And I guess I’m guilty of premature exultation for announcing my verdicts on destinations first on Twitter. For Parma it was “the third time is just as charming.” I really had had no desire to go back after spending 10 intense days there with my consort when he was doing a gig for the city, producing color photos to exhibit with Sebastio Salgado’s black-and-whites. But I’m very glad I did. This is one of the most magical places in Italy, with a vibrant core and a mellow feel, thanks to all those single-minded bicyclists pedaling everywhere and keeping car traffic in its place.
I had limited time off the bus, so the most gratifying experience was lunch with my friend Francesca, whom I met one summer at TPW when my consort was teaching and hers was absorbing and who now has a three-year-old daughter, Viola. Whose idea of playing house is cooking using leaves and sticks from the grounds of the “Snow White” castle in Mom’s hometown, San Secondo. And who titled my post here. We all went to Porfido, with its wood-burning oven and super-friendly staff, where I did my best with an over-the-top pizza topped with radicchio, mozzarella, Gorgonzola, truffle oil etc. Viola shared a bite of her superb chicche del nonno, tiny, tender spinach gnocchi in a glaze of tomato sauce, too. And half a liter of vino bianco helped with the catching-up, too. Before we walked over to meet Francesca’s parents and I finally learned why I have never learned Italian despite at least a baker’s dozen trips there: I never studied. There’s a reason they speak English perfectly. . .
Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini 4 43017 San Secondo