The agenda for today was to visit Modena, the Lamborghini factory, and watch the making of special pizza at the Maggi (where we are staying).
Modena is a very important town (we hear this a lot from each city we visit – I think there is still a little competition between these cities). I liked Modena with its contrast of ancient and somewhat modern. We strolled through the streets and stepped into a very unusual church with a balcony area over the altar. (Sorry photos didn’t come out because the church was so dark inside.) This was one of the more under-stated churches without a lot flash, but beautiful and unique on its own. And there was actually a priest in the confessional waiting to hear sins. I just walked by….. had I stopped, that scene could have been catastrophic.
Church with a leaning tower. Most of the churches we have seen this visit have a leaning “something” part of the church. Besides age, many were added onto during the centuries and not all parts line up exactly.
The Mercato in Modena has been around for hundreds of years and updated as time went on. We checked out the vendors and did a little shopping.
They had cooked stuffed squash flowers we had to try. Oh so tasty!
I found figs!
This picture is intentionally fuzzy – I was trying to create a shot of everyone toasting at lunch through my wine glass. (Maybe I should stick to traditional shots.)
We decided to stop for lunch here at the Mercato. While we were munching we saw a celebrity with a crew of cameras and such walking around the Mercato and then walk right towards where we were sitting. Of course, he walked by, but stopped at the vendor where we were lunching and had a bite himself! He let the crew grab something to eat and was standing around talking to people in front of this vendor’s booth. Most of the Italians did not know who he was.
Who is this celebrity? Phil Rosenthal, the creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” He has his own show that airs on PBS called “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” of which I’ve watched many episodes. It was really cool to see him so relaxed and friendly, although I did not have the guts to ask for a picture with him. I just snapped a few iPhone shots. And today, Phil was having what we were having! It would be amazing if any footage of us eating at the Mercato ended up on his show.
Pizza at the Maggi – to continue our food fest today. We hadn’t eaten in 4-5 hours and the Lamborghini factory tour helped us work up an appetite – well not really but couldn’t turn down the chance to eat the best pizza in the region!
Master pizza maker.
The process of making pizza here is a bit different than we’ve experienced in the states. They cook the very, very thin pizza crust with sauce and a little cheese on it, then remove it from the pizza oven and add the toppings. It usually does not go back into the oven – so the ham and lettuce or whatever is added is fresh and not cooked.
They made a few heart-shaped pizzas for our group. This one had mozzarella, ham, lettuce, strawberries and balsamic vinegar. I would have never thought to put that combination together but it was yummy!
Day is done – with the sun setting across the fields.
Tune in tomorrow for the Lamborghini factory tour.