Eat in Modena: Italian Restaurants in Modena

Eat in Modena: Italian Restaurants in Modena

Travelers to Emilia Romagna Italy often focus on Bologna, and with good cause. It’s one of the top cities for food in Italy. Emilia’s restaurant scene shouldn’t be limited to Bologna. It only takes 30 minutes to travel from Bologna to Modena. One of our favorite cities in Italy, it’s worth the trip just to eat in Modena! The little province of Modena covers less than 3,000 square kilometers. But there are so many good places to eat that it’s worth making a trip to visit Modena. Here are our recommendations for some of the must-eat Modena restaurants. Where to Eat in Modena Modena is home to some of the best foods to eat in Italy, including prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano. There is an amazing local market, the Mercato Albinelli. And, Modena is the heart of Lambrusco territory. Because when it comes to putting together a list of what to eat in Italy, the food in Modena has to be on the top of the list. It’s home to amazing fresh Italian pasta and more! Trattoria Aldina Stinco. One word describes why a visit to Trattoria Aldina is required. It’s stinco. Just across the pedestrian-friendly road from the Mercato Albinelli, there’s an apartment building. Head upstairs to visit Trattoria Aldina. It’s almost like stepping inside someone’s home, or a speakeasy, for lunch. With an emphasis on typical Modenese cuisine and handmade pastas, there is no real menu at Trattoria Aldina. The server will simply describes the  options, usually in Italian. If the server mentions the stinco, don’t pass it up. A slow roasted pork shin, it’s fabulous. Trattoria Aldina Via Luigi...
Stay in Parma: A Traveler’s Guide to the Best Hotels

Stay in Parma: A Traveler’s Guide to the Best Hotels

A trip to explore Parma should be less focused on the geographical differences between the towns that surround the city, and more focused on where to find food experiences. Perhaps they have their priorities right. After all, UNESCO recently named Parma a Creative City for Gastronomy. But, even if your focus is on eating, you need some place to stay in Parma, right? Parma, famous for its cheeses and hams, is a popular spot among food travelers to Emilia Romagna. Parma lies along the Parma River, offering riverside walks or lazy afternoons spent lounging in the Parco Ducale, or window shopping along Strada Luigi Carlo Farini. There are also churches, monasteries, and theaters to keep culture hounds busy. There is a cathedral, several beautiful squares, and a famous pink-hued baptistery. And, we have some recommendations of where to stay in Parma so that you can enjoy the culinary delights of this portion of Emilia Romagna. Where to Stay in Parma – Central Staying within the city offers some obvious perks, including the ability to explore the city itself. And, it’s nice to walk around before dinner, enjoy an Aperol Spritz for aperitivo, and slowly stroll back. But, the historic center of Parma is pedestrian only. Many hotels offer parking for a fee, but if you have a rental car, check your parking options ahead of time. There are no free parking lots in Parma, as there are in Modena. Hotel Palace Maria Luigi This four-star hotel in the heart of Parma features over a hundred rooms, in an historic building. During the day, walk to the most famous attractions of Parma,...
Stay in Bologna: The Best Accommodations in the Region

Stay in Bologna: The Best Accommodations in the Region

Pellegrino Artusi, the father of the national cuisine of Italy supposedly said “When you hear speak of Bologna cuisine make a bow, for it deserves it.” The food of Bologna is known throughout the world—from tagliatelle, to ragù, to mortadella. And, in order to fully explore the cuisine of Bologna, it helps to find a comfortable, and unique place to stay in Bologna. One thing to note when choosing a place to stay in Bologna. Most of the hotels are within the old city walls. But, most of the city center is a restricted driving zone. There are no real signs that tell you this. You just sort of need to know. Even if the hotel offers parking nearby, this can be a problem. When staying at a city center hotel, you are exempt from these driving restrictions, but the cameras that monitor the cars in the city don’t seem to know that. We’ve been caught at least once with a ticket mailed to us months later because we were driving to our hotel. Where to Stay in Bologna: Central Almost every food traveler in Emilia Romagna ends up in Bologna at some point. And, most likely, that traveler is staying in the center of the city. There is no shortage of hotels within the city center, but these are our recommendations of where to stay in Bologna. Casa Bertagni Amongst a sea of typical European-style hotels, Casa Bertagni stands apart from the rest. The accommodations are within a luxury guest house with a focus on art and architecture. Enjoy rooms with themes such as Justice, The Force, and...
Aperol Spritz – The Italian Aperitivo – Aperol Spritz Recipe

Aperol Spritz – The Italian Aperitivo – Aperol Spritz Recipe

There are two things I love about traveling Italy: the Aperol Spritz and the Italian aperitivo. And, I want to share all of our Aperol Spritz knowledge, including a perfect Aperol Spritz recipe. It All Started With Campari I started drinking Aperol before I knew what Aperol was. The path to Aperol started with it’s grandfather, Campari. During one of our early trips to Rome, we thought we would try a Campari cocktail. I had no idea what was in a Campari Cocktail, but as we sat at a cafe on the edge of the Campo di Fiori in Rome, I thought it seemed appropriate. I felt like Audrey Hepburn with my bright red Italian aperitivo cocktail. I didn’t like it one bit. Despite it’s deceptively bright red color, it is hardly sweet. It packs a bitter punch, even when matched with mixers. I think the version we ordered in Rome was merely Campari and soda water, maybe with a little Prosecco. I don’t know that it would qualify as a Campari spritz. But, there was not enough sweetness to offset the bitterness. It made us stay away from Campari, and anything in that family, for a really long time. Learn more in “Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes” Spritz: Italy's Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes List Price: $18.99 Price: $13.29 You Save: $5.70 Price Disclaimer What is an Aperol Spritz Cocktail? Aperol bears some similarities to it’s partner in crime Campari. The biggest difference is the color. Aperol cocktails are bright orange, and brilliant looking. Our friend in Slovenia introduced us to Aperol cocktails, and the...
What to Eat in Emilia Romagna – The Best Emilia Romagna Food

What to Eat in Emilia Romagna – The Best Emilia Romagna Food

For many Americans who dream of traveling to Italy, images come to mind of Napoli style pizza, or large platters of pasta slathered in red tomato sauce. This is very common in the cuisine in the south of Italy, areas that include Sicily, Puglia, and of course, Naples. But, the food of the north is entirely unique. The Emilia Romagna region includes the cities of Bologna, Parma, and Modena. It is host to an entirely different style of Italian cuisine. The question is: what to eat in Emilia Romagna? Because there are some truly unique dishes to try! Here we offer suggestions on how to find the best Emilia Romagna food. The Unique Pasta You Must Eat in Emilia Romagna Some of the more common pasta dishes you will eat in Emilia Romagna include tortellini, tagliatelle, and gnocchi. But, there is a pasta called passatelli, which is particular to Emilia Romagna. It’s virtually unheard of outside of Italy. A traditional pasta that is thicker than many others, it tastes a lot more dense. Passatelli is made with Parmigiano Reggiano, bread crumbs, egg, flour, and sometimes nutmeg. It’s most common to find passatelli served in a broth, which is the traditional preparation. However, passatelli is also served “dry,” without a broth, often mixed with fresh vegetables or meats. It is getting increasingly more difficult to find on menus in Emilia Romagna because it is so expensive to make. All of that Parmigiano Reggiano adds up. If you only eat one pasta in Emilia Romagna (although why would you want to do that?) passatelli is the one to try! Learn how to cook pasta...
Mortadella – What is Mortadella and How Do They Make Mortadella

Mortadella – What is Mortadella and How Do They Make Mortadella

There is a saying that goes, “No one wants to see how the sausage is made”. When it comes to mortadella, though, I was desperate to find out how it is made, and the story behind it. The question is what is mortadella anyway? Mortadella – That’s Baloney Like many kids who grew up in the States, I grew up on bologna sandwiches. I could spot that round plastic container, with the yellow backing, from a mile away. I still remember the sound it made, when that plastic backing was ripped off. The smell of the bologna when it sizzled in a frying pan is another thing I remember. Yes, my grandmother often made me fried bologna sandwiches, served on white Wonder Bread, with ketchup of course. An all American bologna lunch was served. As I got older I started to despise bologna, and most of the other lunch meats my mother served me. Liverwurst. Olive loaf. That fake turkey meat. Processed ham. It got to the point where I despised it all. I grew into an adult with a little bit of processed meat PTSD from my overly bologna saturated childhood. As I started to eat Italian cured meats, it took me some time to develop a taste. To me, prosciutto was raw, pancetta fatty, and mortadella, was, well, baloney. It was round and pink, and to me “processed.” But, oh was I mistaken. How to Buy Mortadella IGP For Your Home Mortadella Bologna IGP 2.20 lbs Price Disclaimer Mortadella vs Bologna I am not sure how the mortadella meat that was eaten by Italian American immigrants turned into...