We spent a couple of hours at the cafe, thanking the staff who had come to recognize us, and grabbed the largest latte glass whenever I walked in the door. We had the car loaded with luggage, and were checked out by 9:30. We left Bologna, and headed to our last fabulous meal site, the tiny town of Zibello. Clearly, it is all about food for us! Zibello is worth a drive from anywhere in Emilia Romana to eat at the very famous La Buca, but I am ahead of myself.
The drive was easy, and we arrived in Zibello, famous for its wonderful cured meat, culatello, well ahead of schedule.
The cafe was open, and filled with local gentlemen. We all wanted coffee, so we joined the group out in front. Not one of the men spoke any English, but they were very friendly. I spent the next hour chatting and translating in my broken Italian. I LOVE opportunities like that! This gentleman seemed to be the "leader of the pack".
Then we proceeded the few blocks to La Buca. This was our second visit, as we had eaten here in 2006, and were anxious to share its charm with Fiona and Steve.
We had a great lunch! I ordered "pasta di casa" followed by duck.
Brad enjoyed his tagliatelle with culatello and cream.
Fiona was quite happy with her escargot, and Steve had pasta and salsciccia bolito.
Miriam, (who taught Mario Batali to make her nonna's pasta) is the gracious "Senora di la casa" and the chef. Las Buca has been in the same house for four generations and over 100 years. She actually remembered me from two years ago, and asked us to to wait for her at the end of our meal. She proudly showed us her cellar after lunch, pointing out the aging culatello, prosciutto, sausages and parmigianos. I was honored and I then returned to the table with a glass of noci liquore, since Brad was our driver.
Wouldn't you just love to take her home with you?
We arrived at our Malpensa hotel (Villa Malpensa), and the boys returned the rental car.
I sat on the bar’s patio and read my book, until Fiona joined me. Then I switched from coffee to wine for the evening. We had a quick panini later that night, a bottle of Brachetto I needed to "get rid of", and a good night’s sleep before our 5:30 AM wake up.
No one was excited to leave Italy. Reality always seems to require us to go home. After a quick breakfast, we took the shuttle, checked in, and sat with Fiona and Steve until our flights left. It was a long day, but we were home in Palm Desert at 8:30 PM.