A Rainy Day in Parma

Today was clouds and rain and cold all day. But we wanted to get out and explore so we did. First things first – food!! When we arrived late yesterday most things were closed – seems Thursday is the day a lot of places don’t open in the afternoon. But we did spy T cafe so headed there this morning first thing. It is a cozy place with great pastries – pastries are big here, lots of pasticerrias.

T Caffe


While walking in the morning we spied another place that looked good – Lino’s Coffee. Way better coffee this afternoon, so we will try it tomorrow for breakfast. They have a world map with locations coffees comes from and great graphics showing the different kind of coffee drinks you can get.

Lino’s Coffee, Via della Cooperazone 7/A

The graphics

Verdi, who is from here is quoted, “Coffee is balm for the heart and soul.”

Close up

Parma is known for its ham, parmigiano, and several pastas including tortelli, a big ravioli. Kristi had the tortelli stuffed with artichokes for lunch. I had pasta with culatello, one of the many varieties of ham. It was fabulous – like carbonara but with the slices of ham. This was at Trattoria del Tribunale.

Trattoria del Tribunale, Vicolo Politi 5

There are plenty of shops selling ham and parmigiano.

Salumeri Verdi – Via Garibaldi 69/A

Did I say it was raining? 

They love their bikes here, and the rain doesn’t stop them.

The cathedral is an impressive building along with its pink eight sided baptistry. When I get inside a church like this I am reminded of how light and airy the duomo in Orvieto is.

We went into an old pharmacy dating to about 1000 a.d. The following picture is from the poison room, where glass beakers of all shapes and sizes hung on the wall created some bizarre shadows.

My foot gives some perspective as to the size of this mortar and pestle

This is a city full of color and brick. Such fun.

And it is a city of impossibly tiny shops. This one on Via Garibaldi, has wonderful pastries and breads.

We’re hoping for some sun tomorrow!


Walking the Rock

Today has been cloudy with some rain. But there is still much to see. After a walk around town I dropped down to the mid level walk that circles the city half way down from the top. At times you feel like you are in the country!!

Entry to the fort

Entry to the city through Porta Maggiore – nature and man-made

Monastery in the background

A private olive orchard and vineyard

Another olive orchard


Stellar Light

Wow! What an evening. We have been having gorgeous fall weather with amazing light and this evening – Mamma Mia.

Manhole cover on the street

Life on Foot

I walk seven to ten miles a day here in Orvieto. I love it. There is a richness to life that happens when you move at the pace of a human. You are in tune with everything around you. You see more. You observe more. You hear more of all the life going on.

It helps that it is a pedestrian friendly environment. Also helpful is the fact that everything you need is right here, so accessible. The city is full of little stores. There are grocery stores – much, much smaller than in the U.S. but they have all you need. Still, it is more fun to go to the various vendors for food. One place for your veggies and fruit, another for your cheese, one for bread, yet another for meat, and one for dessert. 

At these smaller stores you develop a warm relationship with the owners. They learn your preferences, help you find what you prefer or even hold it for you. This is part of the richness, the personal relationships you develop.

On the streets you begin to recognize people and exchange greetings. it is just so personal!

Italy is a sensory place. Being on foot enables us to appreciate and savor all those sensory experiences even more.

Hitting some streets we don’t often visit as well as the familiar.

Don’t see much brick in Orvieto

Sweet, particularly the bus

Cooking in the country

We took our group to our friend Simona’s house for cooking. We went an hour early so they could sketch for the work they are doing with our teacher – Junelle Jacobsen

The country around Simona’s house is beautiful. A short rain brought is a stunning double rainbow.

We made a ricotta/pear/walnut/pancetta appetizer, pasta, a pumpkin/sausage/fennel flower ragu, and tiramisu.

Sweet dreams!!


Ippolito Scalza’s Pieta inside the Duomo always, always moves me.

Hope one can evoke such emotion out of stone amazes me. And a couple more shots from inside the Duomo.

The Baroque organ