Moving towards the south today. At breakfast in Luxury House in Bassano, Walli, the owner, who reminds us of my grandmother, Rosie, even though she’s only a few years older than we are, presented us each with a gift. Both were probably from the “dollar store” but the idea of it and how she gave them really touched us.
We drove south for about 2 hours to reach Ferrara. We had spent one night here about 10 years ago and we thought it would be a good place to break up the trip. The center is just how I remember it as it should be since it’s been this way since medieval times. We enjoyed walking down memory lane–the Estense Castle, where we ate, the Savonarola statue, the B&B where we had stayed.
One thing new was this display of life size portraits of 11 prominent citizens, not soldiers, who were hanged by the Nazis on this day, November 15th, 1944. Their bodies were left hanging to remind the citizens of the repercussions of joining the Resistance, right where the display is today.
The ever present shadow of both of the world wars, but to me, this trip especially reminds me how WWII is something we don’t experience daily and focally in the US. But here on this soil, it remains real and horrific. They don’t allow the younger generations to forget.
From Ferrara, we had another hour drive before arriving in Modena. We turned in our rental car (we had a hilarious moment when we parked in the bike lane) and taxied to Hotel Cervetta 5 in the historic center. We got settled in here and before we knew it, it was time for our dinner reservation. It was a 15 minute walk from the hotel and easy to find.
Franceschetta58 is a (way) lower price version of the number one restaurant in the world, Massimo Botturo’s, Osteria Francescana. I was so excited about going here! And the meal was pretty sensational. The amuse was very “cute”. They put a small ball of pumpkin puree in a bowl, topped it with a pure white parmigiano mousse and garnished it with crispy crumbled bacon. So–it looks like a poached egg because of the colors but the taste is completely different. Here are the dishes we had, copied and pasted from the online, English menu : AMAtriciana”in Modena 15€(5€will be donated to the victims of Italian earthquake). Roasted potato and spinach gnocchi with basil pesto and seafood. Autumn squab with pumpkin, chestnuts ,red beetroots and its liver. Roasted lamb rack with Thai sauce(coconut milk, curry, lemongrass, coriander)and dressed rocket . “Sabbiosa”cake with mascarpone cream and wild berries. Both of the pasta dishes were outrageous. The squab was my favorite, with the splash of the red beets and the rich liver puree, piped in small balls along side the pumpkin puree and the perfect chestnuts. The dessert cake was a very buttery yellow, small cake, crusty and warm–amazing. They also gave us some candied almonds and cookies with the coffee. We drank a Lambrusco (when in Rome…) which we didn’t really love. I wish we could go back again!
I was grateful for the walk back to the hotel in the chill. We are happy campers!