All Work and No Play... For Max

While Max was giving his lectures on liver pathology, the hospital had arranged two days of sight seeing for the wives.  Marcella was our incredible guide.  She exudes true Italian warmth and hospitality.  She was full of knowledge of the region and food and treated us like queens.  I sheepishly told Max that while our adventures together were wonderful, my favorite part of the trip was spending time with Marcella.  Getting to tour Parma and Reggio Emilla with a local was a special glimpse and taste of Italy!
 Marcella first took us to a private tour of the main theater in Reggio Emilia, the Romolo Valli Municipal Theater.  When I told them I had seen the opera in Venice and how lovely the theater was, they said, "Yes, but ours is real!"  Real gold leaf!  They have over 300 shows a year and the theater is a rich part of their culture with children learning to appreciate it as early as 3 years old.
 It also has many large and beautiful rooms for conferences.  It was just breath taking.  We then headed to Laura Nocco's jewelry shop.  She is a local celebrity jeweler.  Her jewelry is beautiful and I just had to have a souvignere!
 Next we had to choose between visiting the Parmesan farm or shopping at the Max Mara outlet.  Cheese won hands down!  The cheese was unlike any Parmesan I have ever tasted.  I think I ate my weights worth in cheese while we were there.  It is called the king of the table and everything gets a dose of delicious Parmesan.  Heaven!
 The following day we went to the Magnani-Rocca Foundation.   It was the private home of Luugu Magnani, who gave his home and art collection to the city to further develop the arts in the region.
 It is a gorgeous villa in a park with peacocks roaming the grounds.  I had never seen an albino peacock!  The permanent collection includes artists such as Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and De Chrico.  The museum also has visiting exhibitions.  The Divine Comedy by Dore and Scaramuzza were on display.  The collections were riveting and massive.
 Next we were off to lunch at The Castle of Torrechiara.  Yes, I ate lunch at a castle!
 The castle was built in the 1400s by the count Pier Maria II Rossi.  The movie Ladyhawke with Michelle Pfeiffer was filmed there.
 The views from the terrace were picture perfect.
 I was surprised how bright the frescos were after all this time.
 Marcella taught us that the more blue used, the wealthier the commissioner was.  She said at one point the Pope told Michelangelo to not use so much blue because it was so expensive.
 Tracy and I taking in the views.
 So beautiful it looks fake.
Our last stop was at a working monastery.  We were able to tour their grounds, see their vineyards and purchase some honey.  It was a very peaceful place.  Marcella was so fantastic.  I loved learning all about the region and eating my way through Parma and Reggio!  I am ruined forever when dining Italian and can only hope to see her again one day.


Blog a Blurb said...

I have some of that honey!! Heavenly!!!!

Blog a Blurb said...

Not sure much surpasses a having a local as a tour guide. LUCKY YOU!!!