Have I not told you that this journey to Italy is basically inspired by programmes or movies I have seen on television or Netflix? And Modena is one of the places I wanted to see after watching the documentary series Chef’s Table. I have watched how chef’s Massimo Bottura cooked in the documentary and very curious about the dishes he creates. His restaurants Osteria Francescana is one of the best restaurants in the world and I am sure there would be pages of ethic rules just to go into his restaurants and going to a three Michelin stars restaurant with a child is not a good idea. I am sure the Matrie D of the restaurant would not like it either. So what did we do?
We just walked to the restaurant, took a picture and spent the rest of the day just wandering around the city. Quite sad, isn’t it? But hey this vacation is not only for me. It is also for the little red and green peppers. So I checked listed my bucket list which is: to go to, I repeat, only TO GO TO, Osteria Francescana (I did not write, to go to the osteria, dine there and have my foodgasm, on my list, hehe!). Checked! For those of you who wanted to go there, it is within walking distance from the Piazza Del Torre, about 700 meters from there and it is worth the walk. The route is pretty nice and quiet. However, you should reserve a table when you want to dine there.
Ok, now about the city of Modena itself. It is a very lovely city! I genuinely thought, as I walked through the lovely Piazza Del Torre, that Modena is a very romantic city! It really has it charms, that can make you go “aaaaw!”. The Duomo or Cathedral was built in the 12th century. I suppose the two lions at the entrance column, which they said came from the Roman age, distinguish the uniqueness of this Cathedral.
Modena is however famous for several things. The ferarri has its factory here and the famous opera singer, Pavarotti was born and lived here. In gastronomic field Modena is well known for its balsamico. Be sure to purchase one from the local stores, as it tastes very different than what you can get back home.
“Fast car and slow food”, that is the tagline of Modena. To find some of the region delicatessen is not that difficult in Modena. On that hot summer day we slowed our pace and sat down to have some break at Well Done, a quite American style café with a touch of Modena’s cuisine.
I was thirsty rather than hungry, but the little red and green peppers had to eat. She ordered waffle with chocolate sauce. Green pepper ordered a burger with a touch of Italian sauce in it and I order only sweet stuffs. The server looked a little confused when I said “I would like to have the affogato and the ice cream burger please”. Apparently affogato is not a cold drink in this part of the world, it is dessert. So there I was, ordering two dessert dishes.
Having eaten those pretty sweet treats, I thought I would like to have other dishes, just for the sake of trying. Since we are in the region Emilia Romagna where my most favourite cheese comes from, why not order cheese balls? I eventually did not like it that much. I have seen stories about cheese balls from the travel channel and they all seemed to be very delicious. The ones I had in Well Done was not that good. It was only gooey and chewy but not that much of other flavours in it.
The centre of Bologna is not that big. On our way back to the station we found a very nice piazza, Piazza Roma, where they have water fountains everywhere. When the little red pepper saw that, she had an epiphany. “Mom, may I play with my foot there?” She asked wisely. I however knew what she planned to do directly. I said yes. So she went straight ahead and began splish-splashing her foot. A few minutes later, she was splish-splashing her dad with some water. A few minutes afterwards her t-shirt has gotten a little bit wet… but then I saw her standing right at the opening of the fountain and got completely wet. She cheered and giggled so loud. She enjoyed it very much. A complete innocent child reaction. Utterly lovely to see! So I let her soaking her clothes and body completely wet. It was after all freaking hot at that moment. A child has to be and feel like a child, as so they say. After 15 minutes playing with water she stopped. And now? She cannot get into the train like that. So we have to wait… while she and green pepper have some snacks, I ran to the nearest H&M store to get some cheap t-shirt for her. My savior on “rainy”day!
While checking all the pictures I have made that day, in the train back to Bologna, I thought that it would be nice to explore Modena once again. We have explored the streets, which also have beautiful porticos just like Bologna. The next time we will explore the cuisine! Yes we will!