I cannot believe how that week blew by! I kept thinking about it all day. Just way too fast!
We had a cab come at 9:15 to take us to the train station. We needed to buy the Bologna/Modena part of our ticket which, because it was Regionale we couldn’t book online from home like we had done the rest. It took us just a few minutes to bet it at the self service machines so we had time for a quick coffee before boarding.
Changing trains in Bologna we had to walk about a mile–going from the fast, non stop, tracks to the slow. We made it to Modena by about 11:00, got a cab to the hotel where we left our bags and started to explore. First stop was the amazing food market. There were so many booths for cheeses, pasta, fruits and veggies, breads, fish, prepared foods and plants and flowers, too. It seemed much more extensive, to me, than either of the Florence markets. They are very proud it here and I can see why. It has a fountain right in the middle:
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Most people ride their bikes there–car parking would be a nightmare.
We strolled some more and discovered there is an “International Food Fare” on via Emelia, going right through the centro. But we had a special reservation for lunch at a foodie destination made popular by Mario Batali, Hostaria Giusti:
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Lunch lived up to the reputation. We started with Gnoccho Fritto, saying they are light pillows of fried dough really doesn’t do them justice. They are served warm topped with a few different salumi, prosciutto, salami, pancetta and lardo, all melting on to. Eaten with your hads they would have been enough for me–so much flavor and so satisfying. We also had a zucchini sformato (flan?) with crispy prosciutto. To avoid continuing to say amazing and delicious, I’ll just list the rest of what we ate: Tagliatelle with guanciale sauce and a kind of pulled room temperature pork with warm balsamic caramelized onions. We drank 2 kinds of Lambrusco with it–a light one first and then a fuller bodied dark purple one with the heavier dishes. Ken had to have the chocolate pudding for dessert which was super dark and he loved it. I had a grappa from Piemonte. Giusti is totally family owned and opperated. It runs like a well oiled machine. We ended up having a long conversation with the guy at the next table who was from Atlanta and was on a “gastro-tour of Europe”.
After the grappa–a good nap at the Hotel Cervetta 5.
We took a long walk in the afternoon and visited the duomo. Interesting how the colors have changed here–may more dark greens, reds and oranges:
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The building in the Piazza Grande and all over Modena are all or partially, under scaffolding–the had a big earthquake here two years ago, a bad flood this winter and a tornado last month.
In the evening, not very hungry at all, we walked through the stalls of the international fare. Most are from Italy but all the different regions. We had some desserts from Sicily, sweets fro Austria and Ken got some German pork with kraut and potatoes. The American booth was interesting:
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They were selling cupcakes, donuts and cheesecakes but their hottest seller was grilled corn on a stick.
Here are a couple of shots of the beautiful buildings here:
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and in the Piazza Grande:
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