EMILIA ROMAGNA: LA TERRA DELL’ORO

Oro

Chi identifica il valore delle cose?

Non voglio psicanalizzare nessuno, lascio questo arduo compito a chi si specializza in psicanalisi, volendo però fare una riflessione spicciola, il valore alle cose lo diamo unicamente noi; mia nonna usava dirmi che io valessi tutti i soldi del paese e questa era chiaramente la sua personale valutazione, ma se ci pensate bene ci sono molte cose prima degli oggetti preziosi ad avere valore.

Nella scoperta dell’Emilia Romagna ci sono storie che parlano di Oro che si trova in forme diverse e che non centrano nulla con il metallo delle parure nascoste negli armadi dei nostri antenati; qui l’Oro può essere Nero o Bianco, ecco perché….

Una delle tradizioni che si sviluppa solo in territorio d’Emilia e più in specifico Modena e Reggio Emilia, vede la produzione di uno dei più preziosi condimenti al mondo, tanto da essere considerato Oro nero, avete già capito parliamo di Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale!

Balsamico

Ma perché un condimento dovrebbe essere paragonato all’oro?

Dovete andare oltre il mero valore dei carati e capire che dentro ad una tradizione secolare c’è il valore del segreto tramandato di famiglia in famiglia, la selezione ed il lavoro del legno, la pazienza del tempo e la cura di ogni dettaglio che si rivela solo nel momento in cui una goccia incontra il nostro palato ed esalta la nostra salivazione lasciandoci estasiati e l’unica cosa che possiamo fare è goderci quell’istante e ringraziare del privilegio concessoci, solo in quel momento capirete il valore dell’Oro nero, quando chiuderete gli occhi e i vostri sensi saranno appagati.

Spostandoci lungo la costa adriatica invece incontriamo la storia dell’Oro bianco per il quale sono state fatte battaglie e che in molti hanno voluto controllare, il Sale!

Saline

In epoca romana infatti il sale era il mezzo di pagamento dei soldati, ecco quindi spiegata l’origine della parola Salario, prima ancora di essere considerato l’alimento che oggi compriamo per pochi centesimi al supermercato, era ciò che conservava il cibo e per questo porta con sé storie di combattimenti per il suo controllo, chi ne possedeva di più era più ricco e le Saline di Cervia sono state motivo di screzi tra la terra di Romagna e la Serenissima che aveva capito molto bene il suo valore e sapeva che chi controllava il sale aveva la moneta di scambio più preziosa, anche Dante aveva provato a mediare questa sfida, ma per chi si ricorda la storia, non finì bene.

A voler essere romantici e usare la libertà letteraria si potrebbe dire che qui abbiamo anche l’Oro giallo, quel giallo di tuorlo che ci dona la sfoglia con la quale prepariamo i piatti della miglior cucina del mondo e qui non c’è divisione, nelle cucine di Emilia e Romagna sapienti Rasdore lavorano a mano l’impasto che si trasformerà in Tagliatelle, Tortelli, Ravioli, Cappelletti, Tortellini, Lasagne e tante altre tradizioni che valorizzano la tavola assieme ad amici e famiglie che sono il vero Oro della nostra vita.

Per chi a questo punto è curioso o gli è semplicemente venuta fame, ha comunque un motivo per venire in terra d’Emilia Romagna e concedersi di assaggiare il nostro Oro.

THE WORLD ON 2 WHEELS AND 2 PEDALS

bici

Before we became slaves of the 4 wheels and Mr. Ford revolutionized our travels, the bike was certainly the best way to move and own a bicycle was a source of pride among friends and relatives.

To understand the value that a bicycle could have at the beginning of the last century, think that few could afford to buy a bicycle and often only by paying installments for ten years, very numerous families shared a single bicycle that was usually for use by the head of household and in turn for others.

Emilia Romagna has contributed many innovations to the world of cycling, sometimes revolutionizing the welding phase, others discovering paints that created astonishment in people; there are many names that should be mentioned for improving even a detail of the bicycle world, here we recall Linicio Marastoni born in Reggio Emilia in 1922 and became famous by the United States to Japan for being the tailor of the bicycles he treated with extreme care and perfectionism, we still remember Mario Martini the first in the world to donate the faded paint revolutionizing the way of “dressing” bicycles, with him the ability that makes Italian style able to give elegance and recognition to each of our creation.

Martini vernici

Emilia Romagna is the second Italian region for cycling tourists, the territory is pleasant to go through, going from easy paths to flat areas, passing through designed hills and after stopping at some farm or a spa, you reach the top to the Apennines for the toughest routes; the region has been very active in rediscovering forgotten places that can be lived again today and that are ready to tell their story with enthusiasm and who passed us there before and left a trace.

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The symbol of the bicycle has adapted to many scenes, from the postman who leads his vehicle with devotion and care to complete his honest work as best he can, to share a ride with a friend to go to town or with the girl just conquered with the promise of perhaps teaching her to ride a bicycle, finally the scenario that gave more character to this means of transport was the sport and all the competition with which you can push two pedals and cut a finish line.

The human being is characterized by the symbols it creates and the bicycle started as the passion of young boys who had learned to weld two tubes and who saw a dream in those tubes, or they looked at a naked frame when they invented a work art able to win not only for technical skills, but also for style; the next step was attacking an engine and creating the first motor bike signed by a still young Ducati factory and sold all over the world.

bicimotore

The common point of all these stories is the Idea that comes into your head without warning and immediately afterwards the Passion arrives that suggests that what you thought is right and the only thing to do is to reach the goal, this is the starting point of many Italian companies made up of dreamers who first of all were artisans and as such the only thing they could do was build something that would make them enter history.

IL MONDO SU 2 RUOTE E 2 PEDALI

bici

Prima che diventassimo schiavi delle 4 ruote ed il Sig. Ford rivoluzionasse i nostri spostamenti, la bici era di certo il miglior modo di spostarsi e possedere una bicicletta era motivo di vanto tra amici e parenti.

Per capire il valore che una bicicletta potesse avere all’inizio del secolo scorso, pensate che in pochi potevano permettersi di acquistare una bicicletta e spesso solo a rate per dieci anni, le famiglie molto numerose condividevano una sola bicicletta che di solito era ad uso del capofamiglia e a turno per gli altri.

L’Emilia Romagna ha contribuito con molte innovazioni al mondo del ciclismo, a volte rivoluzionando la fase della saldatura, altre scoprendo verniciature che creavano stupore nelle persone; ci sono molti nomi che andrebbero citati per aver migliorato anche solo un dettaglio del mondo della bicicletta, qui ricordiamo Linicio Marastoni anno 1922 nato a Reggio Emilia e diventato famoso dagli Stati Uniti al Giappone per essere stato il sarto delle biciclette che ha trattato con estrema cura e perfezionismo, ancora ricordiamo Mario Martini il primo al mondo a donare ai telai la vernice sfumata rivoluzionando il modo di “vestire” le biciclette, con lui si è consolidata quella capacità che rende lo stile italiano in grado di donare eleganza e riconoscibilità ad ogni nostra creazione.

Martini vernici

L’Emilia Romagna è la seconda regione italiana per presenze cicloturistiche, il territorio si presenta piacevole da percorrere, andando da percorsi facili in zone pianeggianti, passando per colline disegnate e dopo una sosta in qualche azienda agricola o una stazione termale, si arriva in cima agli appennini per i percorsi più tosti; la regione si è attivata molto per riscoprire luoghi dimenticati che oggi si possono vivere nuovamente e che sono pronti a raccontare con entusiasmo la loro storia e chi prima di noi di li ci è passato e ha lasciato una traccia.

Per maggiori info ecco il Sito web

Il simbolo della bicicletta si è adatto a tante scene, dal postino che conduce il suo mezzo con devozione e cura per portare a termine al meglio il suo onesto lavoro, alla condivisione di una corsa con l’amico per andare in paese oppure con la ragazza appena conquistata con la promessa magari di insegnarle a condurre una bicicletta, infine lo scenario che ha dato più carattere a questo mezzo di trasporto è stato lo sport e tutto l’agonismo con cui si possono spingere due pedali e tagliare un traguardo.

L’essere umano si contraddistingue per i simboli che crea e la bicicletta è partita come la passione di giovani ragazzi che avevano imparato a saldare due tubi e che in quei tubi hanno visto un sogno, oppure guardando un telaio nudo si sono inventati un’opera d’arte in grado di vincere non solo per competenze tecniche, ma anche per stile; il passo successivo è stato attaccarci un motore e creare il primo bicimotore firmato da una ancora giovane fabbrica Ducati e venduta in tutto il mondo.

bicimotore
Di Yesterdays Antique Motorcycles en Classic Motorcycle Archive, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2952266

Il punto comune di tutte queste storie è l’Idea che ti spunta in testa senza avvertire e subito dopo arriva la Passione che ti suggerisce che quello che hai pensato è giusto e l’unica cosa da fare è raggiungere l’obbiettivo, questo è il punto di partenza di tante aziende italiane costituite da sognatori che prima di tutto erano artigiani e come tali l’unica cosa che potevano fare era costruire qualcosa che li facesse entrare nella storia.

THE MARKETS OF EMILIA ROMAGNA

The market is the symbol of the most primordial system of commerce born on the Earth and since Roman times it is still the place of the most lively city and that best represents the traditions, therefore it becomes the mirror of the population itself and can be counted of different nature, from food to flowers, or to those that bring antique pieces to light ready to be sold or exchanged.

The law of the market is that of the highest bidder, everything can be negotiated and if you are quite shrewd you always arrive at a compromise by subtracting the deal from others; around the world there are places that have become famous for the practices and traditions that take place on time, such as the Tokyo fish market with its exciting tuna auction that sees huge checks flown over even before the sun rises.

The market is just that, it’s the start of the day and of life in urban centers, where every now and then the curious tourist happens to see the folklore of the city he is visiting.

In Emilia Romagna there are splendid examples of covered or square markets, some very old and that continue to sell the freshest and most cultivated km 0 there is, so try to skip the mall for once and visit the nearest market to you, you could see another aspect of the city, the most authentic one.

MARKETS FOR EMILIA ROMAGNA NOT TO BE MISSED

In any city of Emilia Romagna you will find yourself, from Piacenza to Ravenna, you will find its weekly market usually in the main square ready to show its merchandise to those in search of business, while if you are looking for a bit of history or of ancient structures then mark these places:

  • In Reggio Emilia the old covered market has been transformed into a modern store, but it is still possible to see its original structure in the upper part and on the wall’s old signs, even if modernity sometimes takes away the charm of history, it is understandable that this place was an important social center for the city.
  • The Albinelli market in Modena is still a very lively point of commerce that sees and makes you feel the best techniques to attract customers, both habitual and occasional, during your visit you will be pleasantly struck by a world composed of smells, colors and real-life noises.
  • Bologna has a wonderful and ancient quadrilateral composed of ‘Botteghe’ that look out on narrow streets, you will have to be careful not to get lost if you are not good hounds; I advise you to stop at the middle market for lunch, in fact it offers every type of culinary choice and satisfies every type of request or specific diet.
  • A real treasure is enclosed in the ancient market of Comacchio that between brick roads and those made of water creates an interesting labyrinth in which to get lost and then take a break to taste eel and anchovies.
  • An ancient fish market that today is home to expanses of flowers is the old Roman market of Rimini which overlooks Piazza Cavour and which still has an almost intact structure, in the evening this place becomes the meeting point for university students and for all those who they want to spend an evening in the company of a glass of Sangiovese or a cold beer.

The markets bring with them centuries of traditions, styles and trends, try to think that in the squares where we walk today people of all kinds have passed, from the brigand always ready to be the smartest to survive, to the leader who brought back peace in the city and put an end to a battle.

The markets never realized too much about what was happening around them, the important thing was to arrive at the end of the day, rest a bit and then start again at dawn the next day, but the markets are the best school to learn how to sell and retain customers and do so without newsletters or loyalty cards, but only with the experience and skillful communicative art.

CHAPTER #4: MODENA

Modena is interesting on a gloomy day too and if you arrive by train you will have to ponder how to begin your visit, in fact from the station there is the possibility to walk to the Enzo Ferrari House, the Ducal Gardens or the wonderful center.

I’ll tell you about my day of exploration starting from the Gallery of Statues, discovered by chance and that marked the beginning of my day in the best way; the gallery is home to the Venturi Art Institute and from outside it will be possible to see young hands shape terracotta, stucco and ceramics.

The marvelous Piazza Roma is waiting to be crossed with a visit to the atrium of the Military Academy, the pride of this city for the memory of those killed in the war, but also to emphasize military life as hard and necessary for our country.

Once you get out, put the building behind you and start the real exploration, go straight to an attraction that will leave you pleasantly open-mouthed and full then … while you walk the streets of Modena you won’t know where to turn your head, because from the floors to the ceilings of the arcades, everything is testimony to centuries of history or bold modern style tests.

When you will be in front of the Albinelli Market take a moment to light up all your senses and have a typical and traditional experience, it will immediately be your sense of smell to react because in the proximity of the market and a little in all the streets of the city from the morning you will smell the scent of ‘soffritto’ and freshly baked bread, to follow your hearing will make you understand the ancient and good manners of making traders and how they spoke to the mother of a family as children, but like her children, she never gets fooled, finally the vista will make your head spin in the bright colors of fruit and vegetables, beautiful pieces of meat ready to cook, the red of genuine wines and the perfection of sweets made as works of art.

After you have tested your watering, move to the Piazza Grande and feed your spirit of art with the historical rooms of the town hall, climbing the tower Ghirlandina and entering the Duomo; this concentrated circuit of palaces, history and art will make you postpone lunch for an hour, to feed the view again with examples of sculpture and architecture beautifully placed in harmony, you will also find curiosities and interesting stories that come from the past, such as that of Secchia or of the strange mythological animals that make up the outer sides of the Duomo, but I leave you to reveal these mysteries.

A passage that I found very nice is the Artistic Craft Market which on the Via Emilia for 6 months a year is the meeting place for artisans from all over Italy who sell unique pieces for material and workmanship and which show the potential of Italian creativity as well as remember the preciousness of objects made by slow and careful hands.

When it is finally time to have lunch you will be spoiled for choice and you will be free to lose yourself between aperitifs in the bars, eat in the market delis or stop in a traditional trattoria; my choice was the Trattoria Aldina which is located on the 1st floor of a condominium and just like a friend’s house hosts you, I highly recommend to book, or to have the patience to wait for a free table, guaranteeing that it’s worth it , feeling at home is the most beautiful experience, feeling like an Italian home is even better.

One thing that I often see are “solitary tourists” who with their beautiful guide try to discover the classic myths of the city or are more curious and go where not even we inhabitants go; there is no single style to visit a city and the best is always the casual one that sometimes leads you to discover by chance the most beautiful wonders.