Friday, 4 October 2013

Travel Update: Italy

I must have done something bad in my sleep, because karma really hit us hard on that first few days. Our hotel bookings got cancelled, our new hotel cost us a thirty euro cab drive and our train got delayed for three hours, but after every rain storm, comes the rainbow and ours was beautiful.

A short night in Milan and then it was off to Modena. Modena is a two hour train ride from Milan. The province of Modena is in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. We stayed in the capital city, also called Modena. It is also known as the 'capital of engines', as this is where the factories of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati are. One of Ferrari's cars, the 360 Modena  is named after the town. Modena is also well  known in culinary circles for its balsamic vinegar.

When we arrived we thought it was a sleepy hollow type town, so quiet, all the shops and restaurants were closed at four in the afternoon, silly foreigners it was siesta time. The Italians take a break mid afternoon and resume work early evening. When we freshened up and went to explore, all was alive. The shops stayed open until late and we had our pick of authentic Italian restaurants. We chose one filled with locals, including Italian officers from the Italian Military Academy situated in Modena. We enjoyed delicious fare and tried the local red wine.

Day two was my birthday. I woke up to our hotel room filled with balloons and a 'Happy Birthday' poster. A quick breakfast and off we went, first to a beautiful park with an amazing war memorial.

Next stop was a food market and the search was on for a birthday cake. The markets there are not like the slow food markets back home, it is real, raw and what you see is what you get. The air is heavy with smells of fresh fish, aged cheese and olives. 

Another fantastic, authentic lunch followed and this time, some sparkling wine for the birthday celebrations.
We ended the day with another dash to make the train on time and had a pot of Jasmine tea at the restaurant next door to the hotel that,we stayed in for our last night in Italy.

The view from our hotel rooms

Ciao ciao Italy, the next few days will be spent on long flights, reminiscing about our Eurotrip'13.

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