we got up and got on the road rather early so that we could spend most of the day there after the two hour drive down. Scott is a fantastic driver, and i didn't have any crazy anxiety with cars and trucks on the freeway my entire time in Italy!!! BEST WEEK EVER. Italy driving is crazy, the turnarounds and the lack of signals didn't make sense at first, it felt like complete chaos, however after being in it for a while there, and then in spain too, it makes a lot of sense and traffic is rather fluid. anyway, we got on the highway and headed to Parma...
Scott made sure that we stopped to get snacks at an Autogrill, which is basically the best thing ever associated with a road trip. In Europe, you have to pay to use the highway, so you don't want to get off the road prematurely... so they added little stops here and there.. these places are basically like a 7-11, but super nice with gourmet candies and snacks, the deli section of a supermarket with meats and cheeses and then a small take out restaurant all put together. You can get a kit kat dark or some kinder chocolates (that i'm really mad i can't bring back home with me) and some freshly cooked pasta and a cappuccino and get back on the road. We ended up buying better tasting cheeto-esque things, chocolate galore and sodas and whatnot before heading back out on the road.
The rain cleared up for a while, but as we got closer to Parma, the heavier it became. We found parking on the outskirts of the city and grabbed our umbrellas and jackets and headed in. The city was gorgeous and I would like to go back when it's not 55 degrees and raining on and off while not being entirely prepared for it. The churches were great. We decided to go into one that was free and were pleasantly surprised by the frescas and the open layout of it.
From there we walked around the city and found different monuments and things on the map we had.. the coolest buildings (i think) we saw were this one in a huge park, and another in one of the larger piazzas that had three different sun dials on it, date, time and location. It's too bad it wasn't sunny and "working" while we were there. We had pizza for lunch and roamed around the city some more. We had planned to stay for dinner and whatnot, but it got far too cold for Jen and I so we decided to start the trek home but not before getting caught up in a crazy traffic jam because the police closed of about 10 different streets and main access points while looking for a place to buy some sort of hammy product. We finally found a store on the way to the highway and we were greeted by the lovely dingy smell of aged meats and cheeses. I bought a hunk of speck that ended up being fantastic! Hopefully Jen and Scott are enjoying the rest of it.
It went from rain to sun and back again on the trip home, but it was fun nonetheless. Always an adventure with crazy weather. We got back to the house, and putzed around for the rest of the night and getting ready for Sunday