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Travel Thought for the Week

“Most of my treasured memories of travel are recollections of sitting.”
– Robert Allen, How to Survive the Age of Travel

Italian town issues 58,000 speeding tickets

The village of Acquetico, located in the mountains near the Italian Riviera, made news recently after catching more than 58,000 speeders in a two week period.

Traffic cameras have become a common feature on the roads in Europe, in streets passing through small villages, as well as on the main highways.The cameras are triggered by a radar detector set to the maximum posted speed limit. If you exceed the limit, the camera takes a picture of your car and license plate – if you're not paying attention, you may not even know you've been caught until you receive a traffic fine in the mail a few weeks later. And don't think the fact that you're in a rental car means you're off the hook – as the registered owner of the car, the rental car company will receive the ticket. They'll pay it, and then charge your credit card for the cost of the fine, plus an administrative fee.

See and taste – Parmigiano-Reggiano

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – aka Parmesan – does not come in a green can. The real stuff looks like this, a wheel of fabulous cheese that weighs almost 100 pounds and has spent 12 to 18 months (or more) aging in special cellars. Although you can buy an entire wheel, that's a little too much cheese for most people to consume in a reasonable amount of time. Usually the wheel will be cut into wedges before being sold at markets, but it's very important that the rind remains as part of the wedge.

The rind is imprinted with a huge amount of information, including the dairy that produced the cheese, the date of production, and – most importantly – the oval-shaped Parmigiano-Reggiano brand. That brand signifies that it has passed a quality control inspection by a cheese expert. If the wheel has minor defects, the inspector will mark the rind with diagonal slices. The cheese can still be sold, but it will be obvious that it's a lower quality. If there are serious problems with the wheel, like a large air bubble that would allow bacteria to form, the wheel is broken up and fed to pigs.

Join us on our tour of Uncrowded Italy in April 2019 and you'll see Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese being made. We'll visit a small dairy to experience all of the phases of production, from cooking the milk and forming the initial mass, to the salt bath and the aging cellars. Best of all, we'll finish off with samples of the aged cheese.

We still have two seats available on our Uncrowded Italy tour. You'll find more details here.

Travel Thought for the Week

“Wherever you go, you will receive impressions of the places you see and the people you meet. Don’t forget that those people will receive impressions of you.”
– Broughton Waddy and Ralph Townley, A Word or Two Before You Go

Just a man and his goat

Commuters on Paris's Métro were surprised to find a man traveling with his goat.

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