Ahhh Italy...what a fabulous and adventurous week we had visiting Parma and Vernazza and Lago Maggiore! The food, the colors, the clarity of the light, the architecture, the children playing soccer everywhere, and la dolce vita are all firmly planted in my mind's eye.
In Emilia-Romagna we roamed the ancient and sunny/friendly city of Parma, ate our fill of torta fritta (fried dough pockets) stuffed with parmesan reggiano cheese and prosciutto di Parma, the local speciality of tortelli d'herbetta and truffled risotto. Don't worry, we did not forget to have gelato or vino locale!
Also, visiting medieval castles complete with moats and dungeons in the hills of Emilia-Romagna was a must. One of the castles, Fontanellato was surrounded by a food truck festival and a dj, talk about mixing ancient history and modern sensibilities!
The Cinque Terre was as lovely and fresh as their local pesto. We chuffed along goat trails turned hiking paths between lemon groves and olive trees, high above the stunningly clear blue of the mediterranean ocean, rewarded with the crisp and delicious bootlegged limoncello we bought on the hiking trail in between Vernazza and Monte Rosso.
We explored the cobblestone streets and 'secret' passageways through the town of Vernazza. Just the thought of the plentiful seafood risotto, fresh anchovies under olive oil and fresh lemon juice is still making me happy three weeks later.
An overnight in a three century old farmhouse with a perfect view of the tiny Borromean islands on Lago Maggiore where our host brought us local wine, cheese and bread wrapped up this unbelievable getaway.