The choice of where to go in Italy was hard. It is such an amazing country with so much to offer: from history to food (I admit, those are really my two favourite things. I know there is a lot of other things as well.) Through many conversations and blog and travel writer articles I decided on Bologna in the Emilia-Romanga region. Long famed for its food and its proximity to some of the most famous food in the world (or definitely in my world) - parmesan cheese, prosciutto, tortellini, tagliatelle with ragu (what North Americans would call spaghetti with meat sauce or Spaghetti Bolognese). I personally am not a fan of spaghetti noodles. How can a heavy sauce be expected to stay on a fine noodle? It is impossible.
There are many connecting flights from destinations to Bologna. I chose to travel from Canada to London Gatwick on a West Jet flight. I upgraded to Plus and was so very happy that I did. We had a welcome glass of champagne, a delicious supper (I chose the prime rib) with a glass of wine and quite a large continental breakfast. It also came with larger seats with only one person beside you, blanket and pillow. I am usually a frugal traveller. It is only 8 hours. Why bother spending extra money? This time I did and it will be my norm in cross Atlantic flights in the future. It was worth every penny.
In Sussex I spent a few days with family exploring archeological excavations - Fishbourne Roman Palace, Leeds Castle in Kent and a day at the seaside.
I travelled on an EasyJet flight from London Gatwick. It was 2 hours (plus an hour time change). The airport feels regional. The customs officers were pleasant. The baggage pick up was easy. I took a cab to my AirBnb. It couldn't have been easier if I tried.
My first day in Bologna I set out to buy some parmigiano (parmesan) and prosciutto Parma. I stumbled upon an amazing shop on Via Pescherie Vecchie, near Piazza Maggiore, and, with the help of a wonderful student at the university, ordered 200g of each. Note to self: that is a LOT of prosciutto for one person. I have been eating it as a snack with fruit but I don't think fast enough!
I had read about this indoor market and sought it out to buy fresh food. It is about a 10 minute walk from Piazza Maggiore and about 20 from my house. Since being in Italy, albeit just a few days, I have become a pedestrian. I am hoping desperately that walking over 10,000 steps a day will combat the pasta and gelato diet.
Mercato delle Erbe was amazing. I bought a large basket of cherries for only 3 euros! There are restaurant stalls on either side of the central produce stalls. Note to self: the market closes in midday because it is so hot here in the summer! It reopens for the early evening. There I ate some delicious and different pizza at MozzaBella Street Good. I only ordered one piece. The customer beside me told me to be prepared to get another one. He was right!! It was delicious.