Yes, yesterday was tough, LUGGING all that LUGGAGE around! Sure, nice guys helped put the big piece up on the rack in the train, but my goodness, you should have seen the train station in Parma!
After being yelled at by a train service employee (my door off the train wasn’t working, and he thought I should have seen that and moved to the next car to get off) for taking too much time to get out of the train.
Then, he yelled again, since , in the absence of signs or arrows, I couldn’t figure out how to get out of the station! When I finally did, I saw a long flight of stairs down and sighed. That meant another long flight up.
Was staggering by the time I reached the surface, but happy that I’d actually made it. Found my way to the hotel easily, checked in, and took a little nap.
After that, my energy was restored and I was ready for the night’s adventure – which was FOOD, glorious FOOD! I sat with the tour director and three other perfectly delightful members. I had my camera with me, but my dinner companions were the ones who reminded me to use it! Thanks, ladies!
It was a traditional seven-course Italian meal, but I must tell you that most of us were too full for the last – the coffee. We started off with Pumpkin Pudding with a red wine-berry juice reduction. Umm! It melted in your mouth.
Next was a pasta we would call a ravioli, but is called Herb tortelli a la Parmigiana. Parmigiana – get it, cheese from Parma. What we call parmesan cheese, but way better because fresher and local. By this time, we were too deeply into the food, which was coming at just the right pace, to think about pix, so please imagine it.
In this next picture, you can see the banks of fresh pastas, including some ravioli. Next course was a beautiful plate of three very small roast veal slices with a traditional gravy with a touch of balsamic.
Then came a few slices of the dense, salty parmigiano cheese. Next sweets of our choice from a cart. I had stewed apricots with an orange sauce. The sauce was my idea – not popular with the server, but I thought it was delicious.
A dish of little sweets was put on the table, but most of us couldn’t even look at it. So, would you believe I woke up starving this morning?
The hotel breakfast was ample and took care of my poor empty tummy, then it was off on a two-hour walking tour of Parma. Actually, it was more of a standing tour as the guide recited the history and art works at the places she led us to.
Now, I’m back recovering in my room, getting ready for Rigoletto!!! This was one of my mother’s favorites. I’ve seen and heard it dozens of times and never get tired of it.
Here are a few more pix from the dinner: