We left for Parma on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014. We all got on a charter bus and departed at 10:00 am. It was a long, uncomfortable drive - we stopped three different times to stretch our legs and get some food. By the end of the road trip, we had four people laying in various positions in the narrow aisle, clearly desperate for a nap longer than 30 minutes!
When we finally arrived, we checked into Hotel Button, a cute little boutique hotel near the historic center. I roomed in a triple with my friends Monica and Jenny. Our room was large, comfortable, and clean - perfect! We settled in and changed for dinner. We departed the hotel and walked to the restaurant, Leon D’oro Ristorante. The food was absolutely delicious!!! First course was a plate of cured meats, second course was ravioli filled with ricotta cheese and spinach sauteed in butter and herbs, and third course was desserts of our choice. I had coffee custard and English Souppe cake.
The next day, we started off the morning with a walking tour of the historic center of Parma. Our tourguide, Melanie, was an older British lady who married an Italian and has lived here for over 40 years. She was absolutely fabulous - extremely knowledgeable, funny, and enthusiastic! My favorite site we saw was the opera house that was constructed to be used for only one night, but was actually never used that night because the roof collapsed. Since then, the roof was restored and the theatre was only used eleven times. It is now just a site for tour groups and, once in a while, a space for conventions.
After the tour, we took a bus to an old castle where we ate lunch at the bistro on property. The food was even better than the night before - first course was a parmesan risotto, second course was stuffed chicken and potatoes, and third course was chocolate brownies and apple puff pastries. YUM!!! After lunch, we took a tour of the old castle, but we are not allowed to post any pictures that we had taken along the tour. The tour was nice, but unfortunately our tour guide was difficult to understand.
After the tour, we headed back to our hotel where we were free for the evening to do whatever we wanted. My friends Jenny and Alex and I walked around Parma a little bit in search for something small to eat for dinner - we weren’t that hungry after devouring that huge lunch - but everything was either closed or too expensive. So we returned to the hotel and just talked for a while before going to sleep.