Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Italy: Part 4 - Fontanellato

Hello everybody,

Fontanellato is a small province of Parma. Does it have something to do with gelato, no, but it did have good gelato and a really nice lady who helped us with our Italian diction.  The city  sits in the northern part of Italy near Parma, the River Po and is also near Piacenza and about 60 km from Milan.

It is a great small province. I believe we were the only tourists, perhaps because it’s late in the year and winter is quickly approaching, who knows, but it was nice to see the local people shopping and eating.

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The town was built up around the 15th century. It has a castle which is fortified by a moat and owned by the Sanvitale family until 1951 when they sold it to the city. The castle is known as the Rocca Sanvitale.

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The Yazzos wanted to see a castle and do some shopping, so after some research we all decided that Fontanellato provided both.  As you can see below the city was in full market mode when we arrived, which was close to siesta time as well. The market was wrapped around the castle’s moat and we walked around the market several times, when soon people started to pack up and rest up for the afternoon.

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We found a small butcher where the Young Man Yazzo found some great culatello for his father. Culatello (little backside) is a refined prosciutto made from a heavier pig.  From what I’ve researched and read, this cut of meat is the unexercised part of the pigs hind leg and butt, thus making it quite tender. If you’re interested and have an internet translator, you can read about it here: http://www.consorziodelculatellodizibello.it/ita/consorzio.html

Purchasing several pieces of meat and cheese we later sat down for lunch. After lunch we headed back to Bologna for our last night.  We drove through some of the country side of Parma and Emilia – Romagna, before our NAV system gave up and got lost in the new road constructions of Modena, at which point we had to head back to the autobahn to make sure we were heading back to Bologna.

Below is a picture of the place where we found the cured ham.

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Here are some pictures L took along our drive of the country side.

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Ok, so below is a picture of a bridge, which I can’t remember the name of, but it was about this point in our travels that the NAV system started to say, “no” and ‘things’ began to repeat themselves. Thus, we felt trapped in some alternate play writing by Beckett, where we were doomed to repeat the same bridge and then thinking about it differently until we found a way to escape the circle of madness.  By the third time of being lured in by this bride’s siren call, L was able to take this great picture of ‘The Bridge of Perpetual Madness.’ Or at least that’s what I call it now.

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Fontanellato was a great stop and I also recommend visiting this sleepy but vibrant province.

Next: Trentino-Alto Adige/S├╝dtirol and Fields of Wine.

Hugs,

-M&L

and the Yazzos…but they’re home now…lucky.

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