Pranzo con mamma (lunch with mom)

Pranzo con mamma (lunch with mom)

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Well, not my mother. That would be impossible.  Last weekend I went with my friend and teacher, Claudia, from the school to visit her mother in Mesola. I had exchanged emails with her mother when I was still in California and enjoyed our exchanges. One weekend, some weeks ago, her mother Cinzia came to Bologna to visit Claudia and we had dinner together. It was a pleasant evening and, amazingly enough I could understand almost everything that Cinzia said. So we decided on a visit. She lives in a small town (7000 inhabitants according to Wikipedia) near the delta of the Po river. She’s retired but appears much younger than her 60 years. She’s a very lively and active woman with a lot of interests.
Claudia and I shared the cost for a car rental. It was 57 euros to rent a FIAT 500 for the day. Such a cute little car and functions very well. Perhaps you remember 20 or 30 years ago before Fiat left the american market and was known as F.I.A.T. – Fix It Again Tony. Well, those days are long gone. Fiat makes very good cars now. I couldn’t rent it because I don’t have raised numbers on my credit card – I must remember to get that card changed – keep this in mind if you wish to come to Italy (or perhaps anywhere in Europe) to rent a car. Claudia doesn’t have a car so naturally doesn’t drive often so it was interesting at first. You know how it is when someone is not used to the clutch with a standard transmission? A lot of lurching during her learning process with the car. In any case it was a pleasant drive to Mesola with a brief stop or two along the way.  I took my camera but, alas, totally forgot about it so I had to find some photos on the web except the one with is obviously mine. So I don’t have a picture of Cinzia but Claudia is supposed to provide one and I’ll update this post then. UPDATE: I did receive a picture of Cinzia which is the first one in the post.
Cinzia had prepared a terrific lunch for us. There was capeletti, a stuffed pasta much like ravioli but round with ragu’. Followed by a terrific roast and  a salad. Then we had some kind of very thin chocolate tort with ice cream. Of course there was wine,water and coffee as well.
After lunch Cinzia took me on a tour around the area. The first stop was at the Castella Mesola which was one of those small hunting lodges that the nobility had – in this case the Este family from Ferrara. In the structures surrounding the castella which were once stables are a bunch of little shops and at least one bar where we had a coffee.
Then we were off to see a structure that spanned one of the many canals in the area that was used for regulating the flow of water. Like so many things in Italy this was centuries old. We then went in the vicinity of the Bosco (forest) Mesola where the Este went to hunt and is now a large park. The final stop was at the Abbey of Pomposa. A beautiful tower and church as well as a bunch of other structures where the monks lived. We toured the abbey and a small museum. Beautiful like so many things here but at least I was really wilting from the heat.
It was a pleasant afternoon but the fun was not over. Since it was getting a little late, we took the autostrada back. When we entered the autostrada Claudia inadvertantly went into the lane where you need to have a transponder – you know one of those things that you have in your car to automatically pay the toll? Well, of course the car didn’t have one so we had to prevail upon the car behind us to back up so we could do that same. A lot of gesturing and cursing but thank god there was only one car behind us. Then there was the fun when we had to pay the toll and were a little far from the toll booth and Claudia practically climbed out of the window to get the change from the toll payment.
It was one of those days that really humanizes the country for me. A day as not just a tourist but a guest and having day to day adventures.

2 Responses to “Pranzo con mamma (lunch with mom)”

  1. Claudia Says:

    Grazie Joe,
    è stata davvero una giornata molto piacevole! … e io alla guida sono eccezionale!! :-)) La prossima volta che torni magari andiamo a fare un giro in barca nel delta del Po, o andiamo a visitare Comacchio, un vero gioiellino tra le paludi. Un abbraccio

  2. Joe Says:

    Si’ eri una brava guidatore, siamo sopravvissuti ;^). E tua mamma era una guida turistica eccezionale. Non vedo l’ora di quando tornaro’ in Italia ed a Mesola.


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