Today was an early start. We all left the villa at 5:45am so we could catch the 6:00 bus to the train station.
The good news, is that we caught the bus. The bad news is that we rode to bus too far, and missed the train station.
On the walk back to the station, we passed a school bus driver who was just starting his route. He gave us all a ride to the station!
Thanks to him, we were able to catch our train on time.
We got off the train in Bologna, and rented two cars. The car rental place didn’t open until 8:00am, so we had time to stop for a caffeine fix.
After that, we drove the 45 minutes to Modena. Outside of Modena is Hombre.
Hombre is an organic farm where they produce authentic parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Like champaigne, true parmigiano-reggiano cheese can only be produced in one region of the world!
We were able to get a tour of the farm, but unfortunately, we didn’t see any of the production as that had already finished for the day (by 10:00 am).
We were able to see the drying room though. Check out all this deliciousness:
Their storage room currently holds 7,000 rounds of cheese. Each will weigh approximately 36 kg (78 pounds) after 2 years of aging. They have room to store 8,000 rounds at a time.
Hombre also has a car museum on site, including a large Maseratti collection. (Maseratti, Ferrari, Lamborgini, are all made nearby.)
From there we drove into town to visit a traditional balsamic vinegar producing house (Acetaia di Giorgio) where they have been making traditional balsamic vinegar for over 100 years.
We learned about the process, and were able to do some tastings as well.
To make traditional balsamic vinegar takes a minimum of 12 years, but can take up to 25.
The taste is divine! It is so thick and rich, and so much better from the mass produced stuff we get in the grocery store.
Then we all went for a small tasting of local delicacies for lunch.
After lunch, we had a bit of an adventure…
We didn’t see that we needed to pay for parking, so we got 2 parking tickets. We had two cars, so 2 parking tickets of 39 EUROS each!
So, we went to the police station to see if we could pay for parking, instead of the ticket.
They were very nice about it, and they waived our ticket. We think it might have had something to do with 10 of us walking into a police station…not sure though.
From there we went in search of the castle. It was a bit of a drive out to nowhere, but it was a gorgeous drive.
And the castle was quite lovely.
Then we went back to the train station, and we just barely caught the last train out of Bologna. This is starting to sound like a pattern for us.
We had a really great day! Long, but fantastic!