Italian Language Blog

A Relaxing Trip – Part 1 Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

I once read that on average it takes about 20 minutes for a couple in a car to start arguing about navigation or driving styles. Well, I guess I’m lucky then, because last Friday it took me and Geoff about 40 minutes before war broke out!

We had decided to keep Friday work free, and treat ourselves to a day trip somewhere new. It was my choice to go and visit Salsomaggiore Terme, near Parma in Emilia Romagna, largely because of the images I’d seen on the Internet showing some impressive Stile Liberty (Art Nouveau) architecture.


Terme Berzieri a Salsomaggiore Terme

Thursday evening I checked the route from Pontremoli to Salsomaggiore on Google Maps. It suggested a “panoramic route” across country which seemed to wind a bit, but not too badly. “Seguiamo la strada panoramica all’andata e poi al ritorno prendiamo quella più dritta e semplice” I thought … without consulting the driver, a.k.a. Geoff.

So, Friday morning we set off, Geoff at the wheel and me navigating: “A15 verso Parma, usciamo a Fornovo Taro” I tell Geoff, who immediately gets suspicious: “Non è quella terribile strada che abbiamo fatto l’altra volta per andare a Velleia, quella con ventimila tornanti?” he asks. “No, non ti preoccupare, è un’altra” I reply.

We get to Fornovo Taro and without too much difficulty we find our road towards Salsomaggiore Terme. After a couple of kilometres Geoff’s suspicion resurfaces: “Questa è la stessa strada dell’altra volta”. “No, I try to reassure him, non è la stessa, questa è una strada panoramica”.

Well, geographically it’s not actually the same road, but as it turns out, it’s pretty much an exact replica. Geoff’s prediction becomes reality: what looked so promising for the first few kilometres soon becomes little more than a narrow, very curvy roller coaster of a farm track, with little chance to look at the panorama due to the levels of concentration needed to keep the car on the road. We spend much of the journey staring at the hind quarters of smelly slow moving tractors and lorries. “Porca puttana, questo cazzo di camion non mi fa passare!” curses Geoff, cheerfully.

Finally, after what seems like about 5 hours (probably about 40 minutes), we reach Salsomaggiore Terme. We’re feeling decidedly car sick! However, instead of the expected delightful Liberty Style architecture we are greeted by streets of dismal grey anonymous buildings. I’ll spare you il bisticcio (the quarrel) which followed our arrival. Let’s just say that after exhausting his extensive vocabulary of Italian parolacce, Geoff became dangerously quiet and sullen.

Now, I don’t want to speak badly of Salsomaggiore Terme, as it’s actually a pretty interesting town, especially if you like Liberty architecture. But let’s put it this way: if you happen to be passing by, it’s worth a look. But if it’s out of your way, and especially if it entails traversing so called ‘panoramic routes’ to get there, you have far better options in the area, as you’ll find out in my next blog.

Coming soon: the discovery of two pretty little towns saves the day.

You can find Part 2 in HERE

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  1. Bahia Philpot:

    How interesting and surprising to see this post, particularly the picture – Thanks! I visited it circa 3 anni fa!

    Love your posts. Catching up

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