(Re)Discover the wines of Emilia Romagna

lambrusco winery tour in Modena

by Marcelo Pinto  July 8th 2012

 

Emilia-Romagna is a lush, scenic wine region of Northern Italy, renowned for its unique and flavorful wines. The area includes both Emilia, to the west, and Romagna, to the east. Bologna serves as the capital and the dividing line. Emilia-Romagna is currently the 8th highest producer of wines in Italy. The wines from this region stand out from the crowd, particularly the sparkling varieties. Lambrusco is the most popular wine of the region, often paired with Emilia-Romagna’s rich and savory pork-based dishes. The delicate yet flavorful wine complements the richness of local cuisine.

 

In addition to Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna offers up a dazzling variety of wines. For instance, Sangiovese is a traditional red wine that is often used by Tuscan wineries to make Chianti. The winemakers of Emilia-Romagna pride themselves on offering internationally recognized wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Merlot. However, the vineyards of Emilia-Romagna produce distinctive and flavorful grapes that are unique to the area. Local winemakers focus on using these native grapes to create the wines that make Emilia-Romagna the distinctive wine region it is today.

 

Lambrusco

 

Lambrusco is the undisputed king of Emilia-Romagna wines. Made from autochthon grapes, the wine is no newcomer to the scene. Rather, it has a long and prestigious history, extending back to Roman times. During the 1970s, a whole new population discovered the effervescent charms of Lambrusco. The sweeter varieties of the wine became popular in the United States. However, high grape yields and great demand led to poor overall quality, meaning that Lambrusco developed a brief reputation for being a cheap wine.

 

Fortunately, that reputation is now outdated. For the past decade, Lambrusco has enjoyed a resurge in popularity, returning the wine to its proud Roman roots. Wine producers are taking care to produce Lambrusco that has a rich yet approachable flavor, pairing well with nearly every meal. Lambrusco is a frothy wine that always has a rich, gem-like violet color. Lambruscos are available in sweet, medium and dry versions, offering something for different palates and meals. Lambrusco wines often tend to have a slightly lower alcohol content than many others. This means that diners can enjoy a leisurely Italian feast with a delicious, high quality Lambrusco as their constant companion. Locals in Emilia-Romagna reach for Lambruscos more frequently than any other wine, thanks to its refreshing versatility.

 

Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro is a particularly popular variety, served alongside most meals in Emilia-Romagna. This variety hails from Modena, an ancient and beautiful city located in the Emilia-Romagna region. Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro is one of the most highly rated varieties of Lambrusco. During autumn, the leaves and stalks of the grape vine take on a rich red hue. The delicious Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro wine is usually produced in small, select Modena wineries. The resulting autumnal wine is a deep ruby shade, highlighted by a violet sheen. The fruity, fragrant taste appeals to veteran wine lovers and casual diners alike. Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro is a wine that truly captures the joy and love of good food that characterizes Emilia-Romagna.

 

Sangiovese di Romagna

 

This hearty and traditional red wine hails primarily from the Romagna area of Emilia-Romagna. The full-bodied wine complements hard cheeses and meats, making it an excellent choice for wine tasting parties and other occasions that call for lighter fare. According to local legends, friars near Mount Giove were the first growers of this particular variety. Sangiovese de Romagna has a fine history dating back to Roman times, and the varieties can range from light and fruity to more hearty and tannic wines.

 

Colli di Parma

 

The Parma area between Emilia and Tuscany is a beautiful one, and the grapes grown here are cultivated into full-bodied Colli di Parma wines. The red wines run the gamut from spumante to frizzante, complementing local cured meats such as prosciutto di Parma and Culatello. Sparkling Colli di Parma wines are refreshing, yet capture the robust spirit of the area.

 

Malvasia dei colli di Parma

 

This flavorful and aromatic white wine is a good substitute to the many red wines offered in the Emilia-Romagna region. Discerning wine tasters and diners can select from three different varieties, including dry, medium and sweet. Malvasia dei colli di Parma wines are made from a blend of Moscoto and Malvasia wines. The sweet variety is often paired with desserts.

 

Barbera

 

Barbera is another popular autochthon grape from the Parma area. Barbera wine often becomes a base for blends of sparkling and still wines. The wine has a distinctive ruby color.

 

Albana di Romagna

 

This prestigious and high quality wine is made from grapes that have been cultivated in the region for many centuries. Albana di Romagna wines offer a smooth, crisp flavor with captivating hints of nuttiness. This wine hails from the area between Bologna and Rimini. The wine is typically produced in amabile, secco and passito varieties, as well as spumante versions.

 

Gutturnio

 

Gutturnio wines come from Parma and Piacenza provinces and are usually paired with culatello, Parma ham or coppa di piacenza. There are both sparkling and still varieties, both of which are typically drunk young.

The Wonderful Flavors and Tastes of Modena: A List of Top Restaurants

The Wonderful Flavors and Tastes of Modena: A List of Top Restaurants

Ghirlandina

The Ghirlandina tower of Modena

Modena is a dream destination for the food connoisseurs. World famous chef Massimo Bottura practices his culinary art here. Besides his famous restaurant Osteria Francescana, there are other places  around Modena to have an unforgettable dinner or lunch, and each one has their own signature cuisine with special flavors. Massimo Bottura has opened a boutique bistro “La Franceschetta” where you can taste pan-Italian dishes for a very reasonable price. For lunch, Caffe Concerto can be a great choice since they offer buffet for 15 euros only. Among other signature restaurants of Modena, Hosteria Giusti and Aldina are noteworthy.

Hosteria Giusti: A Culinary Classic

Hosteria Giusti is pure delight for your senses with the antique furniture, the aroma of freshly cooked dishes and rich colors of food. Hosteria Giusti is considered as the oldest deli of the world as it was established in 1605 to serve instantly made black cherry jam. The restaurant is quite small with only four tables inside. During the summertime, four more tables are placed outside. The specialties of Hosteria Giusti include Pappardelle with duck, Capon broth tortellini, Pigeon with balsamic vinegar flavor and Tagliatelle with bacon.  Besides these cuisines, Hosteria Giusti offers two incredibly delicious dishes. First one is stuffed pigs’ trotters with lentils and the other one is Cotechino Fritto Con Zabaione (creamy pork sausage), a traditional recipe from the 17th century.

Osteria Francescana: Where Poetry is Served on Plates

Considering the taste of the foods and culinary creativity, Osteria Francescana is definitely a champion! Having the legendary cook Massimo Bottura behind the foods served, their dishes are incomparable with any other restaurant. This restaurant produces everything in-house, even the olive oil. Massimo Bottura has an amazing ability to maintain the fine line between tradition and taste. The environment of the restaurant is quite informal and friendly. However, the price might seem a little bit expensive, but the foods served here make justice to the price. Osteria Francescana is now ranks among top 10 on the list of world’s 50 best restaurants. In his own words, Bottura described his food as ‘a reinvention of the flavors of my youth interpreted through the avant-garde’. Of course, then he spend an amazing youth to be be interpreted through flavors. Taste his celebrated cuisines such as iced puddle of oyster juice, marinated Po River eel and Mollito Misto; you have to agree that he is a poet for foods.

La Franceschetta: Expression of Italy

Besides Osteria Francescana, the premium food emporium, Mossimo Bottura has another venture – La Franceschetta. The restaurant shares the same playfulness and passion of Osteria Francescana. Located away from the city center, the restaurant offers a more intimate environment for the food lovers. Marta Pulini, an award winning chef and a master of Italian cuisine, pours art into food in this restaurant. Bottura has a vision to establish Francescheta as a restaurant which will represent the Italian culinary as a whole. Pulini, an expert on pan-Italian foods, is an ideal choice to realize that vision and she has already proved herself. This is an exclusive restaurant in Modena that goes beyond the regional dishes in the pursuit to treat the customers with any dish representing Italy.

Osteria da Ermes: Intimate Taste of the Original

Osteria da Ermes is another fine restaurant where you are likely to have the best dining experience during your tour in Italy. Ermes, the owner and chef, is passionate about his foods and his greatest pleasure comes from the satisfaction of the customers. Each dish here is prepared with love and careful attention to the details. Ermes and his wife both are exceptionally friendly and known for their caring and loving attitude towards the visitors. This osteria has no fridge in the kitchen as all the items are brought fresh from the market everyday. The place has no fixed menu either, so every new day comes with a surprise for the food lovers. There’s always a long queue in front of this small, cozy restaurant. So, it is better to get there as early as possible to make sure that you are not missing out this amazing restaurant and all the exotic dishes.

Trattoria Aldina: A Hidden Gem of Modena

If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive yet high quality lunch in Modena, Trattoria Aldina is the best place to hit. And go there a bit early, otherwise you might not find a seat in this local gem. A tourist rightly commented that if you eat at Trattoria Aldina, your life will be ‘more complete’. Located across the wonderful market near Duomo, Trattoria Aldina only serves lunch. It is famous for the home made pasta varieties that beat the taste of true Modena traditions. You can expect very fast service and immaculate blend of different flavors and tastes.

Caffe Concerto Modena: Delight at the Heart of Modena

Caffe Concerto is located at the center of Modena. Being very convenient to access, this place is a regular destination for the tourists. Wonderfully delicious aperitif and fine wines are the signature mark of Caffe Concerto. It’s a great place to unwind and watch the people all around sitting outside. The restaurant offers reasonably priced buffet lunch and dinner, but you can also just stop by for a cup of cappuccino.

Your trip to Modena will remain incomplete unless you visit the great dining places and taste all the incredible dishes prepared by the chefs who took culinary to a different level. Besides the restaurants listed here, there are lot other restaurants all over the town of Modena. Try to explore as many as you can during your stay in Modena.

 

 

Best eateries in Bologna that will not break the bank

If you are after a gourmet weekend in Bologna you should definitely try one of those

by Marcelo Pinto  July 8th 2012

So you’re thinking about visiting Bologna for the very first time and ready to check out famous landmarks like the Pizza Maggiore, Torre degli Asinelli, and Palazzo Comunale.

However, before you jump on a plane and get ready to fly, it’s important to know where you’re going to eat!

In this article you will learn all you need to know about the 5 best Eateries in Bologna. This article will make sure that you won’t go hungry wether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.

 1. La Baita Del Formaggio

La baita del Formaggio is located behind the famous landmark Pizza Maggiore and is a place you must visit if you’re interested in food.

La Baita is known as the most delicious cheese shop in the area. Hungry travelers can take a break and enjoy a tasty lunch of affettati also known as cold cuts.

You can also try yummy cheeses  such as their Parmigiano , delicious fresh ricotta, cheese and ham platters, You can also try various meats and cheeses from around Italy.

The platters are very good value you can have lunch with 10 euros.

 

Trattoria Anna Maria

Trattoria Anna Maria is known for serving excellent tortellini in broth for the last 26 years. Dishes are fairyl priced and  they are definitely worth it. You can expect to spend around €25– €30 for full coursed meal – and , by doing so you are guaranteed to be completely satisfied. Portions are plenty, enough to satisfy any appetite. Here you will find all the excellent pasta dished that made Bologna famous for the food.

The Trattoria Anna Maria is also known for its beautiful kitsch interiors, photo decorated walls of famous diners, and outstanding waiters dressed in red waistcoats while balancing plates piled high with delicious orders.

Taverna dei Lords

Taverna Dei Lords of Lords offers an outstanding cuisine from  traditional Bologna’s repertory at small prices. They have many signature dishes, while also serving  all of the standard traditional meals. Taverna dei Lords offers 3 set menus for lunch that are affordable and tasty. Here you will get an idea about how to eat like a Bolognese here without breaking the bank. The Restaurant also has a very rustic Bologna interior and the friendly waiters will not fail you .

Sobetteria Castiglione icecreams

The Sobetteria Castiglione is located between the gorgeous arch spanning from 1000 and the town entrance of Porta Castiglione.

Sobetteria Castiglione is a well known ice cream shop that uses fresh ingredients and makes desserts to die for. Sobetteria Castiglione prides itself in making each creation just as tasty as the last.

If you’re searching for a place to get dessert after dining at the places listed above Sobetteria Castiglione is the place to go. Bologna is known as the food capital for a reason.

 

 Al Sangiovese

Al Sangiovese is a small romantic restaurant located in Borgo D’Azeglio and very near the gorgeous landmark Piazza Maggiore.

Al Sangiovese is a very traditional eatery with a deep love for the dishes they create. Their welcoming hearts and delicious food is enough to warrant any traveller to dine there.

Good selection of local (and not so local) wines hence the name.

 Bologna for the food traveller

Visiting Bologna for the very first time will be a thrilling adventure that you will never forget. From the famous Landmarks, to the wonderful people, and delicious Eateries …Bologna offers it all.

Convince your friends or significant other and make sure to visit Bologna, Italy once in your lifetime, Within Europe you can fly to Bologna for a weekend and fares tends to be reasonable as well as the hotels. From Bologna also you can explore other foods such as Parmesan, Balsamic vinegar, Parma ham and wines.

Stanguellini classic car museum in Modena, Italy

Stanguellini the Pioneers of racing cars

This small workshop and the people behind it are the true pioneers of the racing cars. Now  you have the possibility to visit them with our guided tours in English.

stanguellini cars in Modena

Modena and motors

Everyone is familiar with motors in Modena. They can instantly recognize a Guzzi 500 Astore and tell the difference between that motorcycle and the similar Guzzi Falcone: the first features a telescopic fork while the latter has a pantograph fork.
The Motorvalley coincides with Via Emilia; the Stanguellini Museum, a historic automobile shrine, is located right in central Modena, the land of tortellini, motors and beautiful girls.

The Stanguellini Museum and family

The Stanguellini Museum is managed by Vittorio Stanguellini’s son, Francesco, a true car addicted. Pioneer of the Motorvalley, Vittorio Stanguellini was the first one to produce cars, thought they were small displacement engine vehicles. After him, Ferrari and the Maserati brothers started building cars as well.
And Stanguellini’s tradition carries on. Francesco and Simone, father and son, both have the same passion. Simone is the fourth generation of the Stanguellini family, the first being his great grandfather, Francesco.
Francesco says the first ever Modena registered vehicle belonged to his grandfather, who was called Francesco just like him.
In the Stanguellini household, even toys are homemade and equipped with an engine. For example, a Maserati toy car that was Francesco’s first toy ever. It still works and has a gearbox consisting of three gears, with suspension bouncing like that of a real car. Francesco grew up around cars, with the smell of castor oil and gasoline, so he has a really strong bond with them.

Stanguellini classic cars

In the 60s, his father designed the Stanguellini Junior, Lorenzo Bandini’s and Juan Manuel Fangio’s race car. Regulations required the engine to derive from a mass-produced vehicle: the engine of the Stanguellini Junior derived from the 1110 Fiat, but it was three times more powerful. It was equipped with Weber carburetors, which were also produced in Emilia Romagna, precisely in the most popular carburetor “factory” in the world, Bologna.
So, it featured an updated mass-produced engine which was assembled on a specially designed frame. The frame was drilled in order to lighten the car without weakening it.
They didn’t have actual designers: the models were produced from simple sketches. The shape of the car was made of steel bars, and the metal sheets were then attached to it to create the body of the car. To test the aerodynamics, they fixed a woollen thread to the body, using a hair dryer to check whether it would stay still or not.

Motors tradition

Francesco’s father was self-taught; he wasn’t an engineer, as the profession of engineer didn’t yet exist in his time. Even Ferrari, a true genius, earned his engineering degree when he was 62. “Building these cars was mostly something that came from the heart,” Francesco says.
The automobile giants of the legendary years all lived in this area. Francesco’s father and Enzo Ferrari used to go out for walks together after dinner, exchanging opinions and advices like a group of friends. “They would meet in a trattoria, sit at a table with a good bottle of Lambrusco wine and a few slices of salami or ham, and let their ideas run.”
And while sipping Lambrusco, they came up with world record-breaking ideas: the Stanguellini Guzzi Colibrì (featuring a 250 cc engine) broke six records at Monza in 1963. Its engine was similar to that of the Guzzi 500 Astore. Running 100 km, it reached an average of 164 km/h; for a car with a 250 cc engine that was the best performance ever.
The Stanguellini Colibrì was an innovative concept: its wheel would later be used in modern Formula One cars.
What catches the eye is the aesthetics: these cars are amazing in terms of design. And their beauty is related to their aerodynamic line.
It’s hard for Francesco to point out which vehicle is the family jewel; the car he’s most fond of is the one his son drives, a model he’s always wished to drive himself. Once races were extremely dangerous (drivers often got killed in a car accidents) so Francesco’s father never let his son drive. But Francesco chose not to do the same: “nowadays driving on the track is much safer than driving on the road”.
Simone drives on the track: he raced at Monte Carlo, Goodwood, the greatest classic car races in the world.
According to him, “driving a classic car means there’s no electronics involved. It’s just you, your feet and the wheel, and you’ve got to make your car perform to the best of its ability.”
Both father and son think engines have a life of their own. “When you’re winning and it’s the last lap, it gets intense. You start hearing weird noises and talk to your car. “Come on, just a little more and we’re there!”, like you’re encouraging it to hold on until the end.”

The “arcade room”

There’s also a small race department Francesco and his workers go to after office hours, a place he calls his “arcade room”. They’re currently building a new aluminum body for a 1100 Bialbero, proving Italians are still able to create perfect things, after all this time.
Even there, there’s no engineers, just a big passion.
Like Arturo’s passion: he’s master mechanic for Stanguellini. He’s unable to stop polishing every single thing. “This is more than just my family.”
Like Valentino’s passion: he makes the engines, choosing the appropriate horsepower.
Like Giorgio’s passion: his job is to build auto parts. He still works on lathes and milling machines.
They’re artists, people with motors running through their veins. They’ve been working for Stanguellini for a long time, and they live for their work, it’s their greatest fulfillment.
In Francesco’s opinion, thanks to museums people can learn to love things. In the case of the Stanguellini Museum, we can learn to love cars, but in general, to protect our own heritage.
This is the heritage of the Motorvalley; visiting the Stanguellini Museum you can perceive its history.

Emilia Delizia can organise super car museums visits in English and other language  tailored to your need, we can also combine the visits with the gourmet tour which is very popular in the area, if you wish to have more information about Stanguellini you can visit their site

 

Modena Italy Ultimate travel Destination

Duomo di Modena

by Marcelo Pinto  June 18th 2012
Modena Italy is known all over the world, for its fine wine, excellent dining, and being one of the wealthiest and progressive advanced cities in Italy. There are over forty-eight miles of bicycling roads, sixteen movie theaters and twenty-five vast libraries that have survived the online revolution which are just a few of the points that make Modena Italy a travelers hotspot.
In this article you will learn what makes Modena Italy so enticing— in easy to read digestible chucks. And learn why it is truly the Ultimate Leisure Travel Destination.

Top 5 places to see in Modena

1. Modena Cathedral
The Modena Cathedral is one of the main attractions of Modena Italy. The Modena Cathedral is one of the few remaining Romanesque church in Europe. It was created in year 1184 and is consecrated in one of the most recognized Romanesque creations in the world. Modena Cathedral’s patron saint Geminianus’s remains can be found in the cathedral’s crypt.

2. Ghirlandina Tower

The Ghirlandina Tower also referred to as the Torre Della Ghirlandina is the famous bell tower of the Cathedral of Modena. The Ghirlandina Tower stands at an impressive 86/12 meters tall and is the long standing symbol of Modena. The Ghirlandina tower is able to be seen from every direction from the city.
The tower was created in 1179, and is decorated with two ghirlande railings (marble), which is where it obtained its famous name.

3. Ducal Palace

The Ducal Palace in Modena is a Baroque style palace in Italy that is definitely worth seeing for its impressive size alone. It was the residence of the “Este Dukes” of Modena Italy from 1452 all the way to 1859. Its current use is housing a large portion of the current Italian Military Academy. Ducal Palace also contains the official Military Museum, a historic Library and various military ceremonies in its ‘Honor Court’.

4. Military Academy

The Military Academy also called the Accademia Militare is a military university in Modena. It is located in northern Italy in the Palazzo Ducale. The Military Academy is one of the most impressive and historic centers of the city. The Accademia Militare of Modena was the first military institution in the world even before the U.S. Military academy’s creation.
The Accademia Militare allows both sexes to enroll each year. The Accademia Militare focuses mostly on training and selecting future military officers in the Italian Army. The Accademia Militare takes at least two years to complete.

5. The Land of Engines.

Modena Italy is also known as the land of engines. Many of the most famous luxury car manufacturers in the world such as Ferrari, Masertati, Lamborghni and even Pagani call Modena Italy their home.

Top 3 foods you must try in Modena Italy:

1. Tortellini

Tortellini are circle-shaped pasta creations that taste delicious when cooked properly. They are usually filled with a mix of meat prosciutto and cheese. Tortellini is originally from Modena Italy and is served in tasty broth of either beef or chicken. While due to popularity tortellini can now be found all over the world many locals will tell you that the best Tortellini can only be found in its birth place of Modena Italy.

2. Traditional balsamic vinegar

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is a special type of vinegar produced only in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is created from cooked grape must. However, what makes it so impressive is that it is always aged at least 12 years. This special vinegar is added to a multitude of Italian dishes and has a taste like no other.

3. Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese is the name of a few special kinds of Italian hard cheese and usually goes with various types of pastas. While many cheeses claim to be Parmesan cheese only one “brand” of parmesan cheese is considered official and regulated as a protected class. Only Parmigianino Reggiano is protected and it is  especially delicious.
Modena Italy is a wonderful place and hopefully this article has uncovered at least a 10th of the amazing experiences that Modena Italy has to offer.

baroque style italy - Modena detail of ducal palace

 

 

Tour of Motorvalley Panini Collection Modena Emilia Romagna

Motorvalley and Panini museum in Modena, Italy.

by Marcelo Pinto  June 16th 2012

Panini collection in Modena

The Motorvalley runs through the valley, crossing “via Emilia” to the Modenese countryside, where the “Hombre” farm is located.
330 hectares for 500 cows, all managed by a young farmer from the lowlands, Matteo Panini.
He belongs to the last generation of farmers and thinks of himself as the last olive left on a tree that was planted many years ago. He’s Umberto’s son, the same Umberto who, together with his brothers Benito, Franco and Giuseppe, invented Panini stickers, cultivated the land and a passion for motors.

Modena’s history in the motor vehicle industry

When people ask him how Enzo Ferrari or Modena managed to become so important in the motor vehicle industry, he says the reason is really simple: Modenese people come from the land, and once only cattle, horses and men were needed. “Then, the steam engine was invented; after that, the internal combustion engine was developed, and thus the tractor was born. This made it possible for Modena to grow all at once in both the agricultural and mechanical sectors. That’s how the role of the “metalmezzadro” was born: Enzo Ferrari needed a “metalmezzadro”, that is, a person who is both a farmhand and a factory-worker.”
Tractors
So, Panini’s motorcycle and car collection started with tractors.
We can find, for example, a Landini from the year 1934. According to Matteo Panini, it’s one of the best and it still works perfectly. This is where the legend began: tractors were like wooden logs, carved repeatedly until the most beautiful cars in the world were created. These are classic cars, the crown jewels of Umberto and Matteo Panini’s collection.

The Panini collection

The collection consists of three so-called branches. The first one is Panini’s Maserati collection, which is possibly thought of as one of the most important in the world today. The second one is the branch of vehicles that Umberto Panini picked up when people left their cars behind. Finally, there’s more or less a hundred motorcycles, the means of transportation people once used to start with.

The Maserati collection

Matteo starts by showing us a Maserati Moto. Not everybody knows that there was a Maserati Moto in Modena. His father used to work there at first, and he was the Experience Department manager: that is, he would ride a motorcycle until it broke. Just like a test pilot.
But then Umberto became a Maserati car collector. An important vehicle for Maserati is a 1958 car built specially for the brand “Camillino Eldorado”. Eldorado used this car like it was a modern marketing tool. It’s a big cream white “ice cream” featuring a 8 cylinder 4200 cc engine, which was once driven by Stirling Moss. Another important car in Panini’s collection is the 250F, a single-seat car, seen as Formula One itself. It portraits perfectly how cars from the 50s were like. Driving this model, Fangio won the World Championship. Maserati managed to put a 12 cylinder 2500cc Formula One engine right there, thus exhibiting in 1957 an engine that was light years in advance of 6 cylinder ones. When asked why the tachometer is installed inside out, he explains that the driver has to look ahead, so the pointer has to be straight up when reaching 6k, 6,2k rpm. When the pointer is straight up, you know you have to change gear.
Then there’s the Maserati Birdcage. Its frame is so daring in terms of manufacture , it’s made up of 200 steel tubes, that make it look like a net. Because of its reticular shape, in English it was called “birdcage”. Thanks to this car, with only 22 models built, Maserati became very popular during the World Sportscar Championship, that once was possibly more important than Formula One. Matteo says he used to drive and still drives this model.

Maserati’s challenge

There’s a giant poster along the stairs to the second floor: a photo from 1926. Alfieri Maserati is sitting in a car, the first Maserati ever built. Maserati’s staff looks really proud, and Matteo Panini calls it “engineering pride”: “These men had no money and challenged brands like Bugatti, Auto Union… they faced manufacturers like Alfa Romeo. We shouldn’t forget Mussolini was behind Alfa Romeo, just like Hitler was behind Mercedes. So, starting from Bologna they challenged such motoring giants.”

Cars and bikes

We can also find a Stanguellini car. Matteo explains his father worked as a pipefitter for Stanguellini, so that’s the reason they’ve got to have one of those. Besides, the Stanguellini museum, one that true fans shouldn’t miss, is a few kilometers from here, in Modena.
The Panini collection isn’t just made of cars and motorcycles. Matteo shows us a bike which was used by light infantry soldiers. It’s a modern mountain bike, with front and rear shock absorbers. By switching the front wheel with the back wheel, you can also change the gear ratio. He says he likes to think that the person who built it thought it had to be unbreakable. It can also be folded, showing the practical way people once conceived things.

Motorcycles

The motorcycles are located on the second floor. We can find a wide range of motorcycles, like the Guzzino, the Formichino, the Ducati Cruiser (designed by Ghia), which is a really rare item, the Galletto, which was commonly ridden by priests, the Lambretti Vespa, the Delfino Motom, the Aquilotto. There’s also a parade of British motorbikes, from Norton, to AJS, to BSA. According to Matteo, in Italian BSA became the acronym for “Bisogna saperci andare” (You’ve got to know how to ride it) and in reverse, “Anche senza benzina” (Even with no gasoline).

Other significant pieces

Speaking of British, there’s also a Welbike, the bike for parachute drops. It could get folded and placed in containers which were located right under the aircraft’s wings. And speaking of aircrafts, we’re shown a Messerschmitt car, that truly looks like the cockpit of a Messerschmitt aircraft. With regards to torpedoes, there’s also a missile-shaped Lambretta. According to Matteo, it was probably able to reach 200 km/h. There’s also a Lotus leaning against the wall, far from the rest.
When asked if there’s too many models in his collection, Matteo says, “Maybe, but my father comes from that generation. He didn’t pay anything for them, because people would just phone him and tell him to come and pick them up, and so he did.”
The key is simple: we have to enjoy the Panini collection in small amounts, taking our time.

The Hombre organic dairy farm and producer of Parmigiano Reggiano

Speaking of the relationship between motors and land, our last stop is the farm.
Matteo says the farm is like the dynamic part of this passion, with its 500 cows thanks to which 12 wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano are produced every day.
Motorcycles, motors and wheels of Parmigiano all have something in common: you recognize them from their sharp sound. Matteo agrees with that, adding that engineering is also involved.
For example, a hammer can have different weights, and depending on its weight and where you put it, it can give you different feelings and vibrations.
And they ask why this is the land of mechanic and motors.

 

Casa Enzo Ferrari museum opens in Modena

A pioneering piece of design and a worthy monument to the great Enzo Ferrari. The building’s roof is modeled after the hood of a car. After more than five years of construction, the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari opened over the weekend in the Italian city of Modena. It’s an honor to be here today. I think it’s great for Italy, he represents the best of Italy, he will represent the best of Italy and he always did.

I was involved in this this project since the beginning and I remember the house completely lost, and nothing here. From now, but because you have a place where to go and hear about the story of my father, the passion of my father. The house where Enzo Ferrari was born is now part of a museum. 6,000 square meters in size.

Enzo’s son Pierro Ferrari is the brains behind the project. He’s included several personal items belonging to his father. Originally, a locksmith’s apprentice, Ferrari Sr. became a race car driver and founded one of the world’s most legendary sports car companies. Well, but my father has been written hundreds of books.

Every person who met him I wrote in the past, I know the real Ferrari, I know the real story about him. But was a very complex personality, and very demanding, especially to myself and was very hard job to stay with them. In addition to the personal possessions of Enzo Ferrari, one wing of the museum will display Ferrari automobiles as well as temporary exhibitions.

The building was designed by leading architecture firm Future Systems. Finally we choose this very modern structure because he was always looking to the future, as you know, eh? He was looking to new ideas. And he was always trusting young people, young engineers, young architects.

Andrea Morgante designed and built the museum together with the now deceased Jan Kaplický. They drew all their ideas from Enzo Ferrari’s cars. Those were our reference of inspiration. So when we started the competition we were scanning pictures of details of engines and bonnets. Look how beautiful the shape of this part.

I mean this is art, this is culture, and not many people see that. People just see a fast red car, but we knew the value, the artistic value. So We say, let’s take this and let’s make is a building, let’s make it really big as a building. The dominant color in the new wing is yellow, the color of the Ferrari emblem.

The building is meant to be sleek and innovative, just like Enzo Ferrari’s creations. Everything here is untested. This is a huge prototype and is an amazing challenge, because no one did this roof before. This is a double curved aluminium roof. Is a three dimensional piece of sculpture of 3,000 square meters.

It’s quite a challenge. Same thing the facade, it’s quite a technical challenge, so it has the same spirit that you find in building these cars. Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari resembles the big car museums of German manufacturers such as Porsche, BMW and Mercedes. Their buildings cost much more than the one in Modena, much of the 18 million euros needed for the Ferrari museum came from the local authorities.

When you go to maybe one which is only for a brand, it has the impression of like a showroom, that maybe you’re being sold the idea or you’re being sold the brand of that particular car. I think here it does feel freer, you’re not having the corporate message shoved down your throat maybe quite so much.

They don’t have the place where Enzo Ferrari was born. Maybe they have the place where Michael Schumacher was born but he don’t have Ferrari so that’s a good start for us. The place where Enzo Ferrari grew up been in relative poverty at the start of the 20th century provides the perfect setting to tell his success story.

Enzo told us a sort of life lesson, never to give up, you know and if it looks difficult, keep dreaming.

It’s hoped the new museum will draw up to to, two hundred thousand visitors a year. Here, they can retrace the Ferrari legend, even if most can’t afford the trademark fast red sports car.

Text transcribed by Marcelo Pinto  June 16th 2012 from this youtube video

Best Hotels in Bologna, Italy

Best Romantic Hotels in Bologna

Written by Marcelo Pinto  June 10th 2012

Aemilia Hotel

Aemlia is a hotel which is based only two minutes away from the city edge and it only takes ten minutes to walk to the main square. It offers free WiFi, a buffet selection for breakfast and a lovely roof top deck so you can enjoy the views across the city. The staff are friendly and hope to see you soon.

Hotel Cosmopolitan Bologna

The Hotel Cosmopolitan Bologna is located outside of the city but it is still convenient to the town centre. It is easy to find and the parking there is also convenient. The rooms are comfortable and include coffee and tea making facilities. The owners welcome feedback and always look to improve their services and facilities.

Sav Hotel

The Sav Hotel is located in a really convenient location, ten minutes from both the airport city centre. The staff are really friendly and helpful and the atmosphere and décor are lovely. The owner boasts the fact that the Sav Hotel is only 2 kilometers from the main street of Bologna.

Grand Hotel Majestic

The Grand Hotel Majestic is a stylish hotel that boasts large, well decorated rooms. It is said to be a luxury in the heart of Bologna. Because of its location many guests prefer this hotel over others as it is right in the city centre. The staff are lovely and the food is good.

Savoia Hotel Regency

This hotel is said to be wonderful with friendly staff who go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and to offer you services to make you stay stress free. It is not a very expensive hotel but it is a very good hotel and has a wonderful restaurant.

Palazzo Loup

The Palazzo Loup is a great hotel in a beautiful location. It is located on top of a hill right outside of town and boasts amazing views. It also offers great Italian cuisine at the restaurant. This hotel is said to be amazing with fantastic staff.

Art Corona d’Oro

This hotel is located in the city centre and is very close to the main attractions. The staff are friendly and helpful and the suites are beautiful. It is a very modern and up to date hotel and there is even breakfast included in your stay.

AC Hotel Bologna by Marriott

This hotel has rooms that are very modern in dark colours and it offers free parking out the front of the hotel. They also offer a nice selection of foods for breakfast and wireless internet. It is a well priced hotel.

Al Cappello Rosso

The Al Cappello Rosso hotel is located in a nice quiet street near the middle of the town. It is not very modern but it is clean and comfortable with more of a boutique style. They offer breakfast and the staff are friendly and willing to help you.

Art Hotel Commercianti

The Art Hotel Commercianti is a pleasant hotel right in the heart of the city. The building is ancient looking and the rooms that it offers are large and comfortable. The staff are accommodating and the food is flavoursome.

Parma travel guide for leisure and business

Written by Marcelo Pinto  June 10th 2012

how cheese is made

Science and poetry, craftsmanship and industry, sophistication and authenticity. Parma is an admirable synthesis of these apparent opposites, as revealed in its history, and is still true today.

Background

Parma was the capital of the Duchy, and at one time was ruled by royalty – Marie Louise – the second wife of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. It is a city of affluence and sophistication, famous nowadays for its culinary specialties. It is the only place in the world where the strict rules of an age-old tradition have become the driving force of economic development. The Ducal Palace, offered as headquarters to the European Food Safety Authority, is an emblem of this complex personality. Built in the 16th century by the second Duke of Parma, Ottavio Farnese, it stands in a splendid park, surrounded by exotic tree species. The very name of Parma fascinated Stendhal and Proust.

Architecture

High on the list of desirable places to live, Parma has been admirably shaped by the hand of history. There is the square containing the Romanesque cathedral, Duomo, with frescoes by Correggio, and the pale-coloured Baptistery, designed by Benedetto Antelami, that are silent witnesses to a great architectural heritage, preserved in the very heart of the city. Piazzale della Pace, redesigned by Mario Botta to show off the massive proportions of Palazzo della Pilotta, houses a theatre built by the Farnese family, and entirely of wood, unique in that it could be filled with water for staging naval battles, to the delight of the court. The grandiose building now hosts the Galleria Nazionale, and features paintings by Correggio, Parmigianino, and Leonardo. The Teatro Regio – Royal Theatre – elegant in its neoclassical simplicity, is a temple dedicated to the music in the city of Verdi and Toscanini. Facing it stands the imposing Church of the Steccata, with precious works by Parmi
gianino. A short stroll away is Piazza Garibaldi, the real centre of the city, an elegant showcase of buildings reflecting different historical periods.

Food

The love of good food, reflected in products famous all over the world, is more a matter of art than an industry. Discover our unique local products, with their bewitching flavours. Parma ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Culatello di Zibello, and other exquisite foods – tomatoes, Parma’s Red Gold; mushrooms from the Valtaro; black truffles from Fragno; and sparkling aromatic wines. The genius of this city has been in inventing ways of transforming these fruits of the earth. It has conquered an international market by maintaining the authentic flavours of farm-made preserves and hand-rolled pasta, even when producing them in large quantities – a decision based on policy rather than marketing. And it has proved to be a winning formula, because it is deep-rooted, drawing on the history and the traditions of this fertile land.

High-Quality Standards

Parma has succeeded in combining taste and technology, developing a culture of food and its production. Of course, everyone has heard of Parma ham and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Throughout the world, hams marked with the five-pointed crown symbol are a benchmark of quality. For cheese to lay claim to the Parmigiano appellation, the milk must have come from cows bred in the region, and been processed using a method dating back to Etruscan times. Then, it is left to mature for at least a year.

Economy

It was here that the humble macaroni first became an international business. 1870 saw the founding in Parma of the firm Barilla, the first in Italy to produce pasta on an industrial scale. Here in Food Valley, the statistics say it all – a turnover of €10 billion, 25,000 employees, and exports worth €3 billion.

Education

Culture is synonymous with the University of Parma, founded in the 10th century, and one of the oldest in Italy. The new campus offers a wide range of specialisations, including food science.

Other Industries

But Parma’s story is not only about food and technology. Parma also has important clothing and leatherworking industries, reflecting an ancient tradition of craftsmanship, dependent on skilled labour and top-quality raw materials.

Ducal Palace

Just outside the city walls stands the Reggia di Colorno, once known as the “little Versailles” on account of its gardens. Only one word adequately describes it – a marvel. It now houses the ALMA, the International School of Italian Cuisine, interpreting Italy’s gastronomic tradition to the wider world.

Castles in the Countryside

This is a fertile, generous land, bisected by the ancient Roman highway of the Via Emilia, and peppered with castles erected to defend the estates and vaunt the fortunes of its feudal lords. Torrechiara was built by Pier Maria Rossi in honour of his lover. The couple would meet in the sumptuous golden chamber, whose terrace dominates the whole of Food Valley. The fortress of Fontanellato, built by the counts of Sanvitale, boasts some magnificent frescoes by Parmigianino. The Meli Lupi Castle at Soragna is another splendid aristocratic residence, with magnificent gilded interiors.

Torrechiara castle

Famous People

This is the province which, in the 19th century, produced the operatic genius of Giuseppe Verdi. It was also the home of Arturo Toscanini, whose house is now a museum, and of humorist Giovannino Guareschi – creator of Don Camillo – whose books have delighted millions all over the world.

Spa Town

It also boasts the invigorating waters of Salsomaggiore, one of Italy’s oldest spa resorts, already popular with the Romans 2,000 years ago.

Strategic Location

The quality produce, research, investment, hospitality, and general sense of well-being associated with Parma, are also explained by its favourable geographical location. Parma is right at the heart of the Po Valley, just an hour’s drive from the international airports of Milan and Bologna. From its own airport, named not surprisingly after Giuseppe Verdi, there are daily connections with Rome Fiumicino and several European capitals. Parma is within easy reach of some of the most beautiful parts of Italy. An hour’s drive up over the Cisa Pass, and you are at the seaside – Lerici, Cinque Terre, Portofino. In the opposite direction, passing through a string of splendid medieval towns, you arrive at the world’s most beautiful city – Venice. Strategically placed between middle Europe and the Mediterranean, Parma has been able to blend the two different culinary cultures throughout its history, refining it through scientific research, a heritage now widely recognized and shared with the rest of Europe.
Science and charm, industry and tradition, business and culinary excellence. Parma already has all these things. Rich in history and timeless wisdom, this is a city waiting to be explored.

The text has been extracted from the Parma chamber of commerce video

Top 5 hotels in Parma Italy

Parma’s best hotels for the luxury traveller.

Written by Marcelo Pinto  June 10th 2012

battistero a Parma

Written by Marcelo Pinto  June 4th 2012

Whether it’s business, pleasure or both that bring you to Parma, there’s a hotel for you among the top 5 hotels rated by your fellow travellers at TripAdvisor.

There’s a lot history in Parma, no better reminisced than at Teatro Farnese, an ancient wooden theatre with a fantastic historic atmosphere. The Magnani-Rocca foundation offers a permanent exposition of paintings and sculptures, and everybody loves Castello di Torrechiara: a classic example of Italian castle architecture and frescoes, with incredible views of the Langhirano countryside.

If you’re a business traveller, you won’t need to see the sights. You’ll appreciate affordable and reliable internet access. The breakfast on the way out doesn’t have to be fancy either, just good enough to get you started on your busy day. The Best Western Hotel Farnese, Grand Hotel de la Ville and Hotel Stendhal provide free wireless internet access. The breakfasts are crowd-pleasers at any of these hotels, probably because they all serve wonderful Parma ham, but the favourite when it comes to mornings is Hotel Stendhal: Strong flavourful coffee, lots of fresh bread and fruit choices. If your overall satisfaction from a hotel stay is in the breakfast, stay at the Stendhal.

If you’re in Parma to see the sights, you’ll want fast access to as many of them as possible. Starhotels Du Parc gives you a fifteen minute walk into the centre of Parma using the rear entrance, a bridge and pathway through a beautiful city park. The Hotel Stendhal is a winner again for the sight-seers with close proximity to the city center, fine restaurants like La Greppia, and the archaeological museum across the road.

Not mentioned yet among the top five is the Ora Hotel. It’s three kilometers from the center of Parma so it’s not ideal for sightseeing on foot; you’ll need a car for that and pay for parking when you go to town. The rooms aren’t big compared to the other hotels and the charges for wireless internet will have you firing up your smart phone’s internet tethering right away. You might miss the in-room coffee and the breakfast area is small so if the hotel is busy, you’ll need to get down there early. Despite all this, there’s one real value in a stay at the Ora: it’s quiet.

For business or pleasure, it’s easy to find your favourite hotel in Parma.

Images from wikipedia