"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Foodie in Ferrara by Day....

I came to Ferrara because I had read about the Buskers Music Festival that takes over the small city. I was drawn to the combination of free live music in a city renowned for its food. Ferrara is in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. Surrounded by 9 kilometers of medieval walls, Ferrara remains calm and tranquil, even during a wild music festival that takes the streets by storm. The classic Italian breakfast was pretty much the only option in Ferrara and I was completely okay with that. I was told by a Ferrara native whom I met on the train to go to Caffe' del Corso for the best breakfast. I don't drink coffee, however, while working at Cefalicchio and for the three weeks after I had a cappuccino every morning and an espresso every night. The breakfast at Caffe del Corso was superb! Warm cappuccino, freshly baked croissant and one of their house specials which is kind of like a tart with a crispy sweet top (I am horrible at trying to explain this.) I highly recommend going to Ferrara for the Buskers festival and when you do, this is the best way to start your morning! Take your time here as the people watching from this perfectly located cafe is prime.
 Caffe' del Corso is located at C. Giovecca 66/68 just outside the old historic castle.
During the day Ferrara is a pretty sleepy town, and it is very easy to get into the relaxed, no rush vibe of the town. One fun thing to do is rent a bike and go along the 9km wall, other than that, there are lovely art museums and lush parks like this one below, Parco Massari.
Obviously if you are going to go to a park, you should get a few things for a picnic. When in Emilia-Romagna, it is imperative to try prosciutto. FOr the best prosciutto, get the Parma stamped kind indicating that is was cured and stored with the highest standards providing for a truly melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto experience. Parma stamped ham is easy to find, it looks like this:
In addition to prosciutto you might like some wine for your picnic and this is especially easy and affordable to get because in all the little convenient stores in Ferrara are these "fill your own" wine stations with large vats of wine and you can choose from red, white or rose and fill your own glass growler:
All over Ferrara are these funny little bridges that are part of the homes, there is at least one on every street:
A traditional snack in Ferrara is the coppie Ferrarese. It is crunchy and hard n the outside and soft and chewy on the inside and rolled like two ribbons. I personally didn't think it was anything special, perhaps I just needed to have one from a better bakery but it seemed like a poor attempt at sourdough bread to me. As you can see from the bag, the bakery where I purchased his Coppie Ferrarese has been around since 1860...
Aside from these bread rolls, everything else in Ferrara was authentic, beatiful and very tasty. Here is a picture of the street where I stayed.

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