In Italy, All Saints’ Day is a much more important day than in the US. Here, everything is closed on November 1, much as you would expect things at home to close on July 4, and there are big goings-on in the Piazza Maggiore. This year, November 1 was a Tuesday, which made Halloween a Monday. Since that too is a holiday, some businesses just closed for both days. Anticipating a day off from the library on Tuesday anyway, Christina and Joanna and I decided to just join those businesses in a mini vacation on Monday.

How does one make the most of a day off in Bologna? One goes to Parma! The train ticket is really inexpensive, the train ride is really short (so totally doable for those of us who get train sick) and the city is wonderful. We unfortunately missed out on many of the museums, which are closed on Mondays, but we did get to see the churches and eat the food. And let’s be honest, when I said Parma your first thought was Parmiggiano, right?

Parma is the capital of ham and cheese in this region, and with good reason. In addition to seeing the Duomo of Parma and the Ducale Gardens, we also ate some wonderful ham and cheese and had some great wine. For dinner, I even got a parmesan risotto and a currant cake. We also tried pizza in Parma – I have yet to find really awesome pizza in Bologna, so I was really excited.

Plus, when we got back, we did see some of the Bolognese running around in their Halloween costumes. Many were just masks, and there was no candy, but evidently many of the bakeries stay open and give out biscotti instead of candy.

Parma's Piazza delle Pace, the main square. This is where we found the tourist office, and, thankfully, a map.

The entrance to the Piazza delle Pace.

Parma's Duomo.

The baptistry. Can you tell it was a bit overcast that day?

The altar inside the church.

The ceiling. I wish the picture could have captured it better - it's all painted to look 3D.

The interior of the church. Che bella!

Proof that we were, in fact, in a university town. It translates to: "Rule is the right of everyone, not an affair of a few."

The view from the Ponte Verdi.

This little guy was outside a gelateria. I snapped a quick picture for my neices, who were in Disney at the time.

The entrance to the Giardini Ducale.

Signs of fall! These were the first changing leaves of the season for me, so I was really excited.

A statue in the gardens. I love the images of Bacchus all over Italy.

This little ruin of an arch was hauntingly cool.

Oh hey! I was there. And in my NEW leather jacket - expect a post about it soon.

Our ham, cheese, and wine aperitivo. Delicious!

I will leave you with this shot of my risotto. I'll spare you the currant cake (if you saw it, you'd thank me. You'd want nothing else, and Thanksgiving is tomorrow!)



In Italia, il giorno ognissanti è più importante che nell’USA. Qui, tutto è chiuso il primo Novembre, come si aspetterebbe tutto di chiudere il quarto luglio negli stati uniti, e ci erano grandi eventi alla Piazza Maggiore. Quest’anno, il primo novembre era martedì, quindi, Halloween era lunedì. Poichè Halloween e anche un festive, dei negozi hanno chiuso per tutti i due giorni. In anticipo di una piccolo vacanza martedì, Christina e Joanna e io hanno deciso di estenderla da includere anche lunedì.

Come si usa un giorno di vacanza a Bologna? Vai a Parma, certo! Il biglietto treno costa poco, il percorso e breve (quindi chi viene malato sul treno può farlo) e la città e magnifica. Sfortunatamente, i musei erano chiusi lunedì e quindi abbiamo tralasciato, ma abbiamo visto le chiese e mangiato il cibo. E non dire una bugia, quando ho detto Parma il tuo pensiero primo era Parmiggiano, davvero?

Parma è la capitale di prosciutto e formaggio in quella regione, e con buona causa. Oltre vedere il Duomo di Parma e i giardini Ducale, abbiamo anche mangiato del prosciutto fantastico e formaggio, e abbiamo bevuto un vino buono. A cena, ho mangiato un risotto con parmiggiano e una torta con ribes. Inoltre, abbiamo provato alcuni pizze a Parma – non ho già trovato un buon pizza a Bologna, quindi ero contenta.

Inoltre, quando siamo tornate, abbiamo fatto vedere alcuni dei bolognesi in giro nei loro costumi di Halloween. Molti erano solo maschere, e non c’era caramelle, ma sembra molti dei panifici rimanga aperti e dare biscotti invece delle caramelle.


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