Bologna, Modena & Florence | July, 2017
From Piedmont we drove to Bologna, taking the long route for a taste of the Italian RIviera. We used Bologna as a base, returning our car and taking the train to Modena one day and Florence the next. Bologna was great, a city we quickly fell in love with. We were staying on the side of town with a bit more grit - there was a ton of graffiti, cheap bars with craft beers and cocktails and some highly recommended pizza, from pizza casa, that lived up to its expectation at about $3 for a whole pie! If you go, be sure to grab some beers from a bodega on your way, or take the pie to one of the near by squares.
Since we hadn’t been planning much, aside from where to stay, our attempt to get into Mossimo’s Franceschetta 58 was, as expected, unsuccessful. While attempting to get in, an intern from the kitchen, who also happened to be from New York, let us know that Massimo was dining there for lunch that day, and the restaurant was closed to other guests. His recommendation for an alternative: “anything really” - all the food in Modena is amazing. He was right. We ended up in a small cafe in an alley with a chalkboard menu of 2-3 items, Bar Cappuccino Da Angiolina. It was one of the best meals on the trip. Tortellini with bolognese and tortelloni with a cream sauce. Modena is a town we could spend much more time in. If you’re the type who enjoys finding ‘your’ coffee shop and lunch spot and becoming a regular in a few days time, it’s a city for you.
It was hot while we were in Italy. In the high 90s-100s most days - and given our lack of planning, there was little to do but wander around the streets of Florence with the millions of other tourists. Many of the museums require you to book tickets days or weeks in advance during this time of year, and those that don’t were so packed with tourists or exorbitantly expensive that we had no desire to get close to them. So, we ended up in one of the few air conditioned cafes, hiding from the crowds and enjoying Italy’s other historical marvels - prosecco and negronis. Dan wrote it off pretty quickly, but once the sun went down and a small band started playing music on one of the less crowded squares we could see the charm that everyone else sees in the city. It’s hard to see and get a feel for many of the places we have been visiting when it’s miserably hot, and it feels like all you see are the screens of other tourist’s phones and cameras. We were naive to plan a trip to Europe in the midst of summer heat and holidays!
Photos by Daniel Hatke | danielhatke.com