Last week we began our journey to the wonderful region of Emilia Romagna with all IHTM 2014 members. Our first full day in Parma was a long, busy day, but a really exciting one! We started off with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, and met our tour guide Melanie outside Hotel Button. Melanie took us on a walking tour around Parma where we saw many of the famous sights and monuments of this city.
I was really intrigued by the Camera di San Paolo and the many paintings inside by Correggio. Many of the paintings were considered to be ‘evil’, and were not allowed to be viewed thousands of years ago.
Another really interesting sight was the Teatro Farnese, which was the theater built for Farnese and his family, and has only been used eleven times. The built-in wooden theater was incredible and imagining the performances that were held there was inspiring!
I also just love walking tours because I really start to feel acquainted with the city, and am able to know where the main square and streets are. After the walking tour we freshened up and loaded the bus to head to our next stop, Torrechiara Castle. After the walk up a long, steep hill we sat down for lunch at Taverna del Castello, the Michelin starred restaurant on site at the Castle. After a bit of waiting, we received a delicious plate of risotto with ham, peas, carrots and of course, lots of parmesan cheese. It was certainly worth the wait! Our second course was stuffed chicken balls with potatoes, which was just as amazing as the first course! And to top it all off, dessert came with chocolate brownies and apple pie pieces, two of my favorite desserts! After finishing this amazing meal, we got ready to start our tour of The Torrechiara Castle. It was rainy and pretty miserable outside, which didn’t help our spirits as we began the tour. It was quite difficult to understand the tour guide and each room of the castle was fairly similar to the one before. The tour was interesting, but definitely not one of my favorite things we have done so far. After the tour we walked in the pouring rain down to the bus, and headed back to Hotel Button in Parma. After a hot shower and a short siesta, a few of us went in search of Zushi, a Japanese sushi restaurant located in close range to our hotel. Michaela, Valeska, Vanessa, Gabriella, Florence, Monica, Laura, Brendan, Rachel, Valerie and I dined on amazing sushi. It was the perfect end to a great first day of this incredible trip to Northern Italy.