Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the busiest day of the year in colorno, to my photographic delight.

Colorno is a sleepy, quiet town. on tuesdays and fridays a multitude of stalls fill the piazza girabaldi selling fruits, vegetables, electronics, various home goods, cured meats and cheese, roasted chickens, pots of herbs and can i say awful? clothing. but only until noon. also, at any time of the day you can find people sitting on the steps by the wall of the piazza or having a social cigarette outside the tabaccheria. but it's still a quiet life here. however, on sunday, the whole town seemed alive, packed with so many people coming to see the flower exhibition in the gardens of the ducal palace. everywhere you looked you could see people walking around with their arms full of flowering plants.

with no garden and no green thumb, i wasn't expecting too much and not too thrilled to have to pay 7euro to enter the gardens we can go into every other day for free! but i figured, this must be the biggest event of the year in colorno, it must be worth it. but, dios mios, i had a ball. i think arina, her friend limor from sweden and i walked around for at least 4 hours.

the flowers were gorgeous and fragrant,
the garden decorations looked artistic not tacky,
we tested our honey-tasting knowledge on hundreds of samples,
we sampled and bought creamy DOP cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves,

we chatted with a chocolatier from near venice who invited us to come visit,
we ate and introduced limor to torta fritta, salumi mista e sparkling vino bianco in plastic cups underneath the trees that reminded me of munich biergartens, 
we made promises of planting and growing our own plants and vegetables on our balcony

we tried on floppy flowery hats, 

exotic spices and sprays & teas of herbs promised us cures for every disease and ache,
scented soaps sought to quench the aroma in the air where the fresh flowers couldn't, 
we lay in the grass and watched children run around - uncreepily- then seasonal allergies scratched my entire body and tickled the back of my throat and nose,
we fell in love again with antica corte pallavicino where we sampled salami and fontera sparkling red wine and promised to visit (via biciclettas nuovas) on sundays when it sounds like they have a farmers market and then compared our store bought eggs, garlic, and asparagus to the ones we bought there,
i'll take two please.
stalls sold antiques furniture, house goods, and vintage dresses and jewelry that looked like they were straight out of an anthropologie catalogue,
we bought foccaccia genovese to try because the sign said it was a slow food presidio - obviously we had to - meanwhile, a bride and groom were having their wedding pictures taken in the garden amongst the hundreds of people - i'm sure much to the photographer's despair,
if i wasn't on a student's budget i would've bought all the products to try and if my camera battery wasn't blinking on low, i could've taken a hundred more pictures.

1 comment:

Shauna said...

after posting this, i think i will write my newsletter pitch on how we applied what we have learned in school so far in the most unusual place - a flower show. we've had lessons on tasting honey, chocolate, cheese, and cured meats - all which we sampled and tried to use our expertise to determine the quality for sale amongst the flowers and herbs. then we went home with our new produce and tasted the difference between the farm stand and the store bought.