Monday, November 15, 2010

Private dining in Piacenza

Estate di san martino - 2010 13th to 14th of November, celebrated in Piacenza (one hour south of Milan). This is a celebration of young and old, hosting markets with fresh local produce and activities for the children. Sounded like a good destination for a day trip, so we looked up the brochure on the Internet. "Significa rinnovare l'armonia fra la città e la campagna che vivono ciascuna dell' altra, accogliere ciò che ci è stato consegnato ed è ancora presente nel nostro intimo." So for those of you, like myself, who do not speak Italian, I will google translate this for you... "Indian summer means to renew the harmony between the city and country living of each other, to accept what we have been delivered and is still in our underwear." I love to wear underwear so this was a celebration for me! Think perhaps something was lost in translation?

The town was so clean and tidy! The buildings were spend id and a lot of the buildings had huge wooden doors some with the most fantastic carvings on them. The town was extremely quiet when we arrived and it was really nice just wandering the streets taking in the atmosphere.

We found the petting zoo, which consisted of 2 lamas and 2 ponies in a small caged area, (unsure as to whether lamas were 'spitters', hubby had us all at safe viewing distance from patting). Daughter then spotted 2 jumping castles; straight onto the large climbing slide, she repeatedly climbed to the top, decided the slide was too big then back down the ladder again. By attempt number 5, courage arrived to try the slide; loved it; but then was landing pad for another slider, (fun came to a quick end until she joined her brother on the smaller jumping castle).

We were surprised that the large town celebration lacked people, so we decided to look for a restaurant to pass some time. After walking the streets for over 20 minutes, (and wishing that we had stoped for the free wine and potato chips sampling earlier), we finally found a restaurant. When hubby went inside, all of the tables appeared to be taken, but we were told that they could accommodate for us by setting up a table downstairs, in our own area, "I'd like a private dining room please!"

"Assolutamente perfetto!" Absolutely perfect! Son fell asleep as we arrived and transferred onto a bench seat where he slept for a further hour; there were no other patrons for us to bother so the children could play; it was a set menu so we did not need to think about ordering; and apparently in Piacenza, you drink wine from a bowl (does it get any better)?

The set menu cost 12.50€ each and children shared with us, there was plenty of food and the wine was lovely, (ended up paying 60€, wine was a bit more than expected, or perhaps we just drank a bit more than expected, I blame the bowls)!
  • Fresh bread

  • Parmesan cheese and ham (Parma ham)

  • White wine risotto and crespella (pancakes rolled and filled with cheese and ham)

  • Roasted duck, pork roll filled with cheese and roasted potato in rosemary and butter
  • Apple pie with cherry sauce

We left the restaurant very content 2 and a half hours after we arrived, always a great sign of a fantastic meal. The town had now woken from its slumber and we could hardly move in the crowded streets. We made our way back to the markets to buy some balloons, wine, salami and cheese, and to brave the jumping castle again. Children were given free nutella on bread, they had a ride on a stable tractor, son pat the pony and put his finger up its nose and daughter lined up for half an hour for her free horse ride. (Only to decide after she was on the horse with helmet on that she did not wish to have a turn anymore.)

It was a lovely day, the sun had set, so with warm roasted chestnuts in hand, we headed back to the car for our drive home. We arrived home 2 hours later, (last 45minutes of drive was travelling 5km in Milan city), I managed to smash 2 bottles of wine on pavement and the balloons popped. Despite the last hour of the trip, it was a lovely day in Piacenza.

1 comment:

  1. the photo of little leon is just to cute...the food sounds delicious! x