churches, holidays

Food and wine in Switzerland, Italy, and Liechtenstein… part four

Parma on Liberation Day…

As I mentioned in part three of this series, I chose to stay at our castle location near Parma because I knew there were several places of interest nearby. There’s Parma, Italy, where Parma ham and Parmesan cheese come from, Modena, which is known for wonderful balsamic vinegar, and Bologna, which is just alleged to be a beautiful city with great food and sightseeing. Bill did some research about Bologna and decided not to visit there, because parking was too much of a hassle. I definitely wanted to go to Parma, and Modena was interesting enough for a visit, too.

On the day we visited Parma, which was Monday, April 25th, it was Liberation Day. We did not know it was going to be Liberation Day before we planned our visit. We have a habit of being in different countries on their major holidays. We did the same thing last fall when we visited Wels, Austria. Anyway, Liberation Day was first celebrated in Italy in the year 1946. It was to commemorate the 1945 victory of the Italian resistance to Nazi Germany and the Italian Socialist puppet state. Because it was a holiday, the streets were crowded; some shops were closed; and there was a parade.

We managed to visit Parma’s beautiful cathedral and monastery, followed by lunch at a really cool restaurant where blues were accompanying the delicious food. Below are some photos of our day. Again, masks were required at that time, but as of May 1, 2022, masks are mostly only needed on public transport, in medical settings and nursing homes, and in sports venues, concert halls, or theaters. I note, once again, that Italy is stricter than Germany is right now. One of these days, I’m going to make a video of all the beautiful cathedrals I’ve seen in Europe.

A busker entertained us with Bach. He made me cry.

The monastery is located very close by the Parma Duomo. We had to wear FFP2 masks to see the library.

After more walking around, and more photos taken, we found our way to a quiet little plaza where we had lunch at a restaurant called Osteria del Teatro. This was a cute and popular place where excellent blues music paired with really nice local dishes and wines. Old vinyl records were used as placemats!

Below are some more photos from our day in Parma. Some decorations are in honor of the holiday.

By late afternoon, we were ready to go back to the B&B and drink more wine… which we did.

After our wine break, we watched old American shows dubbed into Italian… The Dukes of Hazzard, The A Team, and Walker, Texas Ranger! No wonder I saw so many Confederate battle flags in Italy.

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Austria, churches

Chasing lakes and waterfalls in Aus-cro-slo-aus… part thirteen

Our last full day of our trip was probably our most touristy-vacation-esque of our trip. We went to Salzburg and walked around, taking in the sights. Once again, I regret not buying any art, since we passed a few galleries which were closed by the time we departed in the late afternoon. Salzburg is a beautiful city, with lots going on, and a lot of photogenic scenery. We mainly walked around, but we also visited St. Peter’s Abbey and, after Bill lit a candle for his late father, who was a Catholic, we had a very expensive but delicious lunch at Peter, one of the restaurants in St. Peter Stiftskulinarium, which was founded in 803 AD. We didn’t know anything about the restaurant when we visited, but it turned out to be a very successful stop.

Below are some photos from our walk around the city before lunch…

Peter is right next to the Abbey. They were decorating it for Christmas and, I have to admit, I was drawn in by how beautiful the restaurant was looking with the Christmas lights, trees, and ornaments. It turned out they have good food, too… for a price. But we didn’t mind, as it was a really nice meal and the only “fancy” one we had on our trip. In fact, we didn’t spend much money on food at all, most days. I wish it showed on my body, but I guess I’d have to give up booze for that to happen…

Peter gets mixed reviews. Some people think it’s an overpriced tourist trap. Personally, I enjoyed it, except for the pop music on the sound system, which didn’t seem to go with the food. Also, we were surprised when we came into the restaurant and the hostess told us we didn’t have to wear masks if we were vaccinated. We weren’t upset about it… just surprised. The restaurant was pretty busy and was doing a brisk business. I had originally wanted to get steak there, but they sold it by the gram and it started at 350 grams, which was way too much food for me. Maybe if Bill and I could have split it. We were happy with what we had, though. The duck was delicious, and Bill always enjoys venison whenever he can get it, since I don’t usually eat it myself. Our bill was about 250 euros, but it was money well spent.

After lunch, we walked around the cemetery, taking notice of how beautiful and ornate the graves were. Some of them had actual well-tended gardens on them. I haven’t even mentioned Mozart, who is everywhere in Salzburg, since it’s where he was born.

And as we came out of the cemetery, we found the Wasserrad, a long running source of power…

It was at about this time that we decided to pick up a few souvenirs, mostly for Bill’s co-workers, who bring us stuff on their travels. I also got a new beer stein for my collection. I now have two from Germany, two from Austria, and one from Switzerland. I tried to talk Bill into getting a hat, like the ones we saw in The Sound of Music. He turned me down.