The Plan (the whole Plan)
Day 5 : Sat 26 May : Milan for the day?
Well, there's not much point referring to the plan any more. After three days dominated by driving, another 6 hours in the car for the trip to Venice was vetoed as being silly. So sacrificing Venice, Pisa and other ideas, we settled on a lazy day around Parma, and the local area.
As well as the historic city centre Parma has an extensive formal park, complete with the expected ornamental fountains and a ducal palace. And some bloody hideous statues.
We also went to the cathedral and admired the interior, while Mark went into an anticlerical rant with which we won't bore you just now. The frescoes were good, though.
Lunch was in the Citadella, a fortified section of the city. The central portion is now given over to facilities for assorted sports. But being, as we are, lazy bastards, we were more than happy to sit in the shade eating lunch while the locals played volleyball.
Regular readers will note that so far we'd not managed to visit a winery, so the afternoon was reserved for rectifying this, The guide book had a recommendation only a few km outside Parma, so off we went. Several passes up and down the road later we concluded that it must have closed, or now be under a new shopping development. Never fear, we spotted a sign to another and headed off down the back streets of Guida - to be confronted by a locked set of gates. Day 5 and no wineries - we must be slacking!
Onto Reggio nell' Emilia, a town with a very nice inner ring road, After about one and half laps we found a car park and went for a brief wander round the city.
Unfortunately, Reggio was closed. More accurately, it was preparing for the evening's entertainment - a festival called la Notte Bianca - so as well as the historic city centre we found final preparations for the nights entertainment and the theatre bedecked in ropelight. We also passed a large number of teenage girl dancers practising their routines for the evening. And no, Smithy, if you are reading this, we didn't take any photos of them.
Once back at the hotel it looked as though there was going to be a thunderstorm, so we decided that a G&T was a sensible thing to do until we were sure what the weather was doing as we didn't fancy getting wet on the walk into the city centre. The weather kept not looking suitable for going out at the end of each bottle...
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