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Where to stay in Emilia Romagna this summer?

Where to stay in Emilia Romagna this summer?

Old Feb 24th, 2012, 08:26 AM
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Where to stay in Emilia Romagna this summer?

Folks,

Two couples looking for a central location to stay in Emilia Romagna for three days early in August. Interested n the local culture and food. We assume local B & B though small hotel might work. We have a car and will spend at least one day in Bologna, but think we best stay outside the city.

We've been looking at Parma and Modena and if that makes sense, then can you suggest specific B&B, or hotel. Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 24th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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Do you want to go to Ravenna? It is a spectacular sight. If so, Parma is a bit far.

However, if you have already seen it or are simply uninterested, then Hotel Daniel in Parma might be good for you. It has parking and a fantastic restaurant, and it is pleasant walk through the park to the antique heart of town (which is off limits to cars). Make sure the restaurant at the Hotel Daniel is open during your travel dates. If you stay near Parma with a car, it is nice to visit the beautiful castle at Torrechiara (closed Mondays).

If you'd like to see Ravenna, then this agriturismo just outside Bologna might interest you. I have never stayed in it, but I would definitely consider it, and you can look up reviews on Tripadvisor.

http://www.fattoriacorteroeli.it/eng...ast_1.asp.html

Modena has a number of business hotels just at its periphery with plenty of parking and in August, I bet you can get bargain rates on rooms. The hills near Modena are considered by many to be a gastronomic paradise if you like pasta (and in summer, fruits), so you might look for some agriturismi or b&bs near Modena. One place I have always wanted to visit in that area is Vignola, both for its beautiful architecture and its summer cherries.

http://www.italian-food-lovers.com/2...or-cherries-2/

Personally, I'd rather stay in an agriturismo in the countryside or move around a bit to various hotel-restaurants. There are some outstanding restaurants in the region -- some near Parma, others near Modena or just outside Bologna) that also have accommodations. Foodies go to these place like pilgrimages, although many of them are really not expensive. If you take your question to the Chowhound website's message board for Italy, or even just do a search there, you can get detailed information about these places from people who go there often, including information for agriturismi near Modena.

http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/58

If your main sightseeing interests are Parma, Modena, Bologna, Ravenna, I will point out that trains from Bologna make that itinerary a snap, and that Bologna is actually quite a nice summertime base, because the shaded archways of the city (35 kms of them) turn into breezy wind tunnels despite the heat. Even with a car, there are hotels (like the Aemelia) which have parking if you change your mind and think you might prefer to be in the city.

If you stay outside of Bologna and drive in to sightsee, be aware that some areas of the city are strictly OFF-LIMITS to non-resident vehicles, and you can incur heavy fines if you are caught (lots of video cameras). Scope out a parking lot ahead of time that keeps you away from the zones. Near the train station or the Amelia hotel are two places you might look.

Have a great time. The Emilia-Romagna is one of my favorite places in Italy.
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Old Feb 24th, 2012, 09:11 AM
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PS: You will almost certainly want air conditioning wherever you lodge in Italy in August.
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Old Feb 24th, 2012, 10:40 AM
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Thank you, Thank you, or shall I say Grazie!

We surely will look for air conditioning and perhaps a swimming pool, if available... Are most of the restaurants open at that time?? We are so looking forward to the food and that is the available time that we can make it. I'll followup on your suggestions!
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Old Feb 24th, 2012, 12:26 PM
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I would agree about Modena. I stayed in the old section of town for 3-4 days. It's a very nice pedestrian area with some excellent restaurants nearby.

Try the squash blossoms and squash ravioli. Emilia Romagna has the best food in Italy.

If you're a car buff, the Ferrari factory is about 10 miles or so south. There is a Ferrari museum near the factory. Modena is also the home of Maserati.
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Old Feb 24th, 2012, 04:06 PM
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Spedprof,

Regarding restaurants, it is normal for most restaurants in that area to close at some point in the summer -- most especially in July or August -- but they all don't' close that same time. So you should check ahead of time, especially if you are thinking of destination restaurants (and there are many in that area).

Many food shops and other kinds of shops will also take a hiatus, so if you have those kinds of destinations, ask wherever you are staying for help in determining what's open before you drive long miles. All tourist attractions will be open.

In summer time, many Italians in that area eat prosciuitto and melon as an entree, or a simple cheese course, and other lighter, cooler foods. (Melon is fabulous at that time of year in central Italy.) The local red wine, lambrusco, is often fizzy and served cold, and goes down well in the summer.

As much as I love Emilia Romagna, the title of "best food in Italy" may never be awarded, simply because the competition from Naples, the Piemonte, Sicily and Friuli-Venezia-Giulia is so intense. But fresh pasta reaches some extraordinary heights in that region, and the locals keep the best Parmigiano-Reggiano for themselves, so making a trip there to taste this great cuisine, is extremely rewarding (they are very willing to share once you get there).
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Old Feb 24th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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ARe there some specific restaurant recommendations for pasta in Bologna center? Will be staying there a couple of days and hope to make a lot of day trips.
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Old Feb 24th, 2012, 07:48 PM
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To me, inside the city center, the best place to eat stuffed pastas -- tortellini in brodo, or (my favorite) tortelloni stuffed with gorgonzola -- is Trattoria Anna Maria on the via delle Belle Arti.

For tagliatelle al ragu, I think Caminetto d'Oro on via de' Falegnami is tops in my book.

Some other nice places to eat pasta if these are inconvenient or closed are

Giampi & Ciccio on the via Farini
Da Gianni on the via Claveture

If you are willing to take a 10 minute taxi ride beyond the city walls, then Gigina, on the via Stendahl, is outstanding for pasta and for its other courses as well.
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Old Feb 25th, 2012, 12:14 PM
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I found this thread from the Chowhound link posted above.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/808499

Interesting but he was paying 30-50 Euro for basically antipasti and most of the time a primo dish?


I understand pasta would be more featured in this region but that's some difference from paying around 10 Euro for a primo in other regions.
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 10:36 AM
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You will pay between 9e/13e for a primo (pasta course) in Bologna, which is not out of line with Italian cities elsewhere. If you add antipasta, wine, water, service, you can easily reach 30e per person; add a secondo or a dolce, you will get up to 50e per person.

Because it is a student town, there is some bargain priced food in Bologna, but I don't recommend it, with the possible exception of La Mariposa, on via Bertiera, which makes some lovely pasta, especially pasta stuffed with ricotta and served with butter and sage. You can have an antipasta of sliced meats and possibly get out for less than 25e per person if you skip the secondo (which isn't particularly good there anyway) and forego dessert and coffee. But wine, water, and service charges will bring you over 20e per person -- again, it is hard to eat well in Italian cities for less than that, and if you want superior hand-made egg pasta, you have to pay for the skill and labor-intenseive time involved, plus the perishability of the ingredients.

Most people cannot eat two plates of Bolognese egg pasta per day, nor two full Bolognese meals per day. If you want to economize, you will find it easy to eat less. There are a few highly regarded restaurants in Bologna that serve 2 course lunches (Teresina on the via Oberdan has annex space that does this, and Caminetto d'Oro has an adjacent bistro, the Hotel Portici offers a short-fixed menu for lunch);
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 12:57 PM
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Thanks, I'll look for those.

I have stumbled onto some decent meals. A few years ago, just walking around San Lorenzo, I just stopped by this place based on the posted menu on the sidewalk. It was more out of hunger than anything else but for 9 Euro, I got a pasta and grilled beef, though very small portions. It was so good, such a simple meal, basic dishes, but hunger may have made it better than it was.

Then a couple of years ago in Deiva Marina where I was staying, I walked by this hotel restaurant offering a number of different prix-fixe menus. I think it was like 6 Euro for a salad and a small bowl of raviolis which just melted in your mouth. I frankly liked that pasta more than a much more pricey meal I had a couple of nights before in Levanto with a very good pesto primo (tasted nothing like pesto I was used to in the US, and that's a good thing).
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 09:22 PM
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Deiva Marina is a small town without much a tourist presence, even among Italians. If you step outside the center of Bologna, you can find very inexpensive and delightful meals. But not easily inside the city. More likely during the lunch hour.

By "San Lorenzo" do you mean the San Lorenzo area of Flrenze?
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 05:48 AM
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Yes, near the market.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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We had a "flex day" between Cinque Terre and Bellagio last fall. We decided to check out Parma.
(I had heard good things from my friend here, Kavey, plus as a little girl, I lived in Parma, Ohio) We found parking and headed straight for the Centro. It was a blazingly gorgeous Saturday afternoon in the autumn, and signs all around the town proclaimed a Verdi festival. The duomo is overwhelmingly Romanesque. Really astounding (and I'm not a real enthusiast about religious art.) The town is lovely in every regard. Eventually we found a restaurant with a regional menu and feasted on a terrific lunch in a beautiful setting. (Ristorante Angiol D'Or)
It was a warm day, and we enjoyed a great bottle of rose, but we did notice that all the Italians around us were ordering huge plates of ham and drinking Lambrusco.

Then we took off, and went to Cremona. Another really great town, although we started to feel a bit out of place as we weren't carrying musical instrument cases. When we stopped at a nice looking hotel to ask about a room for the night, we discovered it was the opening of Opera season. The kind woman at the desk called around and found us a room in a small hotel on the edge of town, which worked out to be perfect. Most of the really fine restaurants were booked solid for dinner, but having already been in Italy for nearly a month, we knew what to look for, and found a simple (but busy busy) family run place where we had a simple pasta meal with a carafe of house wine and enjoyed watching the "service drama" around us.

10 o'clock in a local place that is constantly turning tables, when the waitstaff is made up of 3 generations of the same family - unmistakeable - was just priceless. One of the girls had messed up a bill. Grandma (working the cash register) was furious and beside herself, pacing and fuming and crying all at the same time. The three sisters who seemed senior to the granddaughter who had screwed up, kept trying to calm her down and keep all their tables happy at the same time. Grandpa came out from behind the bar, but was sent back by one of his daughters. Suddenly the young girl - who apparently had been/was working the outdoor tables - came in with an armful of roses and gave them to Grandma as an apology. Tears, hugs, and everything finally calmed (? this place was a beehive the whole while!) and the evening continued.

So. My experiences aren't those of the typical visitor to the region, but based on that one day and two towns visited - I would LOVE to go back for more.
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Old Feb 27th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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>>>>My experiences aren't those of the typical visitor to the region
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