Subject: Re: Emila-Romagna
Your directions are perfect and of course Sig. Pedroni sells balsamic - several different ages and different prices. Ask to taste his oldest - its about 25 years old - molto caro - but worth it. Also, his Nocino - a walnut liquore - is one of the best I've ever tried. After dinner, he will offer you up to a dozen liquore to sample. One day we just couldn't communicate what one was made from and every patron in the Osteria was trying to help translate. His son kept pointing to his arm and scratching it, while trying to translate. Finally, Sig. Pedroni went to the telephone, called a freind, and came back to our table. Poison Ivy liquore, said. Try to go for lunch and sit outside, weather permiting - but don't try to drive too far afterwards, if you try all his liquore.

Another must if you're in that area is Arnaldo's in Rubiera - just a few km north on the Via Emilia from the Modena Nord exit on A1. Anyone who calls their restaurant the Clinica Gastronomica must be great. The menu never changes - always perfection. Arnaldo died a few years ago and it's all operated by his children and grandchildren - look at Arnaldo's picture on the wall, then you'll have no trouble picking out his offspring. Nearly everything is served from carts, so you can choose what you want to taste. If you ask, they will give you a small sampling of everything on each cart. The boiled and roasted meats are some of the best I've ever tried. Stay with the house Lambrusco in both restaurants. Also, there is a great hotel upstairs with very nice rooms. A large room is less $100 - dinner for 2 is less than $100 total. Fax them at (0522) 628145 for reservations - reservations are a must for dinner. We've been there at least a dozen times and it's always perfect. Rubiera is a wealthy little down. Friday night is a great night to stay there, as the local market is on Saturday mornings.

Another great little place is the Gaidello Club in Castelfranco Emilia - only a few km from the Osteria di Rubiara. Sadly, it's been written up many times in travel articles and most of the overnight guests are Americans. Signora Bini - the owner - is one of the most lovely ladies on this planet. She has several apartments if you want to spend the night - Apartment Nord is our favorite. She hires only local women to cook for her and you can spend the whole afternoon watching them if you want. Her meals are seven courses family style and are very typical of the area. One night she knew we were going to the Sig. Pedroni's Osteria - I told her how much I enjoy his Nocino. Upon returning to our room that night, there was a bottle of her Nocino in our apartment with two glasses and everytime since, she gives me a bottle upon departure. She is such a dear, dear lady.

Bill Sutherland