The first thing people say about Parma is something to do with Ham. Ham, and also cheese.

Yes. I must say, ham is featured a lot here, and takes up a larger section in the supermarket than is proportionately usual.

The people here are calm, happy and seem contented. My day goes something like this:

I wake up and sometimes go for a small jog, from our apartment which backs onto the Parma botanical gardens, across the dry river, to Parco Ducale, around the pond once, and then I return.

Then, I have a coffee on the corner of our street, Borgo Felino, and Strada Farini – at Farini Cafe. The barman Luca knows I like to take a cappuccino. Usually the people in there all know each other, and as they stand at the bar taking their coffees, it’s a bit of a social event! Carlo, my landlord came in the other day, and greeted most of the people there.

After my coffee and juice or croissant, I take my bike and ride to the university, which is a funny experience because absolutely everyone rides bikes: young or old, and it’s a bit of a bike peak hour in the morning. I am always taken over by older ladies who cheerfully call things to me as they fly past!

The grocer where I buy my peaches and salads calls out in the mornings as I go past, “ciao Bella! Buon lavoro!”, and the waiters at the restaurants along Strada Farini smile and wave hello. Parma is very tiny.. It’s a friendly place.

After work finishes, I usually ride home, pick up some vegetables on the way from the grocer who always gives me a little present of a date, or a bunch of grapes, or a peach. Then I go to the gym and try to work off all the Mortadella and Tortelli della erbetta…

Now I’ll pack for my weekend trip to Paris to spend time with my cousin.

My friend just sent me the address for the cafe where we will meet for lunch on Île Saint Louis. 6 rue Jean du Bellay! 

My cousin has a place in the 11th Arr.

Sorry for the inanity of this post: coffee, juice, coffee, shoes, weekend plans! Life is very laid back at the moment 🙂 

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