Tag Archive: Prosciutto


Prosciutto Di Parma


Bologna may have its Tortellini and Mortadella, and Modena may have its Balsamico, but THAT jamon known the world over for its salty goodness hails from Parma. Think Prosciutto with Melon, or with fig which I prefer. But there’s more to Parma than Parma ham. Seriously.

From Modena, we hopped back into a regional train for another half hour journey to Parma. Again we welcomed the traffic-less lanes and quiet alleys. We just walked from the Stazione to the centro, passing the Palazzo della Pillota which was unfortunately closed off to pedestrian traffic. Walking further down, we didn’t waste time checking out the Cattedrale Di Parma in a tiny square where the Baptistery is also located. Now, if you’re headed for Parma to visit this Italian Romanesque Cathedral alone, it would have been a good trip by itself. That, plus some Parma ham shopping 👌. Some trivia: The cathedral’s dome was painted by Renaissance painter Antonio da Correggio. Correggio is the same artist behind “Noli Me Tangere” which hangs in Madrid’s Prado Museum. Now, we all know that this painting somehow inspired our national hero who wrote the book of the same title. I know, the connection maybe quite a stretch, but I do enjoy this trivia.

This Roman Catholic Cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is sooooo intricately, artistically done that we can’t seem to find any vacant space without artistic expression. For sure, the builders were kept very busy for a long time to pull this off. While the ornateness can be quite overwhelming, certainly it gives a very good impression that leaves one in awe.


Called La Rossa, La Dotta and La Grassa. The Red One. The Learned one. The Fat one. Aptly so. It is the home of Mortadella, Tagliatelle al Ragu, Tortellini, Lambrusco, Tortelloni, Parmegianno Reggiano, Prosciutto (from nearby Parma), Balsamico (from nearby Modena) as well as home to fast cars (think Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati and Maserati). Fast engines aside, Bologna’s rich history is only overshadowed by its being hailed as the gastronomical capital of Italy. I mean, eating here has been exalted nearly to a religious experience!

We had to train ourselves into joining walking tours and visiting Bologna’s major attractions lest we get stuck in its trattorias and mercatos. Eating and wining brings out the best in us — topics hop from this to that, laughter comes easy and over time (and many trips together), we’ve shared many private jokes. Our happy bunch sure knows how to munch. And while we’ve explored Bologna’s old town, canales, towers, piazzas and churches, somehow the day’s highlight always ends with food. Even our shopping has largely been food shopping. After all, how can you resist all these quezos and ham?

Piazza Maggiore is right smack in the Center and the square layout reminds us of the many piazzas in and around Europe where the city hall, major churches and rows upon rows of shops and trattorias compete for attention. Except for this tight security crew right in front of the church. The Basilica of San Petronio in the piazza is dedicated to the city’s patron saint, Saint Petronius who was the city’s bishop in the 5th century. It also happens to be the world’s 10th largest and the world’s largest brick church. It could have topped the list if the construction wasn’t stopped in time by a jealous Pope who feared this “half-complete” brick and marble church would compete with the one in Vatican. For good measure, all the surrounding land was bought and actual buildings erected adjacent to the Church to preclude any extension and expansion.

But why the tight security? An Islamic terrorist group reportedly planned to blow up the church because of an offensive Dante’s Inferno- inspired mural depicting Mohammad being tormented by the devils in hell. The artwork was rendered by Giovanni of Modena. Interesting. And jibes well with Bologna’s independent and rebellious character. How about this statue of the Pope in the same piazza but deliberately marked as that of St Petronius? Another iconic symbol of Bologna are its two towers along the ancient Via Emilia. It is said that both towers are leaning, like the one in Pisa. Asinelli Tower is the taller one; the shorter, more-leaning torre is called Garisenda. The towers were named after 2 families — obviously filthy rich — who competed on who’s building the taller torre as a show of power. Oh these horrible humans! Really, it’s easier to write and talk about food over these iconic landmarks.

An illustration of what food to find and eat in this area.

Our best meal in Trattoria da Pietro