A specialty store for Prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiana-Regiano cheese, hand-made tortellini, and balsamic vinegar freshly packed and marketed to travelers in an AIRPORT was the first thing (well actually the second thing) that I noticed upon landing in the Bologna airport in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Only in Italy would one see such a sight! I could not believe my eyes! You’d never see this anywhere in the States.
Upon landing and departing from the plane, I could also not help but first notice the run down, falling apart nature of the airport, especially after the pristine airport in the Netherlands where my connecting flight was in Amsterdam. My mother told me that the airport in Bologna was very old, and that had to be the understatement of the day! I wasn’t thrilled that this was my first impression of Italy (on the ground). It’s nice to know that it looked like they were trying to renovate the place! I might add that the Milan airport was quite nice from which we flew home from.
My impressions soon did a 180 degree turn upon seeing this little shop in the airport. There were crowds of travelers pushing in line to purchase the specialities of Emilia-Romagna. If my parents weren’t in such a hurry (as they always are) to get the rental car, I would have had such a good time spending my Euros for the very first time!
And the surprise of how inexpensive the prices of food are in Italy just took me by shock! In the restaurants, forget it, you pay very high prices for food, but in the markets . . . what a SWEET deal you’ll find! In my opinion, staying in a villa or a
‘pensione’ is the only way to stay in Italy. For the three (3) of us we only spent 130 Euros for one week while staying in a villa with a little kitchen. The first day I was in Venice, I spent 80 Euro just for lunch!! Plus the joy of shopping for fresh produce in the local markets and talking to the proprietor in Italian was so much fun!
the balsamico vinegar (aceto di balsamico) is available from 2 euro to 150 euro,
with the age, sweetness, thickness, and thus quality increasing with each price.
whole legs of Prosciutto di Parma (from Parma, Italy in Emilia-Romagna) are sold in these large sizes!
to my vegetarian friends whom I totally respect: I’m not trying to offend anyone,
but it would be hell to be a veggie in Italy . . .
I’d buy a leg or two of this!
Every home in Italy has their own meat slicer!
“smaller” chunks of prosciutto are available if you don’t want a whole leg of it
parmigiana-regiano cheese sold for pennies versus the price we pay in the States
just like my family, the smaller the tortellini, the better, and here sold hand-made in an airport!
the larger tortelloni available in spinach or egg pasta . . . mmmm!
and finally, although blurry with the movement going on (and taken from my iPhone),
just a shot of the line of people waiting to purchase these delicious Italian specialties!
There’s no boloney about cured meats in Bologna, Italy!