Travel Tips

What to eat in Mantua

Mantua food exploration

by Marcelo Pinto October 12th 2012

This medium town in the north of Italy share many culinary tradition with Emilia Romagna. There you will find hard cheese, red sparkling wines, stuffed egg pasta, vegetable and fruit preserves aromatised with mustard, and cured meats.

Cheese

Mantua produces both Parmesan and Grana Padano. The former is only produced in a small area south of the Po river near the neighbouring province of Modena. Of course it is possible to visit the Parmigiano Reggiano producer in the area. Grana Padano is still a PDO cheese however it is considered of lower quality due to the use of anti fermentative in the ageing process.

Pumpkin the queen of the mantua cuisine.

Manuta lays in the flat of the fertile Padana plain, traditionally pumpkin, melons and watermelons grow plentiful. Especially pumpkins find the way in the local cuisine. Typical tortelli di zucca are egg pasta parcels stuffed with the delicious vegetables. Sometimes to the filling it is added some crumbled amaretti biscuits, giving to the savoury dish a truly unique taste. It is recommended to try them topped with Parmesan and balsamic vinegar.

Mostarde.

In this area of northern  Italy is alo tradition to cook pasta dumplings in capon and beef brisket broth.  In Mantua the resulting meat is eaten hot or cold accompanied with mostarde. These are preserved fruits and vegetables with a hint of mustard. So if you are visiting in winter you cannot leave without savouring bollito misto (mix boiled meats) with it matching mostarda.

Torta sbrisolona and torta di tagliatelle.

Torta sbrisolona is the Italian version of the crumble cake, it is traditional and probably inherited from the royal banquets in the region. As the name says it has a crumbling texture and it is topped with almond and sugar. It is possible to taste with your coffee in the cafes’ in the main piazza.

Torta di tagliatelle is an amusing short crust cake topped with ordinary egg tagliatelle which are baked together with the base. The result is a unique crunchy texture, simply divine.

Relax on the 2 lake of river Mincio.

Mantova as we say in Italian, It is the pearl of Padana plain. In fact the city sits between 2 lakes forming from river Mincio which is formed from the run off water of lake Garda. In short the town the embraced by the 2 lakes and it must said that it is very nice to lounge on the lake banks in the summer hot days.

The Food, Wine And Architecture Of Mantua, Italy

Mantua, or Mantova in its native form, is the shy, but beautiful neighbour to popular cities like Parma, Verona and Venice. Considered to be the finest city in Lombardy, Mantua is an important cultural gateway to a rich Renaissance heritage.

Perched gloriously on the banks of the River Mincio, the city is further surrounded by three beautiful man-made lakes that just add to the attraction of this glorious Italian city. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, Mantua is a living testament to the powerful Gonzaga family who ruled the city and surrounding towns during the Renaissance.

With breath taking architecture, religious sites, palaces, summer houses, villas and even an 11th century Rotunda, visitors have an up close and personal chance to get an idea what life must have been like under the rule of the Gonzaga family during the Renaissance. Much of the extension of the city is owed to the Gonzaga family who had a pinnacle role to play.

The family were pioneers in the conservation and promotion of the arts and culture, and the city played host to many a famous artist, composer and musician in its heyday, and Mantua is indelibly linked with the history of opera. The family’s opulent home, the Palazzo Ducale, is an extravagant estate, boasting more than 500 rooms with a massive complex of gardens, courtyards and gardens, and complete with frescoes painted by Mantega in 1474.

Right in the heart of the city brings you to the piazzas, where some of the most beautiful buildings can be found. Four impressive squares converge to create the city centre, with Piazza Sordello possibly the most majestic. Each piazza seems to have at least one most-magnificent building, so lovers of architecture will be awed by the examples of Palazzo Vescovile, Torre della Gabia (Cage Tower), the Tazi Nuvolari Museum in the Palazzo del Podesta, Rotunda di San Lorenzo, and the clock tower in the Palazzo della Ragione. Of course, no Italian city worth its salt is without a stunner in the church department, and in Mantua the finest examples are the Duomo and the Basilica Sant’Andrea.

Winding around the squares are cobbled streets filled with bustling sidewalk cafes and excellent restaurants. This is where visitors have a chance to experience the other big attraction of Mantua – the food and wine.

Northern Italian cuisine is all in a class of its own, and Lombardy is known for a region that is famous for its typical country dishes, like risotto and freshly made filled pasta. A favourite on the menu is tortelli pasta stuffed with pumpkin topped with the special local delicacy – shaved white truffles. Washed down with a mouthful of the region’s most popular, the Lambrusco Mantovano DOC, which comes from the local vineyards just to the north of the city, it makes the perfect taste of Mantua and Lombardy.

The city’s River Mincio provides other popular local dishes – shrimps and freshwater pike but, the predominant factor here is that all Mantuan cuisine is prepared with serious care, and only the freshest, seasonal and simple ingredients are used.

Family run restaurants seeped in traditions can be found everywhere, from the humble bakery to the elaborate world class restaurants. The atmosphere and the friendly charisma pervade all eateries in Mantua, and spills onto the sidewalk tables and chairs. Families that run restaurants do so with a serious passion for food, and the preservation of local culinary history, often bringing old, traditional recipes back to life.

So if you are visiting the city, even for just a few days, put on those walking shoes or pick up a bicycle and cruise the cobbled streets like a local, with surroundings that will whisk you right back into time.

 

Bologna rolling hills, hiking trails, gourmet food and sparkling wines

Emilia Delizia goes to discover the wine and food hidden on the spectacular rolling hills just 30 minutes south of Bologna.

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A visit to the local castle between Bologna and Modena

Pignoletto the king of Bologna wines, with Lambrusco to follow.

When you say wine in Bologna you mean Pignoletto DOC. This wine is of course sparkling in following the best of the Emilia Romagna tradition that command for frothy wines. Opposed to Lambrusco Pignoletto is a whine wine, it is light, refreshing with a pleasant bitterness that it is a characteristic of the clays soils around Bologna. Pignoletto is to marry local dishes, tagliatelle, lasagne, tortellini and of courses it is the best aperitif together with Parmesan cheese that it is produced on these hills between Modena and Bologna. Emila Delizia visited wine producers in Castello di Serravalle a lovely hill top castle where both Lambrusco and Pignoletto are made according to the sparkling tradition of this area.

Vini dei Colli Bolognesi route – Wines and castles of the Bologna hills between the Reno Savena, Samoggia rivers.

This is a very interesting wine route in Italy for those staying in Bologna, you will have the opportunity to explore many castles, churches, hamlets on top of the hills overlooking the vineyards, so no need to travel to Tuscany to have this sort of idyllic Italian country side. The Castello di Serravalle is typical example of well preserved medieval castle between vineyard fields where the foodie and wine connoisseur can sip wine on a tour.

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a view of our beautiful rolling hills

Savigno truffles, porcini, and old fashion osterias.

If you are adventurous and want to explore the Bologna hills between here and Tuscany an afternoon spend in Savigno it is a good bet. the town is lovely and it is one of the most famous truffles towns in Italy, hosting a truffle festivals once a year in October and November. A hidden gem is definitely the Da Amerigo restaurant. The clientèle is mostly Italian and all give excellent reviews about the food here which is made using only excellent ingredients and generous shavings of truffles.

Spilamberto the balsamic vinegar museum and the best ice-creams in the whole world.

Spilamberto or also known in the middle ages as Spina Lamberto, seems to to have given birth to the balsamic vinegar of Modena, it is an age old tradition that has started here from aged and cooked grape juice. In Spilamberto you will find the Traditional balsamic vinegar museum, that it is open to anyone but the guided tours must be booked in advance.

In the corner of the main square just 2 minutes from the Rangoni Castle, you will find an icecream shop called Gelato. The ice creams here are simply sublimes and we have not been able to find a match. The use only organic eggs, sugar, milk and only the best seasonal fruits. The results cannot be described with words you must try it yourself.

hunting down the best ice creams in Italy – Bologna

 

Day trips from Bologna Parma or Modena

days trips from Parma

In the northern region of Italy lies the beautiful Emilia-Romagna region, one of the most developed regions in Europe. The Emilia-Romagna region is filled with rich history dating back to ancient Rome, architecture from the Renaissance, and breathtaking scenery.

There are many day trips offered from the regional cities of Bologna, Modena, and Parma that will allow you take in everything you want from your trip. The convenience of the public transportation system will allow you to travel with ease throughout this beautiful region of Italy.

 Traveling from Parma

 Cinque Terre, “The Five Lands”

The Cinque Terre is settled upon the Italian Riviera and is named for five cities: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The seaside terraces that have been built for centuries on the cliffs of the steep landscape give this area a rustic charm of its own. The atmosphere, fine dining, and walking trails that connect the five cities make the Cinque Terre a tourist hot spot.

 Milan

The city of Milan is the second largest city in Italy. The large population of this city makes Milan one of the most diverse and vibrant cities in Italy you will ever visit. Milan is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and it is filled with designer shops.

 Fidenza Village, Chic Outlet Shopping

With more than 100 shops, the Fidenza Village will provide you with everything you will need in your shopping experience. Tourists will not only enjoy each of the upscale and exclusive shops but also the pleasant and elegant atmosphere that the famous Fidenza Village is known for.

 

Cremona

Nestled on the left of the bank of the Po River lies beautiful and historic Cremona, known for its religious and musical histories. Tourists will enjoy the Cathedral of Cremona, which displays some of the best Romanesque-Gothic art in all of Northern Italy. Music lovers will enjoy the rich musical history that Cremona has to offer, which dates back to the 12th Century Cathedral.

 

Traveling from Bologna and Modena

 Florence

Considered to be the birth place of the Renaissance, the city of Florence is art in itself with its historical buildings and the beautiful Amo river etching through it. Arts districts and museums such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Florence Cathedral make Florence a tourist destination you can appreciate inside and out.

 

Verona

Verona is the epicenter for historic buildings and architecture. Roman buildings like the Verona Arena that was established around 30AD, as well as buildings like the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore, which was established between the years of 1123-1135, still stand in beautiful Verona. This has earned Verona the World Heritage Site status by UNESCO. Verona is the city to go to for anyone who is interested in ancient history and art.

 

Barberino Shopping Outlet

Designed with the Renaissance style that is known through Northern Italy, the Barberino Shopping Outlet will provide you with the unique shopping experience you are looking for. Boasting sales on everything from 30%-70% you will be certain to find the designer styles you have been looking for without the designer price. Source: http://www.mcarthurglen.it/barberino/en/the-outlet

 

Venice

Settled in the marshy Venetian Lagoon lie the 118 tiny islands that make up the city of Venice. If your visit only allows for one day trip then Venice is the place you want to go. The vast culture, shopping, dining, architecture, and arts districts all on the unique waterways in Venice will ensure that your day will be filled with endless wonders.

 

Mantua

Mantua has a rich musical history and played a significant role in the history of opera. The city was also home to many famous artists including Leone Battista Alberti, Donatello, Peter Paul Rubens, Pisanello, Luca Fancelli and Nicolo Sebregondi. Mantura is also home of the Festivaletteratura, a literary fair that is held for five days with nearly 200 events each year.

 

Padua

Standing upon the top of the Bacchiglione River is the beautiful city of Padua that has dense streets that open into the large communal piazze. Padua is home to the University of Padua, which is 800 years old and was once a place for Galileo Galilei to lecture. The city itself is filled with many architectural wonders that embody the art and history that make Northern Italy so unique.

 

Ferrara

Surrounded by more than 9km of stone Renaissance walls built in the 15th century, Ferrara has also earned the title as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The numerous and important buildings in this city including Castello Estense make Ferrara a must see destination for visitors.

 

Ravenna

Ravenna’s rich history and Christian influences have earned eight of its buildings a place on the World Heritage List. The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Neonian Baptistery, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, the Arian Baptistery, the Archiepiscopal Chapel, the Mausoleum of Theodoric, the Church of San Vitale, and the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe are all iconic destinations that you must visit in Ravenna for their blend of different art influences. Source: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/788

 

Lake Garda

Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is world famous for its pristine beauty and is surrounded by several towns and islands. The town of Sirmione hosts the Virgilio & Catullo Spa, and is a great destination for dining and shopping. Scaliger castle, Catullus’ villa, the Roman spa Grotte di Catullo, and the sulfur springs that are famous for healing all make Lake Garda a vacation paradise.

 

How Parma ham is made

by Marcelo Pinto  July 8th 2012

Italy’s cozy town of Parma has been known for Prosciutto di Parma for over 2,000 years. The secret recipes of these air-dried hams have changed hands throughout history within families. It is a product of man’s passion and skill, combined with nature. The Parma ham has put Italy on the global gastronomic map due to its uniqueness.

The micro-climate of Parma is very conducive to the ham production, with its dry and airy summers and cold winters. Humidity levels are moderate, while the air carries the smell of the sea and chestnut trees. To maintain the high quality of Parma ham, it must be kept away from variations in climate. The production area is restricted to a height less than 900 meters above sea level on the Parma hills, since regions lying above this height face a very cold and long winter. The production area must also be 5 kilometers away from the humid and foggy Via Emilia along the Po River. The limits are the Enza River on the east and the Stirone River on the west, which bring in fragrant sea breezes that roll down into Parma valley.

The curing of the ham is crucial to its quality. It is carried out by natural methods, even though they take as long as 12 months and require immense care, patience and skill. Traditions have evolved over time, with more refined breeding and farming procedures. This has made the pork sweeter and more tender.

Knowing the process of curing the meat is not enough. The ‘master salters’ from Parma have learned from their ancestors how to identify good pork legs, trim the hams by hand and apply salt properly to ensure outstanding quality. The latter is a deciding factor for determining the quality of the curing process and retaining the sweetness of the ham.

The Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma or Parma Ham Consortium was established in 1963. It started with 23 members and has now 180 members. Their mission is to maintain the quality and tradition of Parma ham by sticking to natural methods; salt and air are the only additives. With records kept regarding the origin, birth date and breeding method for each pig, all production stages are closely monitored by the Istituto Parma Qualita, an independent certifying body, in keeping with the rules of the Consortium. A special law was even laid down by the Italian government. The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) has been recently awarded to Parma air-dried ham, giving it copyright over the name.

The pigs from which Parma ham is made have to be heavy and their meat must be soft, yet firm. They have to be born and raised only on an authorized breeding farm in one of the 11 designated Northern and Central regions of Italy. Traditionally they are fed whey, a by-product of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. This imparts a unique flavor to their meat.

The hams are exposed to constant cold and humid conditions for 100 days, after which they are kept in large maturing rooms for 3 months. This way they are protected from the sun. The windows are constantly opened and closed for circulation of the countryside air. In the seventh month, a mixture of pork fat and pepper called sugnatura is hand-applied onto the open surface of the meat. This is meant to protect and soften it. The hams are then put in cantina or cellars for at least 5 months, so that they can slowly dry under close supervision. The producers are trained and experienced in detecting any quality defects by the sense of smell. The spillatura is a horse bone needle which is used to check the curing outcome, before assigning the precious label of ‘Parma Ham’.

The ham gets several imprints in the various stages of production. The breeder makes a permanent tattoo onto the hind legs of the piglets, consisting of the month of its birth and the identification code of the farm. At the slaughterhouse, the initials PP (for Prosciutto di Parma) are fire-branded onto the pork legs if they are worthy enough to be sent to the production line as Parma Ham. At the entry to the curing house, the legs are stamped with a metal seal having the Consortium code and the month and year when curing started. After passing all verification and regulatory tests, the legs are finally fire-branded with the 5-pointed Ducal Crown of the Consortium, along with the name, ‘Parma’. The producer’s code is added under the crown. This is the guarantee of a 100% natural and light Parma ham that is a product of age-old traditions.

A slice of Parma ham has a delicious country aroma; it is succulent and thin, with a distinctive salty-sweet taste. It is best enjoyed stand-alone and no other air-dried ham comes close to Parma Ham in bringing you this divine gastronomic experience.

(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

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