Hello PARMA. The food capital of Italy. Or some might say, the belly :) Home of Parmesan, Parma Ham and Bolognese sauce. We spent a night and day in this small riverside city and learned about cheese, wine, balsamic and Prosciutto. We took a culinary tour that peaked our taste buds, senses and love for food. We enjoyed the rural countryside and medieval castles but our time was mostly spent feasting. And loving every minute of it!
Where to stay? We booked one night at NH Hotel. A new property in the center of the city, the location was convenient. The hotel is modern and new but lacked charm and elegance. But the rooms were clean so it worked for us.
Where we ate? We had a spectacular dinner at La Forchetta. We were able to book ahead of time from home through The Fork, which is like Open Table for Europe. The ambiance was elegant, the menu diverse and interesting, the presentation like art and the food was delicious. Definitely try the fried ravioli and my husband still raves about his "Duchess of Parma" - chicken with Parma Ham. Everything was fresh and flavorful!
Things to do:
FOOD TOUR. This is a must-do! Eat like a local and book a culinary food tour. We spent half a day with our Italian guide/food expert and visited a Parmesan/food farm, vineyards and Parma Ham producer. We learned how cheese, balsamic vinegar and Prosciutto ham are produced. It was an eye opening experience! So many sights and smells, not for everyone (beware of the Parma factory if you are a vegetarian). But we were in awe by the dedication of the family run businesses and all the hard work behind the scenes. If you are a foodie or curious traveler, this will be a highlight of your trip.
FERRARI MUSEUM. My husband and sons are obsessed with fast cars. So of course we had to head to the Ferrari museum, one hour from Parma. It was actually a fun museum featuring the history of the famous Ferrari, complete with vintage and iconic cars. Lots of sleek design!
The next and final stop in my Italy tour is MILAN - the fashion capital. Coming soon will be more photos and information on what we did and saw in this beautiful, bustling city.