass. Then after checking into our room we went to the Pinocoteca Nazionale. Good Baroque (Caracci's especially) and Rennaissance (including a Rafael and a Tintoretto) art plus 13 and 14th century art, including a Giotto. Then we wandered around the Bologna streets under the magnificent porticoes. We visited chapel of St Cecilia and San Stefano Church I bought a delicious gelato (perhaps the creamiest one I have ever had) from Gianni Gelateria near the two towers. I love Bologna as a city and it has a great vibe to it since it is so heavily populated with university students and the medieval style, red colours and porticoes make it very attractive. Yes it may be a little grubby but it feels so alive.

Well Sunday night was our first night having to choose a restaurant, choose our meals and actually pay for it since everything had been organised on the tour. So what do we do but go to one recommended by lecturer Kate. We were not let down. We went to Diana in via dell'Independenza. I had Tortellini in Brodo then a turkey with prosciutto and parmesan cheese. Mum had lasagne and a variety of roast meats that they brought around and cut at the table. We had a half bottle of Sangiovese di Romagna. Cost e76.

Monday morning was warm and sunny. We left the hotel at 8.30 to walk to the station and catch the 9.08 train to Ravenna. Easily done. We caught the bus no. 4-44 after buying tickets at the office to San Apollinare in Classe - about 6kms out of Ravenna in the most uncharming area you could imagine. The church seems to stand alone between highways and a tacky shopping strip. But inside, it is magnificent. Simple, with the most magnificent mosaic imaginable. After our short visit I bought a book on all the churches which was handy for the rest of the mosaics. I would recommend having some information on each church. The Ravenna tourist website has great resources but unfortunately I had left all my information behind. We waited for the bus back and finally got back to the station at about 12.30. Then we visited San Apollinare Nuove. Two walls of mosaics. It was good to have the book as the best ones were high up and a little difficult to see but wonderful once we read the explanation we realised how special they were. We had lunch in the self-service cafe next to the church both Mum and I had a pasta and a water e12.50.

Then we walked to the next lot of mosaics. We passed Dante's tomb - worth a look. Then onto Neonian Baptistery, the Duomo and the small museum which had some mosaics you could see close up as well as some other church items. After this we walked the long way round to the final two churches on our combined ticket. They were both beautiful - San Vitale and Gallida Placida's mausoleum.

The whole experience was wonderful but it is a long day. I think it was a little too much for Mum, she could have done with two less churches. We finally walked back to the station via Piazza di Popolo, which would have been better seeing earlier as it is a nice piazza. Via Cavour also has a nice feel to it. If I were to do the day again I would probably see the churches within Ravenna in reverse order. The way we came back was more charming. However maybe we would have given up earlier if we had not gone the direction we did. We caught the 16.35 train back to Bologna.

After a bit of a freshen up we went to dinner at Ristorante Franco Rossi. This was an experience. The restaurant is mentioned in the book The Broker by John Grisham. We had the 4 course set menu- Salad of porcini mushrooms, celery, parmesan and pear with good balsamic. Then we had tortellini in brodo, then veal with truffle cream sauce and potato mash, followed by panna cotta. The food was matched by different wines-from Emilia Romagna. It was all delicious but filling. We waddled home.

And so ended the Emilia Romagna part of the trip for the next day we were to head to Lombardy and the beautiful Lake Como.
aussiefive is offline  
Oct 5th, 2007, 09:38 PM
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Hi Aussie5 how are the wallabies doing, I haven't been keeping track with the games? We just had some South Africans staying with us in Piedmont en-route to the games doing the same as you with the food. Too bad you couldn't have spend a few days here too and be able to write up comparisons between Italy's 2 best food regions!
Sampaguita is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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Hey Sampaguita, your area is next on my list. I am already trying to work out how to manage the trip there.

Wallabies are playing right now and not looking so good but we we are only at the 22nd minute so there is plenty of time. Johnnie Wilkinson just got a goal!!(eek)

South Africa have it easy.
aussiefive is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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To continue my report and take my mind off the rugby game which is too nerve wracking to watch right now...

The next day we woke and packed for our trip to Lake Como. We checked out and discovered the reason why our Albergo Orologio seemed so nice, apart from being upgraded to a suite that it. The price was higher than I remember booking, but I checked the voucher and it was indeed correct. I think I thought that we would want a nice place to stay in Bologna after leaving the security of the tour group. After checkout we had to wait about 20 anxious minutes for a taxi to arrive.

But finally it did and we were at the station and on the train to Milano in no time.
In Milano, we had officially about 15 minute turnaround but this became 0 minutes as our train was late arriving. I suggested that we head to the platform anyway and somehow we made the next train to Varenna, thanks to a very helpful conductor who also loaded luggage for us AND did not get upset when I remembered that I had not stamped the tickets because of the rush. We got a taxi from station to the Hotel du Lac. It is only 3 minutes but worthwhile as I think it is too far to lug bags. Somewhere I read that you could walk this but I wouldnt. It was a little cloudy but still beautiful. We walked around for a while and visited Villa Monastero with beautiful gardens on the lake.

While mum went back to the hotel I explored the village a little, including a trip to the gelateria. Then we had dinner at Vecchio Varenna. I had a cheese tasting plate then Cinghiale (wild boar) with sweetbreads, Mum had fish, which she raved about. We started with Prosecco and had a one quarter litre of house wine each (one white, one red). The bill came to 60 euro with tips.

Wednesday was raining - hard. Still we caught the ferry over to Bellagio and had a lovely day shopping (bought quite a few things each!!) We had lunch at Ristorante Suisse, which was one of the nicest places we have eaten. Mum had minestone soup then Ravioli stuffed with lake fish and I had eggplant stuffed with cheese and mushroom followed by fettuccini with sundried tomatoes and mozzarella. We shared a half bottle of Chianti Classico. We caught the ferry around the lake, taking pictures to get the very best shot of the mountains with the ever increasing amount of snow on them. We got off at Menaggio, which wasnt as nice as Bellagio, but we had a coffee to get out of the rain and then went back to Varenna. Relaxed in the hotel before dinner at the local Pizzeria - my first Pizza. Mum had lasagne and we shared a bottle of sangiovese. This was also the cheapest meal we had at 38 euro for two.

Well we had one more full day in Lake Como and surely it would be fine wouldn't it. Wrong! We sat over breakfast for a long time hoping it would clear up. Eventually we donned our wet weather gear, including our new rain hats purchased in Bellagio the day before. We headed to the ferrry terminal. We bought another all day pass and sat on the ferry until we arrived somewhere we hadn't been, Cedenabbia. We walked up to the town and discovered that there was not much to see, although we did get a good view of the church perched high up on the rocky cliffs. When we arrived back at the ferry stop we discovered that the next ferry would not be for another hour. Hungry, wet and needing a toilet we walked on to Villa Carlotta. One of our problems was solved by touring this beautiful establishment (the toilet that was). The gardens here are truly magnificent and the inside of the villa is also good to see.

We managed to catch the 3.15 ferry that took the long way back to Varenna and arrived after 4pm. Having missed lunch (must have been the only meal of the trip we missed) I wandered around town and got a gelato, Mum went back to the hotel and had a slice of torta. We lazed around before dinner at Vecchia Varenna again. We again had the Prosecco apperativo served with salmon, then mum had pasta with a chestnut, bacon and bean sauce (she said it was a bit strange) and I had ravioli stuiffed with polenta and cheese. Then mum had rolled trout and I had duck with peppercorn sauce. 1/4 each of house white and red. Bill came to 77euro. Even though we ate at Vecchia Varenna twice I wouldnt rush back there. The best thing about it is that it is right on the lake and has a lovely view but because of the weather we did not gain the advantage of this and the food, while good, is not great.

Our final morning in Lake Como dawned dri(er) but still cloudy. We were never to see this beautiful area in all its glory but we still loved it. It is a relaxing place to stay for a few days, with enough to fill your time without being pushed. We really loved staying at Albergo du Lac Varenna, (important distinction as every town has a Hotel du Lac). The staff are extremely pleasant and helpful and the hotel is well appointed with a great view. But today we had to get going to Milan. We booked a taxi for 9.45am and the driver stopped at the tabacchi to purchase rail tickets as there is nowhere to buy them on the station.

aussiefive is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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Okay feeling better now Wallabies scored a try phew.

To contunue with report...

Our 10.19am train finally came at 10.35 with a good 50 tourists leaving Varenna all at once. The train arrived at about 11.45am and we caught a taxi straight away. We were a little conscious of time as we had bookings with Leonardo at 1.15pm. Milan traffic on Friday lunchtime at the end of fashion week was pretty terrible but we eventually made it to the Star hotel in via dei Bossi. This is a well-positioned hotel near to Teatro della Scala, but not nearly as charming as the others we had stayed in. It was a fairly easy 20-minute walk to Santa Maria della Grazie to see the fabulous Ultima Cena. This was everything I had hoped for. We took audioguides which I found helpful but it took up the whole 15 minute visit.

After our visit there we walked back down the road and mum noticed an exhibition of Tony Cragg, one of her favourite sculptors. So we went in there and I have to say I rather like Tony Cragg now too. The exhibition seemed to be in an arts centre and we lunched on sandwiches in the cafeteria, there.

Afterwards we visited the Pinocoteca Ambrosiana, which has a Leonardo, a Caravaggio, a Boticelli and the drawings for Rafael's School of Athens. These are all worth seeing but there is little else of real interest in the gallery.

We then proceeded to the Duomo. We went inside but did not go up to the roof. We finally checked in properly to the hotel at about 5pm. We went to dinner at Nabucco in via Fiori Chiara. This restaurant is in the Brera area, a pretty place. There were street markets being set up as we arrived at 8pm and by the time we came out the whole street and the parallel one were covered with stalls selling jewellery, accessories and quite a number of tarot readers. The food at Nabucco is delicious. I had ricotta stuffed zucchini flowers served with a salad and mum had egplant with parmesan. Then I had osso bucco with risotto Milanese and mum had a pasta dish wih swordfish tomato and mozarella. We were given a glass of champagne when we sat down and we had a 1/2 bottle of Nobile di Montepulciano. 103euro.

Saturday was our final full day together before I headed home to Sydney and Mum went on to France. We decided to walk the shopping streets of Milan. We went up via Montenapoleone, around Corso Venezia to Via della Spiga and back to via Manzoni, with a few little detours up the side streets. We went into lots of shops but only bought a pair of stockings and a light top. But we had fun looking at the beautiful clothes and dreaming that they would suit us and we could afford them. We had lunch in Emporio Armani and went back early to the hotel to pack up and rest up. For that night we had tickets to the opera. We were lucky that there was an opera at La Scala when we were in Milan and that I had the foresight to look months ago and diarise when the tickets went on sale. Teneke is a new opera commissioned by the theatre. The whole night was a wonderful experience - the theatre is superb, the opera was fabulous and made even better by the fact that in the second half we discovered that the seat back super titles could be read in English. Needless to say I did enjoy the second half of the opera best.

After the opera we wandered over to the Galleria and had supper at one of the cafe's there. We both just had one course of pasta (lasagne for me, ravioloi for mum) and a glass of wine and shared a tiramisu.

And so the last morning came and all to soon mum was packed and off in her taxi to catch her train. I had another hour or so to walk around to the Duomo and to do some final shopping in the Galleria before I headed to the airport for my long journey home.

I will do a final wrap up after the game. Please feel free to ask me questions.
aussiefive is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 01:00 PM
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Great report. I'm really enjoying it. Very hungry now.
Leely is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 04:44 AM
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Wow, and La Scala too ! It really does sound like the perfect trip. Thanks very much for the great report.

The Venice Biennale is rather dangerous - we've decided we now need to go every time ! And that we need to go to Venice the years in between, too, to do normal Venice stuff I saw a sign advertising the fact that this was the 1 year in 10 that Venice, Documenta and another big contemporary art show in Germany are all on together, so maybe in 10 years time...

If your Mum knows Emma Nicholson who recently moved to the Sydney museum from Edinburgh, please ask her to say hello from Caroline from Spin !
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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It really was a wonderful trip, made special by the chance to spend it with my mother.

Caroline I will find out if Mum knows your friend.
aussiefive is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 07:30 PM
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Thanks for this great report. How long did it take your stomach to adjust when you got home? Quick question about Bologna - did you think it a good city to be a base for a two week trip? It seems centrally located to be able to take the train to other cities nearby and seems like an interesting city itself if we want to stay put. You mention that Bologna is a little grimmy but has a good vibe. Do you find it a pleasant place to walk around, eat, visit the sites?
Sally30 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Hi Sally,

I couldn't say that my stomach has really gone back yet! But at least the gym is seeing more of me now.

I really liked Bologna and I think it would make a great base. There is lots to see and do in Bologna itself and the city has a great feel. And of course there are really great restaurants. Added to that you can day trip to the other areas in Emilia Romagna like Modena, Parma, Ferrara, Ravenna to name a few.

But importantly Bologna station is a crossover point so it is easy to get to many other areas quite easily by train. It is therefore central to a lot of other main attractions in that part of Italy.

I will definitely be going back. I love the Emilia Romagna area.
aussiefive is offline  
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