This is the next installment of our road trip around Northern Italy in September 2019. You can catch up on
Modena and Parma were undiscovered country for us. We’d been to Bologna before (ten years ago!). We’d heard good things about Emilia-Romagna and Italian cuisine from various sources — including our waiter at Colline Emiliane on our trip to Rome. But for all the famous foody aspects of this bit of Italy (balsamico, parmesan cheese, prosciutto), we’d never actually been. Well, why the heck not? We loved both these cities.
We stayed for two nights at Verdi Appartment. The location was along a big thoroughfare just outside the city center. Several free parking options were nearby and surprisingly easy. There were plenty of bakeries and coffee bars in the neighborhood, with a supermarket or two not far away. The apartment was nicely equipped and definitely one we’d recommend for a future visit.
When I hear Modena, I think "Pavarotti" and "balsamic vinegar." One of those is better preserved than the other, so I sought out an activity on TripAdvisor. I found us a free tour of the Giusti Museum (including the production facility and warehouse). It was fun learning about the production techniques and D.O.P. and I.G.P. certification aspects. Naturally we picked up a few bottles from the shop for ourselves, too.
We took a day trip from Modena to Parma to check out some cheesemaking. This blog pointed us towards Casearia Corradi, which did not disappoint. We learned about the cheesemaking process and viewed the saltwater baths and aging warehouse, and came away with a couple kilos. They even vacuum-packed it, so Sarah’s mom could take it back to the USA without USDA issues.
After that, we drove to downtown Parma and had lunch outside a flea market at a place recommended by our cheese factory tour docent. The food was great, but the service wasn’t, so I’m not dropping any names. As luck would have it, a Cannoli specialty bakery was next to the restaurant. We strolled a bit to walk off at least a little of the lunch and enjoyed the weather before returning to Modena.
We walked from the apartment to the Ferrari Museum and arrived with just enough time to watch the last video presentation of the day. It was almost comically self-congratulating, oozing with praise on behalf of the entire world for Enzo.
Here are some random pics from Modena: churches, cafés, markets, squares.
We left Modena after two overnights for a big grocery shop on for non-perishables and a road-worthy lunch (as is our custom) at an ipercoop outside Modena on our way to Vinschgau for the last leg of the trip.