Bertinoro is so beautiful and easily accessible that I’m sure I will visit it very frequently! This time I spent the afternoon aimlessly roaming the cobblestone streets with my lovely new adventure friend Fabrizio. He drove us up to my favorite Medieval hill-top town just as the sun was turning everything gold, marking the last few hours before sunset.. the time of day my friends and I like to refer to as “the golden hour”.
We watched the sun set gracefully beneath the multicolored sky and witnessed the golden light slowly retract from surrounding hills and mountains. We walked around this charming town for a bit that is intricately laced with the smallest cobblestone roads. Bertinoro is small with a lot of history.. complete with churches from the 1600s, brick buildings, statues, a 1000 year old castle and the best views! This glorious regional balcony overlooks Romagna perfectly and you can see the Adriatic Sea if you look hard enough!
After some curious adventuring and walking around ogling the sites and views, we stopped for piadina. Piadina a delicious and overly traditional bread typical to Romagna sometimes called Pida. Overly traditional because I would go as far to say that Romagnoli eat piadina more frequently than pizza! Piadina is basically a thick tortilla, similar to pita but thinner, and is typically served warm and sliced into triangles. It is served in a verity of ways and is most commonly used for sandwiches but I enjoy it best when used for deserts! On this stupendous day, Fabrizio and I shared warm sliced piadina caked with nutella and generously sprinkled with coconut flakes! I never thought I’d ever think to myself “hmm, this is too much nutella” but it was, in the best way! MMM. MMM. MMM.
On that note, I should mention that another common appellation for Bertinoro is “the town of hospitality” hence the column in the town center (or the nutella?) adjacent to the Roman style clock tower. Wikipedia quotes the following about the columns: “Colonna delle Anelle (“Column of the Ring” or “Column of hospitality”). It is a column in white stone with 12 rings erected in 1300 by the noble families of the town to show their hospitality. Each one of the rings corresponded to one family, when the foreigners arrived in the town and tied the horse bridles to a ring they selected their host.” After the family was selected they would generously host their traveling guest for the length of his stay. This method was presented as a solution to eliminate the feuds between families from their over zealous desires to host foreign visitors.
We spent a nice amount of time working on my Italian vocabulary and grammar at a picnic table by a 1000 year old castle over looking Romagna. I love watching the star-like street lights and headlights dance in the distant from an elevated view at night. By the time I was eating pizza with my friendly Italian adventure companionin in another castle a short drive away I was overwhelmed with giggily excitement.. the kind you get when reality hits you and you experience a “this can’t be real!” moment and you can’t stop smiling and are quite possible crying a little.. it was too perfect! I just kept thinking yeah, I’m in Italy, this is Italy.. I am eating pizza, in a castle!! TOO PERFECT…