Saturday, April 16, 2011

Postcards from Italy

heavenly Chiesa di Sant'Anastasia in Verona

Tuesday, April 12      Milan & Verona
Dear Mom, Dad & Lillie~

Arrived in Milan yesterday and met up with Jules in her swanky hotel.  She's working for 3M as they unveil new products here during Design Week.

Today I spent some time in Verona admiring Juliet's balcony along with hoards of tourists and school groups.  It made me laugh to watch pre-pubescent boys timidly touch the right breast on Juliet's statue.  It's supposed to bring good luck in love or some such nonsense.

It was much quieter in the stunningly frescoed Chiesa di Sant'Anastasia.  It's an amazing church that is so different from the gaudily gilded behemoths in Portugal. 

I wish I could have spent more time in Verona!  It's a charming town, but I'm headed back to Milan to meet Julie at a reception hosted by 3M.

love,  Peg

assorted tortelli stuffed with pumpkin, prosciutto di Parma
and spinach

Wednesday, April 13     Modena & Parma
Buongiorno Eric!

I just visited the home of a 4th generation balsamic vinegar maker in Modena.  After harvest, pressing and cooking, the grape juice is aged 12+ or 25+ years in tiny wooden barrels in the attic of the family's home.  The process is really interesting and the final product is intense and delicious!!

After speeding through Verona and having only a salad for lunch there yesterday, I am taking my time to see the sights and eat well in Parma.

I never thought I was going to find Trattoria Corrieri, but now that I found it I may never leave.  I'm surrounded by locals enjoying their cavallo tartare (raw horse meat).  A guy sitting near me just tucked his big cloth napkin into the collar of his shirt as he hunkered down over a pile of fried bread and prosciutto de Parma - I had to stifle a giggle. 

My tortelli assortment was fantastic, especially the ones stuffed with pumpkin, ground almonds, and amaretto.  They were drizzled with melted butter and plenty of Parmesan cheese.  Eating them felt like a sin. 

Right now I'm waiting for my order of vecchia cavallo.  When in Parma...

After 1 glass of fizzy lambrusco, I'm starting to think that a sabbatical in Italy would be a very bad good idea!

♥,  Me

p.s.  My vecchia cavallo was yummy!!  Only the Italians could make you fall in love with horse meat stew.  I'm smitten!  Unfortunately, the Mr. Ed theme song is playing in an endless loop in my head now.

it took 600 years to complete the massive Duomo di Milano

Thursday, April 14    Milan
Dear Nance & Spike~

I've only been in Italy for 4 days, but I've covered a lot of ground!  Today I decided to stay put and embrace Milan.

I'm not usually willing to hop on a brightly colored bus with a bunch of chatty tourists and a guide waving a little flag, but I did it today.  It was really fun!  I got to see a lot of sights and learned so much about this sprawling city. 

We visited the magnificent cathedral of Milan, Teatro alla Scala opera house, the beautiful art deco Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and the imposing castle of the Sforza family.

Saving the best for last, our final stop was at the dining hall of a Dominican convent.  This is where Leonard da Vinci painted The Last Supper.  After standing in multiple chambers which gently remove humidity and dust from us commoners, we were allowed to see the mural.  Although it's in rough shape, the expressions on the faces of the apostles and their gestures are powerful,  and Jesus' serene and radiant face glows with life.  I'm so glad I got to see it!!

Heading back to Portugal tomorrow, but am very happy to have spent a few days in Italy!!

love ya,  Peg

balsamic vinegar aging in the attic at Acetaia di Giorgio

Friday, April 15     Milan & Portugal
Ciao Jules!

da Vinci's 'Last Supper' ... cute little Verona ... balsamic vinegar in Modena ... feasting in Parma ... I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!!

Grazie for letting me share your room and giving me the opportunity to return to Italy and see you!

Next stop Braga!  I'm so glad you're coming to visit us.  See you Sunday!

arrivederci,  Margie

To see additional photos from this trip, click  HERE

1 comment:

  1. Loved your Italy Pictures! Its a much cleaner Italy than I remember but then again I wasn't in the same towns.

    You sure are living the life!