Marjorie Eisenach shares her experiences with all things Italian during her international travels.
Prosciutto, Parmigiano, Parmigianino, Pilotta, e Pizza…
We have loved visiting Parma for many years and have often wondered why it is not more frequented by tourists. We enjoy eating as much prosciutto and parmigiano as is humanly possible, but this trip we have to mention that we ate the best pizza of our three months in Italy in an upscale pizzeria in the center of Parma, Al Corsaro, www.ristorantealcorsaro.com.
My other P is for the Palazzo della Pilotta, often simply called the Pilotta. It took me a few years to figure out that “pilotta” does not mean “pilot” but rather comes from the word for an ancient Basque game called pelota or pilotta in Italian. The game was played by Spanish soldiers in the courtyard of the palace. Today the palace and surrounding buildings are a museum complex which include the amazing Teatro Farnese, plus he Galleria Nazionale di Parma as well as several other museums.
The Galleria Nazionale typically houses Parmigianino’s “Schiava Turca,” a painting of an unidentified woman with bewitching hazel eyes and a mischievous semi-smile, currently on loan to the Frick in NYC. My daughters’ favorite paintings in the collection is of a young maiden by Leonardo di Vinci called “La Scapigliata.” Time to add Parma to your list of cities to visit in Italy!
Marjorie helps American and British travelers build their Italian language skills and learn about Italian culture, sites and events so they can get the most out of their time spent in the country. Visit www.italyanditalian.com to get in touch with her!