Again, work took me to Europe – this time to
We flew into
After finally finding
After checking in and shaping up, we headed out for a walk through the city. Cobblestone streets and old, old buildings. People on bikes and mopeds. It was a bit of a shift from metro
Starving, we went looking for a café to get some pizza or a roll or baguette or something. We eventually stumbled upon a little place that sold some really delicious slices of pizza for about eu2 each. And a little glass of Tuborg to go with it. Very nice. The guy working there spoke no English, and we spoke no Italian, but there were no problems.
The ancient cathedral, pictured below twice – one side and one front showing the steeple all covered in scaffolding – was impressive. Work on this fine building started in 1099 – and even before that, 2 churches stood on the spot. This cathedral recently made the news – it was here Pavarotti’s funeral took place a few months ago. More on it later.
From there we went to a couple of shops – not buying. Everything there seemed incredibly expensive. And the shops all seemed to be closing around 3pm. So, back to the hotel.
Later, we headed out to dinner. What we quickly learned was that restaurants in
Thereafter, we headed to the Ristorante Belvedere Da Danilo – a really nice little place – I’d been here before on my last flying visit – but being wet and miserable last time, I was in an unappreciative mood then. Different this time – I was hungry and more alert. We had a shared starter, antipasto, which was a big plate of cold meat – prosciutto, parmesanno reggiano, salami of the mountains (?) and others, and some puffy pastry things – delicious! For the pasta course, I had Ravioli di Modena – hand made ravioli stuffed with cheese, coated with balsamic vinegar. The vinegar added some sweetness, which I was not expecting – interesting! We skipped the meat course – all full up and happy. For 4 people, the bill was $100 – and that included a bottle of wine. The service was good to – out waiter talked us through everything he served us in pretty good English.
Then, back to the hotel and sleep.
So that was day 1. Day 2 was spent working until late in the afternoon. And then, hotel, and off out for dinner – a little later this time. We took a recommendation from the hotel, and went to Ristorante L'incontro –a small little place down a bunch of narrow cobblestone streets, past a bunch of operational cobblers (or, I guess, shoemakers). The restaurant seemed to have a brick ceiling, similar to the arches outside, and was family-ran. Our waitress, upon realizing we were not Italian, fetched us English menus, so some of the mystery was taken out of it all. The antipasto was the similar to the night before, cold meat and cheese, only larger in quantities. On our waitress’s recommendation, we also had some kind of toast, one lot covered in a mushroom and port topping, the other had what we were told was lard. It wasn’t lard as I know it – just some other kind of cured pork. We skipped over the pasta section after this, and went straight for meat. Or, Meet, as it was listed on the menu. Our waitress recommended a mixed meat selection, and we happily accepted. It consisted of small lamb chops, a huge steak that had been hung for quite a while judging by the rich taste, and veal – The Cruel Meat – which I avoided. The other meat was great. We finished off with a coffee each. Unfortunately, the bill reflected the quantity. Not my call that night, thankfully.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped into a bar we’d seen on the way to eat – I can’t remember the name. But, it was a trendy kinda place with a big screen TV, showing soccer, and Hacker-Pschorr Hefeweizen on tap (along with some other lesser beers). So we drank, people watched and went back to the hotel.
Day 3, my final day in
I wandered the streets, as it was not dinnertime yet. Eventually, I thought I could not leave
After this, I headed back to the hotel, packed, slept, and arose in the middle of the night to catch a taxi to the airport, driven by a non-English speaker, but he got where I wanted to go and I got how many euros he wanted for the privilege.
From there, I flew to