Mama's Got A Brand New Bag

Italy Tour 2012 Day 8
Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Fidenza Village after the siege

There's only one word for today - shopping. Or maybe one phrase - shop 'til you drop!

It was sad to say goodbye to the Cinque Terre and Monterosso, but we employed retail therapy to alleviate the pain.  Our friends told us about a great market on Wednesday mornings in Levanto, so we hopped in the van and scooted off to Levanto for a quick stop before the drive to the Veneto.The shopping was good and we loaded up on everything from breadsticks to handbags. We now have at least one purse each. Karla has enough that today she changed from her 'morning bag' to her 'afternoon bag' just because she could.

Our next stop was Fidenza village, an upscale outlet mall outside of Parma. Originally intended to be a "stretch your legs" stop on the drive to Verona, it became a true shopping mission as we explored outlet shops from Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, Missoni, Armani, and some we'd never heard that are new favorites. We found great gifts for our families and friends and ourselves.

We finally got to the Veneto and checked into our rooms at the Musella Winery and Relais, a lovely agriturismo in San Martino Buon Albergo. Not only a B&B, Musella is an operating winery. The rooms are lovely and the comfy public spaces lure you in to relax and hang out.

Dinner was at the Le Cedrare in Illasi where it appeared we would be joining a wedding party in the beautiful courtyard. Instead we took our seats around a square table in the eighteenth century Villa Perez Pompei-Sagramoso. Serena, a saint, kept up with all of our food intolerances and served us an amazing meal. Karla picked wines of the region to complement our food. We started with Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta Brut, a lively white made in the méthode champenoise. Next came a Soave by Monte Ceriani, followed by Le Ragose, a classic Valpolicella. It was a delightful evening.

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