Travel Tips

MAST: The Coolest Museum in Bologna

Bologna is a great Italian destination. It’s a lot less touristic that more popular places such as Florence, Venice, and Rome, and it offers a variety of cultural landmarks, high-quality museums, and great food. What more would you ask for?

Within the many museums that you can visit in Bologna, there is one which you might not have heard about but that is most definitely one of the coolest museums in the city. It’s the MAST. Sounds interesting? Keep reading as this article is all about it.

What is MAST Bologna?

MAST Foundation (standing for Arts, Experimentation and Technology Manufactury) is an international institution created in Bologna where Innovation, Art and Technology are at the core. The main aim of the organization is to incentivize development and creativity within enterprises among the youngest generations, but it introduces concepts that are relevant to all of us.

MAST can be considered as a city within a city. Located in the neighborhood of Reno, it is an exposition in a building of exquisite architecture and it is the perfect place for industries to meet in an environment of open communication, growth, and learning.

MAST Bologna is characterized by several buildings, terraces, porticos, gardens, and a central auditorium. There are restaurants and even a wellness center. The building itself can host various events in different areas such as conferences and companies’ presentations as well as educational activities or cocktails.

But the important sections of the MAST are the galleries. The two main galleries are the Innovation Gallery and the Photo Gallery. The interactive expositions, the possibility to be guided by experts and the focus on industrial innovation and the industry world make the museum very interesting and relevant.

The Photo Gallery hosts temporary expositions of photographs in the work industry, renovating usually every four months. The Innovation Gallery is an experience in itself thanks to the great technical support and the level of interactivity reached through the use of videos and panels. The entretainment that a visit to the MAST gives is uncomparable to other museums. The expositions are characterized by various hands-on and are meant to make the visitors discover the reality of innovation in the world of industry.

MAST Gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 7 PM, but according to the different events, the exposition might be open until 10 PM. Make sure you check the calendar on MAST’s website to organize your visit accordingly and have a better idea of the different activities that the museum proposes to its visitors.

The entrance to the expositions is free.

Anthropocene 2019: The Coolest Exposition in Bologna

Among the exhibitions that the MAST offers, the most recent one is Anthropocene. It is a great exhibition that because of the popularity has been extended until the 5th of January 2020 (so if you’re planning a visit to Bologna within this date, make sure not to miss it!).

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is a reflection of the massive intervention of humans on our planet’s configuration. It is an art project delivered in the form of a movie that investigates and highlights the human footprint that has shaped the looks of Earth. As the name suggests, (Anthropocene can be translated as “humans at the center”) it is a study on the “era where humans have become the main cause of permanent planetary change”.

Describing Anthropocene as a simple movie would be very limiting on the project which is a unique and very informative experience. It combines great and stunning photography, film, scientific research and augmented reality in an exploration of how humans have contributed to change the planet irreversibly to a point where humans are not only active participants of life on the planet but the dominant force.

The spectacular quality of the images as well as the relevancy of the subject and the great narrative, all make this exposition a must. Not only it is very informative and mind-breaking, but it is also a project art with a purpose that will leave a mark on you.

MAST Bologna organizes several projections during the day, usually at 11:00 AM, 2:30 PM or 4:00 PM. To be sure, check the schedule that you can find on MAST’s website. The entrance is free and doesn’t require booking.

If you find yourself in Bologna, pay a visit to this cool exhibition and make sure to experience the Anthropocene project: you won’t regret it.

How to Drive in Bologna Without Getting A Penalty

Traveling to Italy by car is a great option as it allows you to get everywhere pretty fast. However, sometimes it might not be easy, as driving rules in Italy might have some aspects which are different from other countries. In case you decided to travel to Bologna by car, here is a short guide to making sure you won’t commit mistakes that you will regret.

Bologna is very well connected to the major highways, so it is rather easy to reach. However, driving in the center might be a bit complicated. Let’s go over some tips to make your driving experience in Bologna easier and smoother.

Avoid Driving in ZTL Zones

A ZTL Zone (Zona a Traffico Limitato in Italian, or Limited Traffic Access Zone) is a prohibited area which you cannot enter with a car if you don’t have a special permit. The access to these areas is monitored by cameras and the fees for breaking the rules are very high. You don’t want to commit the mistake of entering a ZTL in Bologna. But how do they work?

First of all, keep in mind that most of the historic center is part of the ZTL, so better park your car somewhere and walk to the center if you’re willing to explore there.

In all Bologna, there are 4 areas of limited access: Sirio, Zona Universitaria, Area T, and San Francesco. The access to ZTL in Sirio is active every day from 7 AM to 8 PM.

For what concerns Zona Universitaria, San Francesco, and Area T, all entries are monitored by cameras 24/7. To make sure you know about the area, check a map of Bologna. The road signs delimiting the areas are not very clear, so make sure you know where the areas are in advance.

In Sirio and Area T motorcycles are allowed to pass, even without a permit.

The circulation of vehicles in the ZTL is allowed for customers of hotels that are situated in the city center (but make sure you check with them first), bicycles and motorcycles. If you own a hybrid vehicle or an electric car, you might also be able to enter the ZTL, after having requested and received an appropriate permit. The special “permit” can be bought at the tper offices.

How to Park in Bologna

Bologna is not an easy place to park in. There is no free parking so no matter where you chose to park (legally) your car, you’ll have to pay. Also, depending on the day, finding a spot might be very complicated.

There are mainly two options for Parking in Bologna. You can either chose public parking or a garage.

Public parking can be easily spotted by the blue lines (paid) or white (free but basically non existent in Bologna) . Yellow lines are used to indicate reserved parking spots (police, government workers and so on), so you shouldn’t park there.

Depending on the area you’re in the price range and times for parking will change. To pay, find a machine and put the appropriate amount of coins according to the time you need to park for.

Alternatively, another way to park your car is to place it in a garage. There are several garages, here are only some:

Tanari is one of the best options because of the price, the great capacity, and the shuttle service to the city center. The garage is open 24/7 and the charges are approximately 0.60 cents per hour or you can decide to pay a 5 euros daily fee.
Parcheggio VIII Agosto is an underground garage which is very well located. Because of this, it is not a cheap option, but it is great if you want to visit the center. Per day you’ll have to pay 20 euros, otherwise the hourly charge is around 2.60 euros.
Garage Autostazione is close to the train station, easy to reach and about 15 minutes walking to Piazza Maggiore. It is not open on Saturday and the day-fee is 18 euros while the charge per hour is about 2.2 euros.

Here was a short but detailed guide about the basics of getting around Bologna by car, hopefully, you found it useful! Remember to investigate about ZTL and to decide where to park your car in advance to avoid problems.

Where to Drink Lambrusco Wine in Modena

Lambrusco is a red sparkling wine from Modena, Italy.

There are a lot of places in Modena where you can enjoy typical Italian aperitivo. Aperitivo plays an important role in Italian way of life. For many Italians, aperitivo is their favorite part of the day. That is when they gather with their friends, relax, talk, listen to music, sip their favorite drink and enjoy tasty food. Perfect aperitivo consists of great wine, tasty food and quality time with your friends. Take your time and observe Italian way of life. Lambrusco is one of the best Italian wines, and it goes well with Italian food that is usually served as aperitivo. Here are 3 best places to drink Lambrusco in Modena:

Caffe del Collegio

Caffe del Collegio is located in Via San Carlo, near city center. It is considered one of the best places to have aperitivo in Modena, because of its great atmosphere. In fact, many locals come here every day to meet their friends after work, relax and chat. It has a wide choice of food and drink options. Of course, we suggest you have a glass of Lambrusco, while you enjoy good time with your friends. When it comes to food, we suggest you try gnocco fritto. special type of bread that is usually served with cheese. Gnocco fritto is traditional Italian dish and it originates from Emilia Romagna. That’s why Modena is perfect place to try it! We are sure you will love it. If you are visiting Modena during warm period of year, that’s even better because Caffe del Collegio has very nice outdoor seating. They also play nice music to create even better atmosphere. When you are having good time it seems that time flies, so it is easy to spend hours here without noticing. Take your time, order Lambrusco and enjoy your drink.

Da Panino

Da Panino is small but charming place. It is a perfect place for aperitivo and Lambrusco. It is famous for its panini. Panini is Italian word for sandwich, but they are much more than that. There are various types of panini, they are made with different types of ham as well as all types of cheese you can imagine. The most famous panini are ones with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato… They also have vegetarian options available, they put a lot of veggies in their sandwiches. We are sure you will find a perfect panino that you are going to love. Whether you are very hungry or you just want to try some new flavours, this is a perfect place for you. The panini can even be a substitute for lunch or dinner. Lambrusco is a great wine to sip while enjoying good food and good company.

Artigiani del Gusto

It is located inside Mercato Albinelli, place in center of Modena where you can find all kinds of Italian products. Artigiani del Gusto are famous for their high quality products. You can buy Italian wine, cheese, organic chicken, as well as other products. All their wines are great, but Lambrusco is really special and they are very proud of it. They have the best selection of it that you can find around. When it comes to food, you have to try cheese and ham platters as well as spit roast chicken. This is a family owned business and the staff is always very friendly. They will be happy to give you recommendations and suggest best food combinations that you have to try in Italy. They would be happy to share some of the traditional Italian recipes with you. That is a great opportunity because some of the best recipes can not be found on Internet, they are family secrets. Their products are always fresh and they guarantee for their high quality.

These are three best places where to try Lambrusco in Modena. Other than that, they also have great food options and great atmosphere. Choose the one that you like the most, invite your friends, and get ready to enjoy the best Italian aperitivo! Aperitivo is the best way to relax and figure out what are you going to do next. Because Modena is very busy town and there is always something going on! We hope you will enjoy your stay there, and once again: don’t forget to try Lambrusco!

Best Aperitivo in Bologna.

Bologna is a wonderful city in Northern Italy. It is not your “classic” Italian destination, but it is a good place if you’re looking for some traditional Italian food and experiences. A very nice custom Italians have is the “aperitivo”, which is particularly common in a lively and young city like Bologna. To gather with your friends after work, with a drink and some finger food, is one of the preferred activities and ways to socialize that Italians adopt. With so many options around Bologna, it can be a bit hard to find the best spot for an aperitivo, especially if you’re new in the city. This is why we made a list of 3 of the best places to take an iconic aperitivo in Bologna. Try them all or choose one that appeals more to you, you’ll have a fantastic opportunity!

Tamburini

Via Caprarie 1 between the 2 towers and piazza Maggiore, 40124 Bologna Italy
Tamburini has a food shop, a restaurant, and a wine bar. The wine bar is perfect for an aperitivo and it is open from 12 to 11.30 PM Monday to Thursday and from 12 to 00.30 AM on Friday and Saturdays. The atmosphere is familiar and very traditional, with 3 internal rooms for bigger parties or celebrations surrounded by the famous old wine bottles that contribute to the iconic ambiance of the restaurant. The menu includes a wide selection of more than 2o0 national wines, champagnes, and artisanal beers as well as liquors, rums and whiskey. In terms of food, the specialties are the cheese and meat sharing plates, but the offer includes salads, cold dishes and a selection of home-made desserts.

Bar Senza Nome

Via Belvedere 11/B, 40121 Bologna, Italia
This bar is particularly popular among the younger ones, not only because of the great vibe but also for the value for the price paid. Aperitivo at this bar is one of the cheapest in the city and it includes some finger food, couscous or pasta salads. Calling “Bar Senza Nome” is a bit restrictive as it can be considered more of a winery and a small restaurant. The bar is special because it is entirely run by people with disabilities, the majority of them being deaf. You can try to challenge yourself and order using sign language! Everyone is put at the same level at this bar, and the atmosphere is fantastic. The environment is lively and cozy and it is suited well those wanting to spend a couple of hours chatting with friends or loved ones. The place organizes a variety of alternative and cultural activities including concerts, courses and art exhibitions among others. The place is often full, but if you manage to find a spot, you’ll for sure have a good time, with good music and a great aperitif.

Marsalino

Via Marsala 13D, 40126 Bologna Italy
Marsalino is a bar enjoyed by locals to get their aperitivo. It has become very popular, both for after-work meetings or for “pre-parties”. The popularity mainly comes from the high-quality food offered in combination with a spritz and excellent local wines. The menu includes only a few dishes but always with excellent quality and with the best ingredients. “Taglieri” with cheese, ham, and salami or the traditional “bruschetta” are the best side to accompany your aperitivo. Finger food is available from 6 PM to 9 PM with your aperitivo. However, if you want to order a meal from the menu, the kitchen is open until late at night, so don’t worry! The ambiance of the place is great and every Thursday night some cabaret events are organized, making the evening even more fun. Because of the informal atmosphere, Marsalino is a great place to socialize and have a good time. For locals, Marsalino has converted into a “must” for the aperitivo in Bologna. Because the bar has become so common and the place is pretty small, finding a spot can be quite hard. During the summer it might get better since the area in front of the local is used, but during the winter, the bar does get quite crowded. If you’re planning to spend an evening there and want to have a seat, booking a table is a good idea. Here was a shortlist of the three best spots to have an aperitivo in Bologna, enjoy!

Where to Buy Parma Ham in Parma?

In the Northern Italian countryside, you will find the city of Parma, it may be famous for a variety of things including its University and cheese, but what it is most famous for is its Prosciutto di Parma otherwise known as Parma ham.

Prosciutto di Parma is a delicious dry-cured ham that follows an intricate process that can take up to several years, in order to obtain the perfect final taste that everyone knows an loves. While there are other regions in Italy that have their own version, Prosciutto di Parma is the most famous and sought after of them all, even earning certain degrees of protected status.

If you are ever lucky enough to visit or live in the city of Parma and want to experience the most authentic and appetizing Prosciutto di Parma in the country, then we have found the ultimate places for you to go and have just that.

1) La Prosciutteria

The moment you walk into La Prosciutteria all of your senses will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of hanging hams on offer. There is a massive selection for you to choose from, and it is clear to see why this place is famous among locals as well as tourists. The shop provides an assortment of wonderful smells and wonderful sights, and as a bonus, they specialize in other local meats and cheeses, and have fresh bread daily. La Prosciutteria is quintessentially Italian, a place that is a prime example of where you should buy or try Parma ham, it is a delightful shop and you will most certainly leave with a smile.

Situated right in the heart of Parma, the shop is easy to access and easy to find.

The address for La Prosciutteria: Via Farini, 9/c – Parma

Their opening times vary depending on the day/season, so in order to never miss your chance to visit, check out their website for the complete list of opening times: https://www.silvanoromaniparma.it/

2) Casa del Formaggio

For more than thirty years Casa del Formaggio has been serving up some of the best traditional Italian food available, from their fresh plates of pasta, a vast selection of cheeses, and of course, different meats. Their choice of cured meats includes some of the best Parma ham you can buy in the region; you will find only the highest quality of ham at Casa del Formaggio, a ham that has been cured slowly and traditionally with the end result being a perfect and mouthwatering example of why Parma ham is held in such a high regard in Italy.

Casa del Formaggio is located right in the center of Parma and is easily accessible by car or on foot.

The address for Casa del Formaggio: Str. Nino Bixio 106 / C Parma

The shop is open Monday- Saturday

Morning 8:30-13:30 / Afternoon 16:30-19:45

3) Salumeria Garibaldi

Salumeria Garibaldi is another excellent choice for those wanting to find the best Parma ham that the city has to offer. For nearly seventy years this shop has severed the area with its finest hams and cheeses, earning itself as a reputation for providing its customers with a gastronomic delight. Their succulent selection of Prosciutto di Parma has been mastered over the years to be some of the best and famous in the country, with theirs being recognized on a national level. The passion and enthusiasm that the owners of Salumeria Garibaldi have for their work come through in the rich and full flavors of the products, and they truly serve some of the best Parma ham in the whole of Italy.

Conveniently located near the city’s main railway station, you will have no problems with finding it.

The address for Salumeria Garibaldi: Strada Garibaldi 42 43121 Parma

The shop is open Monday – Saturday

08:00-20:00

You will never look at Parma ham in the same way again after you have had the experience of tasting some of the most authentic Parma ham not only in the region but also in the country. Once you have visited the area you will fully understand why the province has earned itself the nickname of the food valley of the world.

Is FICO (Eataly) in Bologna Worth Visiting?

Italy is a country that has a lot to offer both new and experienced travellers alike. It has great people, architecture, and the country is steeped in history dating back for millenia. But what really makes Italy stand out is the food, and there’s no better place to experience it than in the city of Bologna.

Bologna is often referred to by the locals as “la dotta, la rossa e la grassa”, which means “The Learned, The Red, and The Fat”. This is a reference to the city’s university, which is considered to be Europe’s oldest, the distinct red hues of the terracotta buildings, and of course, its phenomenal food.

The city itself has long since been a world-famous destination for foodies. It has some top grade restaurants, markets filled to the brim with exotic ingredients and locals that know their way around food. Bologna’s fame in food itself has culminated in the creation of a food theme park known as FICO Eataly World.

What is FICO?

FICO is a theme park that’s about 10 hectares big, and is dedicated to Italian gastronomy. It has a huge collection of exhibits that shows how Italian cuisine is prepared from the ingredients to the finished product, representing the country’s deep food traditions.

This theme park has everything from cultivated fields to stables, housing more than 200 animals, and more than 2000 types of vegetables and fruits. FICO also has approximately 40 food factories that people can visit and partake in the preparation of various ingredients, and a little over 40 kiosks or restaurants where you can have a taste of the actual dish.

FICO certainly has a lot to offer if you’re into food, whether you’re a novice foodie or a veteran gourmand. But is it worth visiting? Here’s some of the pros and cons for you to consider so you can decide for yourself.

The Good

The Attractions are Varied

FICO’s motto sums up the number of attractions perfectly: “Dal campo alla forchetta”, from field to fork. Every square inch of the theme park certainly has something to explore, from the creation of traditional Italian food ingredients, especially cheeses, to the actual cooking and serving of those same ingredients to create authentic Italian cuisine. It’s not infinite, but this place will certainly keep you busy for more than a couple of days, maybe more.

Everything in One Roof

Because many of the exhibits are meant to showcase Italy’s traditional cuisines, you can basically find everything food-related in Italy within one place. This means that there’s no need to run from one point of Bologna to another if you’re hellbent on trying out every restaurant or food kiosk in the city. If you want to have a food tour of the city, you can practically do it in one place.

There’s Plenty of Shops

If you’re going down with a bit of a shopping fever, FICO also has something for you to do. Aside from a good selection of food factories and farms, there’s also about 44 food stalls and restaurants where you can buy everything food-related that Bologna has to offer. If your idea of a good souvenir involves authentic food or ingredients, then there’s no better place in Italy.

There’s No Entrance Fee

While the stores themselves do sell things, getting into the actual FICO theme park is free. This means you can take as many friends and family with you as you want, for as long as you want. Of course, many of the individual exhibits themselves might charge an entrance fee, so make sure you bring your wallet regardless.

The Bad

It’s Huge

10 hectares isn’t a joke if you’re planning on walking around FICO. If you can rent out a scooter or a bike, then you’re free to ride it in, but not a car. It’s best to rent out a bike before you actually get to FICO in the first place, because…

It’s Not Easy to Get To

FICO is a good distance away from Bologna’s city center, and is a bit out of ways from the main highway. It’s not completely remote, but it can be a hard place to get to if you’re not familiar with the city’s shuttle system, or if you didn’t rent a car.

It’s Geared More Towards Locals

FICO hasn’t made much effort to catch the attention of the foodies outside of Italy, so it can be difficult to navigate without the proper guidance. Don’t get us wrong, it’s good that Bologna is spreading awareness of Italy’s food traditions to the people of Italy. But the locals aren’t the only ones who would appreciate the gastronomic journey Italy has to offer, and if steps were taken to correct this, FICO will certainly have way more visitors.

Bottura’s Osteria Franceschetta a Dinner Review in Modena Italy

Franceschetta58, co-owned by Michelin Starred chef Massimo Bottura is a restaurant that wants to represent a new Italian kitchen where tradition and innovation come hand in hand. Located in a semi-industrial area of Modena but still reachable by food by the city center, the restaurant sets itself as a more friendly and accessible way to the high cuisine, but at contained prices. The combination of a high-quality and rather casual atmosphere makes the restaurant particularly good.

The restaurant wants to be a low-cost version of Massimo Bottura’s much more exclusive Osteria Francescana (which, by the way, is ranked as one of the best restaurants in the world). The chef accomplished the realization of a successful, less exclusive but still high quality and well-researched restaurant by partnering up with Marta Pulini, an expert in the area of the contemporary brasserie. Both chefs managed to give birth to a restaurant where tradition is not completely re-invented, just re-interpreted with amazing results and sometimes surprising results.

The Ambience

Entering the restaurant, I got the feeling that the whole place is designed for customers to have a different experience while enjoying good, Italian food, The building is a renovated tire shop where you can decide to share a communal wood table or can sit at one of the more intimate tables. The design is simple but in line with the personality of the restaurant: young but with good taste, ambitious but efficient. The mismatched glassware and silverware, the mix between industrial and urban style, might not be of everyone’s taste, but I liked it. It all suggests a link with the “modern” and contemporary style, which is also reflected on the menu. It seems to be a more hipster version of the classic “fancy restaurants”.

The Service

Franceschetta58 is opened six days a week and offers an à la carte menu for dinner as well as a shorter “quick” smart lunch menu. I went for dinner, so I can mainly speak for that.

During dinner, there is the possibility to pick between two fixed-price menus or to choose one or more dishes from the à la cart menu.

The presentation of the dishes is very attractive and particularly creative: some of them are so wonderful you don’t even want to eat them! But then, once you give in and take the first bite, the combination of flavors, the texture, everything balances out so well. Franceschetta58 is one of the few restaurants that offer well-researched and innovative cuisine for everyone. The prices are not overly expensive but fair, and the professional but not invasive staff makes the whole experience better. It is always positive to receive good service and at the restaurant, the choice of the best wine for your meal is supported by very helpful experts that make everything they can to make you feel at home.

I was really satisfied with the way I was treaded. I found the restaurant differentiating from similar but more exclusive restaurants by an ambiance which is not stiff, as it often happens at this kind of restaurant. Instead, the casual ambiance allowed me to enjoy my meal peacefully and feeling at ease.

It might be a bit hard to reserve a table, due to the increasing popularity that the restaurant is gaining (and deserving) but all the efforts will be worth it in the end! Don’t expect to go there for dinner and find a free table, as it doe not happen often.

The food

Despite the creative combinations of traditional and international cuisine, of classic Italian dishes with a touch of creativity and a strong personality, the focus remains the regional territory of Emilia Romagna. The result is a unique and tasty mix of amazing flavors and the re-discovery of classic dishes under a new light and new flavors that enhance the taste of the ingredients. I highly recommend the Tortellini in Parmesean Cream, you get an amazing traditional dish from Modena, with the enhanced flavor of the so-called “king of cheeses”.

Seasonal dishes are constantly updated and added according to the availability. My friend tried the Baccala that was also really good, delicate and tasy.

Even if not entirely, the majority of the menu is based on local ingredients such as the famous Parmiggiano Reggiano (parmesan cheese is actually from the region where the restaurant is located) and Aceto Balsamico di Modena (balsamic vinegar, specifically from Modena). Even if they sound pretty simple ingredients, the menu offers the opportunity to experience them in a completely different way.

I’ve heard that during lunch the only option available is the smart menu, so you can’t choose anything else despite the three options available.

Overall, I think the food is particularly tasty and the flavors are a good representation that Italian cuisine can evolve and it is not just about tradition. The price to quality ratio is optimal, if you want to have a good, fulfilling experience while eating delicious food, Franceschetta 58 is an exceptionally good option. I for sure recommend the restaurant!

Where To Buy Parmesan Cheese in Florence.

If you want to bring unique gift from Florence to your friends and family, Parmesan cheese is a great option! Parmesan is one of the Italian cheeses with the longest tradition. It is a hard grating cheese and it has a strong taste, so it is usually used grated on spaghetti. Of course, it can be bought even in the other countries, but it will never be as tasty as true Italian Parmesan. Here are the best places to buy it in Florence:

Dilemma: where to buy Parmesan cheese in Florence

Supermarkets

Parmesan can be found in almost every bigger supermarket in Florence. But we suggest you visit either supermarket Coop or Esselunga, because they are part of big chains that guarantee quality and freshness of the products, and they have more convenient prices than small shops. Also, the supermarket staff will be glad to cut and pack the piece of Parmesan in the size you want. Or you can choose from already cut and vacuumed packed pieces of cheese.

There is a Coop supermarket in Via Cimabue. Coop is one of the oldest supermarket chains in Italy, and it is known for the freshness of all its products. Good thing is that it is open until 9 PM every day, except Sunday. It often has special offers and discounts.

Esselunga is very modern chain of supermarkets with a great variety of products. There is one Esselunga supermarket in Via Masaccio, a 10 minute walk from Piazza della Liberta. And there is one Esselunga supermarket located on the other side of the bridge Ponte alla Vittoria in Via Pisana, near Giardino di Villa Strozzi. Esselunga supermarkets are open from 7:30 AM to 9 PM every day, except Sunday. But, it is good to know that Esselunga in Via Massaccio is open even on Sunday from 9 AM to 8 PM, which makes it one of the only supermarkets in Florence that are open on Suday afternoon.

Esselunga Supermarket sell parmesan cheese in Florence. Source of the image

Eataly Florence

Eataly is famous shop that sells only Italian products of the highest quality. It is located in city center, near the Florence Cathedral, in Via De Martelli. The atmosphere is rustic and elegant, and you will feel as a true Italian. The shop is divided in different sections that sell traditional products such as cheese, wine, desserts and many more things. It is a perfect place for if you want to try something delicious, but also if you want to buy present for someone. They have great choice of cheese, as well as delicious Parmesan cheese. The staff is awesome and they will be happy to give you some recommendations. They offer free tasting of cheese and wine so you can be sure you like it, before you take it home with you. There is also restaurant space where you can relax and enjoy in Italian food. Eataly is open from 10 AM to 10:30 PM, every day except Sunday.

Mercato Sant Ambrogio

Mercato di Sant Ambrogio – Florence – source of the image

If you truly want to experience Italian way of living you should visit a traditional market! Mercato Sant Ambrogio is located near Piazza Ghiberti, in city center. The market is open from 7 AM to 2 PM every day, except Sunday. It is one of the most popular spots in Florence, where both locals and tourists meet to shop, taste new products or simply chat. Most people are actually selling their own home-made products, so this market may be the best place to find something really authentic and healthy. They have great offer of fruit and vegetables, cheese and fish, and of course Parmesan cheese. Vendors are friendly and they will suggest you the best products you have to try. They will also be happy to recommend you some hidden gems of Florence, that only locals know. Mercato Sant Ambrogio is very busy so be prepared that you will need more time if you want to shop here rather than in supermarket, but it is definitely worth it! Mecato Sant Ambrogio is one of the historical sites of Florence, it was opened in 1873, and as such it deserves to be visited.

There is variety of options and all those places offer Parmesan cheese of the highest quality! Just choose the place that suits you the best, according to the available time and location.

5 Great Things to do in Piedmont in 2020 – Italy

The Langhe region it is famous for its wines and UNESCO world Heritate for its landscape.

Piedmont is a mountainous region in Italy that borders Switzerland and France. It’s famous for its undulating landscapes, beautiful villages, delicious cuisine, ancient history, and classic wines. Besides those, Piedmont also has several landmark developments and baroque architecture.

Its location on mountainous north-west Italy means that it’s perfectly ringed by the Alps. So, it features beautiful lakes and offers scenic views of the Alps. Piedmont as a whole is very large. However, there are some places and things that you should absolutely not miss out if you visit this region. Outlined below are some of the top 5 things to do in piedmont in 2020

Visit the Outstanding Barolo Town.

Barolo – Piedmont

Barolo is a UNESCO-listed site and one of Italy’s most outstanding regions. Known for the production of premium wines, spending summer or even autumn in Barolo feels like a dream. Life in this small town is enjoyable, rejuvenating, and relaxing.

Located in the Langhe Wine region, Barolo features large farms of beautiful vineyards. This hilltop area has a small population and hence it’s perfect for summer holidays. The viticulture hub has been around for centuries and it has experienced significant progress over the past few years. Generally, it’s a quiet and prosperous region.

The well-preserved streets and numerous windy roads make evening strolls fun. This almost sleepy town is ideal for leisurely or romantic walks. Barolo immerses you in a completely beautiful scenery everywhere you set your eyes. From here, you can get clear views of the Alps as well as Monviso.

There is more than wine, vineyards, and nature in Barolo. The ancient castles, welcoming locals, and the authentic local dishes are some of the things that make tourists love Barolo. You can sample different meals, immerse yourself in the local culture while learning the history of this town.

Take a Trip to Alba

Italian’s Alba town is renowned for its eye-catching architecture and tasty cuisine. Located in Piedmont, Alba is a must-visit location for any serious foodie. In the whole of Italy, Alba has the highest number of Michelin star restaurants. Well, this high concentration is driven by the availability of white truffles. Every October, white truffle lovers usually normally visit Alba, just to get enjoy the annual festival.

Besides being associated with white truffles, Alba is also renowned globally for its architecture. This city’s charm is found in the extensive towers, medieval streets, and palaces. The Church of San Domenico and the Alba Cathedral of San Lorenzo are some of the religious buildings that will capture your attention. Besides those, the well-preserved Social Theater and the Dog House are other great buildings found in Alba.

Explore Bra

Sitting on the edge of the beautiful Langhe hills, Bra is a populous commune found in the province of Cuneo. Its popularity comes from the fact that it features many palaces and churches from the 17th century. Besides that, Bra is considered as the “food valley”. It’s the region where the slow food movement started.

So, why should you visit Bra in Piedmont? Well, this is any foodie’s heaven. The picturesque village features family-run shops selling tasty chocolates, organic sausages, and cheese. Bra exhibits local traditions thanks to the slow food movement. As a tourist, you will enjoy fresh local delicacies obtained from the village farms. Although Bra might not have enough to offer in terms of modernity, it’s one of the best places to sample various Italian cuisines.

If you love history, some of the places you can explore include the pollentia ruins. This is where the famous battle of the Romans and Goths happened. There is also the Sant’Andea baroque church which has history dating back to 1682 while the church of Santa Chiara is also found within this locality. Overall, this is an excellent location to catch a breath of fresh air in addition to the beautiful scenic views of the snow-capped Alps Mountain.

Eat Battuta di Fassona

Raw meat and raw sausages in Piedmont

Battuta di Fassona is a classic appetizer in Piedmont. Once the knife-cut raw meat hits your taste buds, you will easily get captivated by this delicacy. Apart from farming, Piedmont is a region that’s popular for hunting, especially game meat. So, most of the best delicacies are usually made from raw farm products or animals. Historically, the natives used to eat raw-cut meat. Well, this is because this region can get extremely cold, especially during winter. Since then, this ancient tradition has been carried over for decades and people still enjoy raw meat.

So, what makes Battuta di Fassona a delicious raw-cut meat? Well, knife-cut meats are usually rich in amplified tasty fat. As a result, they end up tasting better than ground meat. Battuta di Fassona is a delicious appetizer that engages your taste buds. Its taste is even more enhanced with the lemon juice, black and white pepper, and olive oil used for seasoning. To cater to different taste preferences, the meat is usually available in different variants. Understand that the quality of Battuta di Fassona lies in the preparation process. You can even ask for the “knife beat” so that you can fully savor this meat!

Party at the Collisioni Agrirock Festival

Attending the Collisioni Agrirock festival will be the perfect culmination of your Piedmont trip. This is the largest and one of the most loved music festival in Italy. Collision features literature, food, as well as wine. It is a versatile festival that blends different programs to create one interesting festival.

You will definitely enjoy Collisioni. The agrirock festival’s setting in a small village offers a unique experience that locals in Barolo and tourists enthusiastically wait for every year. What makes this festival engaging and authentic is the seamless combination of different components. The artistic and literary part as well as the music, food, and the Italian wine culture are some of the things that you will absolutely enjoy. During the festival, you will also get a chance to engage in wine tastings, lunches, dinners, and cellar tours. Collisioni Agrirock festival will enliven your Piedmontese summer tour thanks to the broad range of Italian cuisine and renowned artists.

5 Interesting Things To Do in Palermo (With Video)

Out of the many tourist destinations in Italy, Palermo still manages to stand out from the rest. Palermo is Sicily’s main capital. It’s rich in history, magnificent architecture, large markets, and restaurants among others.

It’s one of the biggest islands that sit in the Mediterranean Sea. Palermo’s close proximity to Malta and Tunisia makes it a favorite to most tourists. Generally, it’s a thriving city that’s full of life while giving you a breath of the fresh Mediterranean breeze. So, what are some of the things that you can do in Palermo?

Swim at Mondello Beach

Mondello: Warning it can be very crowded.


Mondello beach is a stunning location with beautiful views. Originally known as a fishing village, this small borough has significantly grown over the years. It’s now one of the top tourist destinations in the autonomous Sicily region. The contrasting blue skies and the white-painted architecture makes it a picturesque destination. As one of the popular tourist’s sites in Palermo and it, therefore, gets really crowded. The white sandy beach, the cool shore breeze, in addition to the numerous boat rides makes this places one of the places that you must visit in Palermo.

If you are visiting Mondello beach, there is a wide range of activities to engage in. it doesn’t matter whether you are an adult or a kid. From boat rides, swimming, to sun basking, there is definitely something enjoyable to engage in. The sunsets and sunrises on this beach are also captivating. So, if you want content to post on your social profile, this is one of the best places to visit in Palermo.

Eat At the Ballaro Market

Ballaro is a well-known market in Palermo that’s filled with locals and tourists alike. It’s the biggest and also the oldest market in this city. Its reputation breaks borders and it’s known globally for its uniqueness. Located right in the central area of Palermo, Ballaro is the perfect place to rest and take a meal after a morning of exploration.

Once you reach this place, you will be hit by a tantalizing scent of different cuisines. The broad food variety will also capture your attention thanks to their rainbow colors. From the delicious seafood to the local cuisine, eating at the Ballaro market is obviously among the top things to do while you are in Palermo. The clean streets are dotted with compact dining tables, giving you an opportunity to sample different meals before you can make an order. You can also purchase take away fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, meat, and cheese among others. The fun thing about Ballaro is that the vendors are always shouting and screaming to attract customers. Well, this is a unique and interesting way of advertisement.

Eat Spleen Sandwich At Focacceria San Francesco

Focaccia con la milza

Focacceria San Francesco’s spleen sandwich is captivating and mouthwatering. Not only will it capture your attention but it will also engage your taste buds. Even when you are full, you will still crave for more. The tasty meal is usually cooked for several hours. After that, it can be served with ricotta, pecorino, or bread.

Eating the spleen sandwich at Focacceria San Francesco is simply an amazing experience. The restaurant’s ambiance, as well as the surrounding environment, make everything enjoyable. If you are in Palermo for a couple of days, you will not only eat here once but a couple of times more.

It’s worth noting that Focacceria San Francesco specializes in various cuisines. They include Mediterranean food, Italian food, and delicious southern-Italian cuisine. If you love fast food or are interested in vegetarian-friendly meals, then your needs will be well-catered to while you dine here.

Learn about Plants at Orto Botanico di Palermo

Palermo Botanical gardem

There is nothing as refreshing as visiting the Orto Botanico di Palermo. The wide range of tropical plants is simply amazing. This garden is not only an academic institution but it’s one of the best places where you can interact and feel nature.

Orto Botanic di Palermo has a vast variety of tree species. With a history that dates back to 200 years ago, this garden will help you understand how certain plants evolved. Besides that, you will learn about the distribution of various tropical and subtropical plant species found in the Sicily region.

Note this garden also supports numerous variety of plant species. They have different sizes and shapes. Besides the tropical and subtropical plants, there is also a massive plant collection of the Mediterranean origin. Visiting the Orto Botanico di Palermo gives you an opportunity to understand the climatic conditions of the Palermo city. The garden supports over 12,000 living plant species. This means that’s its climate is favorable enough to accommodate massive flora and fauna.

Climb to the top of Palermo Cathedral

Palermo Cathedral

Climbing the top of this cathedral is definitely worth your time and money. The architectural design, as well as the Silica color of this magnificent building, will capture all your attention. It’s a place that’s rich in history that dates back to 1185. From the outside, this cathedral is impressive. The gigantic building features multiple architectural styles which simply add to its impressive appearance. This is enhanced by the beautiful additions from the Neoclassical and the renaissance period.

Walking through this phenomenal landmark will leave you in awe. Note that visiting the church is usually free. But if you want to get a view of the crypt, treasury, and the nearby area, then you have to pay. The treasury has a collection of paintings, jewelry, and objects. The crypt, on the other hand, is the cathedral’s bottom floor. It has unique granite columns which offer support and it’s well-decorated with stone coffins. With just a few euros, you can climb the top and get beautiful panoramic views of the city. This is one of the renowned places in Palermo, so, you can’t miss tourists here.

Final Thoughts

Palermo is a versatile city that’s welcoming to everybody. Whether you are interested in outdoor activity, sampling different cuisines, learning about nature, or engaging in beach activities, there is something for everyone. As Sicily’s economic and cultural center, this city has significantly evolved to become an attractive tourism capital.

As word of warning Palermo has the craziest traffic ever seen in Italy. So drive only if you are really confident dealing with lack of proper road signs, speeding vehicles, and congestions. Also many drivers do not respect the road priority so be always alert for who is around you and where he or she is going.

Mondello beach can get extremely congested during weekends and from the first weeks of June. Having said that the sea water is not the cleanest thatyou can find around. Still worth a visit to Mondello when it is not so busy.

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