We decided to break up the 3 hour trip back to Bologna by stopping in Parma, also known as the birthplace of prosciutto di Parma and Parmesan cheese. Our binario was called “1 T” which apparently is short for 1 tronco. We had a difficult time decifering what this meant, until my dad and I set out to explore the train station. We discovered this little train, maybe three cars long; it looked like a museum piece. As we approached it, we realized that its lights were on and above it read, “1 tronco.” We boarded our rickety museum train with a mint green interior and started our heavily air conditioned ride to Parma… who would have thought that our little train could be so efficient!
Parma is a nice town and the main form of transportation appears to be by bicycle. We had a two hour “layover” and stopped at Salumeria Garibaldi. My God, I have never tasted better lunchmeat in my life. Those deli workers must have been impressed at the amount of meat I ate, but when in Parma, right? I was in a food coma for the next five hours and the thought of lunchmeat filled my dreams that night… I’m not kidding. I can never look at American/imported lunchmeat the same again after that meal!
We got back on our regionale train to Bologna and had many laughs. That evening in Bologna, we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant and it was pretty good. In my opinion, everything needed a little more salt, but for Italian Chinese food, it was good. We took a cab back to Piazza Maggiore and watched a little bit of the movie playing under the stars, the featured film of the night was Nuovo Mondo. There were so many people there that they even put their bags down on the ground and used them as cushions because all of the seats were filled.
On the way back, we stopped at Galliera 49, Bologna’s most popular gelateria. Every night we would see all of the local adults standing outside of the stand licking their gelato cones, so we decided that a trip here was necessary. I got a small copa with lampone (raspberry) and limone (lemon). I have never tasted better gelato! It was the perfect consistency and I could feel the raspberry seeds on my tongue… that’s how you know it’s good!
My goal while in Italy is to learn more Italian and to try and become fluent and I think that I am doing a good job with that. It has been about 10 days here and I have already learned so much! 22 days left in the Old Country until the adventures in España embark!