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Mar 1, 2013 05:17 AM

Best food city in ER – Parma, Bologna, Modena, other?

My husband and I will be spending a week in the ER in May (a semi honeymoon, since we stayed local in Minnesota for our initial honeymoon) and I’m trying to pick a city for home base (we prefer to pick one location to stay in, rather than moving each night, etc). From browsing through the forums regarding ER restaurants, it seems like the best options are in the countryside, which is fine be me, because I love to get out and explore (we are planning on renting a car anyway).
But I’m having a tough time picking which city to actually stay in. So I’m looking for advice on which city people think has better restaurants and farmers markets to offer (we’re planning on renting an apartment as well, as we also enjoy cooking). Personally, I picked ER as a food destination, so the other tourist sites are not as important to me, though they are a nice bonus. I want to experience the cheese, ham, pasta, etc of the region as best we can.
We are flying into Bologna on a Saturday, and heading to Milan to catch an overnight train to Paris the following Thursday or Friday.
Recommendations/ Opinions would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. As between Parma and Modena, I prefer Parma as a city to visit and walk around in -I found the center more beautiful and interesting, local food enthusiasts are very passionate and the general level of eating - in my experience - is high. I have not been to the central market in Parma - our visits were both on weekends - the market in Modena is well worth visiting. I cant comment on Bologna having not visited there yet, but its not terribly central for the region. Do note that driving in and out of the cities can be a pain, so if you expect to spend most of your time outside of cities, you might want to find a base in the country or a smaller city or town.

    1. bologna is a fabulous food town, love the markets in the street there. have a friend that does foodie tours.modena is darling too, nice small market and the fabulous osteria francescana.
      I also love the hidden trattoria at the salumeria giusti in modena.

      a day on a food tour can take care of you seeing parmesan being made, tasting tradtional balsamic vinegar and seeing how it is aged and prosciutto and culatello. Then the things in town you can do on your own. In Bologna I love the Osteria La Bottega--hidden away but worth it on via santa caterina

      1. We just left parma and ate everything! I would recimmend staying there and seeing the opera, shopping, and touring around the region in a car. The markets are wonderful and dinner at Ristorante Cocchi was the Italian meal of my dreams.
        We ate - roasted stuffed veal
        - ravioli with ricotta and spinach
        - salume misto