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Marano sul Panaro: Agriturismo Podere Prasiano

Via Frignanese, 5284

Reviewed by: BostonBetty from MA, review #3298

When: July 2013

Fabulous agriturismo - beautiful views, pool, amazing food!

We stayed three nights at the Podere Prasiano in July. Located at the top of a ridge (after some 5km of uphill switchbacks, approximately 30 minutes from the A1 autostrada), it has phenomenal views to the west.

Emanuela, the proprietor, speaks good English and was extremely welcoming. We had two rooms - for myself and my husband, and for our two daughters. The spacious rooms are tastefully furnished with locally made furniture and artwork. The beds are quite comfortable and the bathrooms are large and modern. Some of the windows have screens, and there is individually controlled air conditioning.

The agriturismo has many fruit trees (we were there as the cherry and apricot harvests were winding up) and Emanuela uses the fruits in her incredible repertoire of baked goods and preserves. Breakfast, included with the room, is enough to sustain a person for most of the day. Starting with homemade pastries and cakes and fresh yogurt sweetened to taste with honey and fruit, followed by a platter of meats and cheese accompanied by toast and butter, and of course both fresh fruit and freshly pressed juice, topped off by caffe and tea, it was simply divine. In fine weather the tables are set outdoors on the patio, where it is shady in the morning and one can enjoy the beautiful flowers and say good morning to Eddi, Emanuela's dog.

The large swimming pool is thoughtfully situated with an infinity edge running to the sunset. It is surrounded by lavender (watch out for the bees - two of us got stung) with ample space for chaises. During our stay, we saw three other families with children - one American family and two Italian. There were also several couples - British, Swiss and Italian.

On weeknights, Emanuela offers the opportunity to dine at the agriturismo. I strongly recommend it. She is a talented cook. One night we started with bruschetta, prosciutto and melon and parmigiano with Emanuela's own balsamic. That was followed by tagliatelle al ragu - my children wanted seconds. We saw Emanuela rolling out the pasta - which was unbelievably light and luscious. For secondi, we were served roast beef and a pork roulade, with potatoes and insalata mista as contorni. Dessert (wholly unnecessary, but delicious!) was panna cotta with currants and berries. Emanuela offers a range of wines - we enjoyed the lambrusco as it is a local favorite with the tagliatelle, and found it perfect.

On nights when Emanuela isn't cooking, there is a tiny hamlet just around the corner, where a picturesque campanile dominates the ridgeline. We enjoyed a lovely evening al fresco at the Ristorante Marcella, where my husband had a fine taglia do manzo (steak) and my daughter inhaled a dish of tortellini. Both Marcella and Podere Prasiano are Slow Food sites.

Emanuela was very helpful in arranging a tour of an organic Parmigiano Reggiano production facility, and offered many ideas for touring in the area. There are castles, prosciutto and balsamico producers, and we quite enjoyed the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. There is also ample opportunity for hiking in the nearby national park areas.

I only wish we could have stayed at Podere Prasiano for more than three nights. Emanuela is a warm and welcoming hostess, and the area is rich in food, culture and outdoor activities.

Reviewed by: DNW/GWH from UT, review #3181

When: January 2012

A tranquil, delightful agriturismo with a most gracious hostess.

This agriturismo was recommended to us by SlowTalk.com member Pedalforte. Emanuela Grotti, hostess.

The cost is E110 per room per night offseason, and includes breakfast. A one-night deposit was required. Sent online via www.xoom.com (a company used by Walmart for customer wire transfers) for $4.99 transaction fee with Emanuela's Iban info.

Emanuela provided dinner all 4 nights of our stay for 20 euros per person. Excellent local/regional meals made with locally sourced products, some of the best of our trip(homemade tortelloni and tortellini were some of the highlights). Rooms and baths were spacious and comfortable. Heated floors.

Emanuela was able to arrange tours of an organic parmigiano cheese making co-op (Caseificio Santa Rita), an artisan maker of Modena ham, an artisan sausage maker, and an artisan small winery (TerraQuilia). She also pointed us to several castles in the area and would have arranged a tour of an artisan chocolate maker if we had been interested.

Her husband Massimo took us to visit neighbors who milked the rare breed Bianca Modenese. Some of our tours started earlier than Emanuela's scheduled breakfast times but she adjusted for us.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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