Updated: Sep 6, 2019
It is alway bittersweet to leave one destination for the next. The time has come to pack our bags say goodbye to Florence and hello to Modena.
See map: The Emlia-Romagna Region
After our final breakfast on the roof we finsh packing and check out. Michael has gone to retrieve the rental car and I stay behind to check the room over one last time.
We have rented a sporty silver Fiat 500 with a sunroof! We we're a bit skeptical as whether our luggage would fit and we're relieved to see every case fit in the back. We have extra room in fact, case number 5 perhaps?
Tina had mentioned a local market that is held during the week starting on Tuesdays so we decide to check it out before we hit the road. The market is about a half a mile walk from our hotel and we decide to walk.
Along our journey we come accross a ceramic store featuring ceramics of Florence. I pop inside and fall in love with thier beautiful designs. "Do you ship?" I ask. Yes, is all I needed to hear and I quickly begin my list of olive oil bottles. He tells me it will take three weeks to paint and then another week for shipping. Happiness fills my soul.
We continue our walk and we begin to see crowds of eagar shoppers emerge.
There is really something for every need at this market. Clothing from under garments to pants and shirts, blankets, bed covers, curtains and kitchen implements of every kind. The sweetly sour smell of cured meats and cheese fill our noses and we long to take it all home. Stalls of fresh produce are abundant as are flower vendors. This is a market for daily living. I buy a nice straw hat for 4.00 euro, yes that's about $4.80 less than a cup of coffee back home. Michael finds some espresso spoons for his daily shot.
It's getting late and the stress of driving in the city is starting to rise. Walking back to the car in my new hat, I find relief from the soaring sun.
Michael has set up two GPS maps to assist us on our journey. The only problem is that the street names are very hard to find or nonexistent. After a few wrong turns we make it to the on ramp, whoosh, nuckle bump for success and off we go.
Driving is a bit stressful as speed traps are everywhere and most locals drive over the speed limit. Not wanting to rack up tickets we keep to the listed speed limit.
Finding our hotel was a bit challenging as no hotel sign exists on the exterior of the building. After a quick call we pull up and unload. Our stay is at the Solotto delle Arti or Arts Lounge in english. As it turns out this hotel was once a 17th century palace and the hotel is located in the original living quarters.
Our room is massive with two large retangular windows facing the garden. The ceilings are painted with ornate baroque design and the furnishings are simple and elegant. The dining room is set up with small bistro tables and the room resembles what I imagine it would have back then.
Benedetta is the owner and she runs the hotel herself. She is a young entrepreneurial woman who has found her niche. She is very helpful in assisting us on finding an acetaia or house of vinegar in english. She marks a couple of options on our map.
We head out for a small bite and find a local bar to sit at. The menus are comic books with the selection of food inside on two pieces of paper. The top comic is Dylan Dog, the most popular comic in Italy. We take a picture for our son who shares the name with this superhero.
Throughout our travels we have enjoyed the Spritz cocktail. This is a very popular summer drink in Italy. It is comprised of Prosecco and Aperol or Compari along with a splash of soda water and a wedge of orange. Here it comes with beer instead od Prosecco.
Michael drinks two and we try and think of how we can popularize this drink back home. This is a funky little bar with 1930's american blues music playing in the background. Our sandwiches arrive on crunchy baguettes and we devour them with enthusiasm.
Modena is a smaller city and not yet changed by tourism so the tradit all the stores and shops are closed from 1:00 to 4:00 for the riposo. Time to join the locals in a mid-day nap, ahh!
Read about Franceschetta 58 on the next post...