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A Memorable Ramen Encounter


On a cold winter evening in Kyoto, I coincidentally found a minuscule ramen shop concealed in a tranquil rear entryway. Sitting at the counter, I watched the talented culinary specialist fastidiously... Read more

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  • What to eat
  • How to burn it off
  • Where to Stay


Given the fertile land, agriturismos make a wonderful accommodation option in Emilia-Romagna (and, indeed, all of Italy). Choices are near limitless if you have a car, though you can sometimes find them close enough to a city to get the best of both worlds. We found one in Parma: the homey Agriturismo Leoni (€77 for double, including breakfast; Via Roma 75, Vicofertile, map), a B&B on a working dairy farm in the countryside just 2 km (1.2 miles) from Parma’s city center. Meet the cows who provide milk for the area’s Parmigiano-Reggiano production (no, you can’t take one home with you); if you stay at least two nights, you’ll have time to arrange tours of a nearby cheese house and prosciutto di Parma factory (book ahead with hostesses Lola and Cinzia). Without a car, you can arrive by bus or taxi; more important, there is an excellent restaurant, Trattoria Vigolante, within walking distance (see Parmigiano-Reggiano entry).



Among the Bologna Art Hotels group, architecture buffs would appreciate Hotel Commercianti (Via de’Pignattari 11, map), housed in a restored 12th-century building that once acted as Bologna’s town hall; its handsome rooms start around €162. A bit less expensive is the stylish Hotel Orologio (doubles from around €130 in low season; Via IV Novembre 10, map), opposite the clock tower. Both hotels are very centrally located and offer free breakfast and bikes to guests.

We also like Bolognas minimalist-chic Metropolitan Hotel (from around 99€ in low season when booked online; Via Dell’Orso 6, map), likewise well-located and just next to a sweet little wine bar, Rivoli Café (051-268529; Via dell’Orso 1/a, map), which does a great spread during aperitivo—essentially Italy’s equivalent to happy hour, where buying one drink gets you free food. More budget-friendly are the city’s B&Bs, like the well-liked B&B Benelli (€70-€95; Via del Porto 30, map), which is essentially a modern apartment that comes with a great home-cooked breakfast.



On a narrow street, the friendly, family-run Hotel Cervetta 5 (Via Cervetta 5, map)  is a great budget-boutique option right in the historic center of Modena—just a block from pretty Piazza Grande. Singles are €90; doubles €125.


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