The morning started with us taking a 20-minute walk to the train station. Along the way, we stopped for two apricot jam-filled croissants and two latte macchiatos. It was so nice to be there without all our belongings – this was just a day trip to Parma. The train ride lasted about 15 minutes.
We walked to Parco Ducale park (thanks to Google Maps we walked much further than we expected … like we need more steps) – saw people of all ages strolling, sitting, biking, kids playing ball, men playing some sort of tile game on the backless benches.
Our walk continued into the urban area. This seems to be a more cosmopolitan city and we enjoyed the varied architecture. The shops are small but have trendy and colorful attire. Maybe that’s due to their proximity to Milan, a city famous for fashion design. We snapped a couple of pictures of statues then did a bit of shopping at an outdoor clothing market.
While we were at city hall, we saw a Telecom Italia Mobile store and got new sim cards for our phones, so we can use the network here. We are, however, not reachable from the US. Best way to do that is through LINE, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp.
The Duomo was not much to look at outside but the interior was Spectacular. The ceilings were covered in frescos and the floors were beautiful worn marble. Hopefully our photos will do it justice.
We had a lunch reservation at Trattoria Corrieri at 12:30 and were seated immediately. We ordered water and wine (Cabernet Franc for Dave and Lambrusco for Linda, both local), and an appetizer of 4 different cured meats (three types of ham and one salami). Oh my, what a treat for $14! Again, we were disappointed with the bread (just like the bread served at lunch on Tuesday) but our meals were delicious. Dave had a thick slice of roast veal stuffed with dressing, served with roasted potatoes and gravy. Linda chose Risotto Parmesan – not only was it cooked in cheese, there was a thin triangle of Parmigiano Reggiano sitting on top AND they brought a bowl of parmesan cheese to sprinkle. We’ve been told not to ask for ‘take home’ in restaurants but we couldn’t just leave it there! We are American after all! In the end, it was our best meal yet and we will be getting some of that fabulous salami to bring back with us.
The train ride home was uneventful except for a young local who argued with a Turkish man about him being on the wrong train if he was going to Milan. (Never did see the man get off…)
Back at the AirB&B, Dave worked on reloading photos for the blog that should’ve gone out this morning while Linda did some ironing (we did a small load of laundry last night). We talked to Jim & Anne (Dave’s brother/SIL in Orvieto, Italy) who informed us that the train system would be out on Friday due to an 8 hour strike. So while Dave finagled an alternative plan for Thursday-Friday, Linda started writing the Wednesday blog.
Around 8:30, we borrowed bicycles from Natalia and took off to get gelato. People bike everywhere here so we just joined in. This ‘inner city’ area’s streets are more like generous alleyways, all cobblestone, and with an occasional vehicle passing by. We went to the same gelato shop that we visited last night because it is such good quality. Dave had a cone with Snikers (yep, exactly what you think). Linda had Mandorla con Fichi (toasted almond with figs) and Ricotta Noci Miele (cheese – honey – nuts). The fig flavor was especially good.
Continuing on, we headed west and ran into a Night Market (just like Taiwan!). Friends and families laughing and enjoying the evening…clothing, shoes, cookware, kitchen tools, hardware, linens, lots of gummi candy and sugared roasted nuts, food stands… at prices from 1 Euro to 15 Euro (which, lucky for us, is about even with the US dollar).
Another day done and it was FUN. We are acclimating to being here in Italy and we’re excited to see the changes in cuisine and lifestyle as we travel from place to place.