Another weekend getaway, this time back to Italy. This was mainly a foodie weekend for us as we ate a lot!!
We started off with a walking food tour around the Brera district showing us the Milanese twist on several traditional Italian dishes. The company was ‘Italy Food’
We have been on a lot of food tours, each a little different. This one showed us more basic food that the locals would eat. The big negative for me was there was no introduction to the rest of your group, so for three hours we almost felt isolated within a big group. We did talk to some of the people, but realised afterwards that we never got a single name!
Breakfast was custard filled rolls and chocolate profiteroles (when in Italy). The bakery just looked amazing. Fresh pizzas out the oven, hand made pasta, lots of sweet items as well.
From there we carried on to a Parma ham shop where we tried two types of meat, the traditional Parma and a rarer one from higher up on the leg of the pig.
Then on to a deli/cafe type place, hard to explain but all the food is pre-made and you go in and choose what you would like. I guess like a takeaway cafe, but at a much higher standard. We had saffron infused arancini balls. These are a twist on the usual, as they are bright yellow and very tasty. Next was a cocktail, then wines, meatballs and finally gelato. There gelato is once again a twist as they make it lighter and slightly more “healthy” as they don’t use the egg yokes.
We then went to the Duomo (I suggest booking online. We got skip-the-queue tickets; the line went through the square so well worth it). We booked through GetYourGuide. The most surprising thing about this cathedral is that you are allowed to walk on the roof.The roof is spectacular in that it is surrounded by spires all carved with different people and inscriptions.
We had an audio tour, which was great as we knew no history to the area or the building. They have a repair shop next door that is constantly repairing and replacing things to make sure they last. This means some of the tiles are grey/black and others are bright white.
My favorite part of the inside is they have a date line running from one side to the other and a very small hole in the side wall. When the light shines through the dot of light matches with what time of year it is on the floor.
Dinner that night was amazing (I accidentally picked a French place) Ristorante Parentesi. They lady who ran the place spoke French and Italian; we obviously don’t speak either so communication was mostly hand gestures. The food was incredible. Their focaccia and pesto were the best we have ever had. Pastas were also very good; a twist on the usual. And of course dessert, Nicholas’s favorite, Chocolate fondant. Everything was homemade and the head chef was the ladies husband.
The next day we just wandered around the city. We spent a considerable amonut of time in a shop called Eataly – amazing we were just drooling at all the food they had available there. I was trying to find any sauces in containers under 100 mL so we could take them back. We did get some gnocchi and when we cooked it at home it was superb.
We also visited the castle in the middle of town which is extremely large and sprawls out a fair distance with an outer and inner walls protecting the entire castle. It is surrounded by lovely parks.