Bonjourno! I’m headed to Imola, Italy!
Imola was the second stop in Italy and Europe for me on my three week journey. I spent two nights in Rome after arriving from Vancouver, BC. I share how I took the day to cover the whole day of Rome in another post.
You can read about hoWant to read about my day in Rome? Read about it here!
Quick stop for a smoothie for breakfast from Juice Bar, at the Tiburtina train station!
Imola had captured my heart and I still think about it even after being back in Vancouver. It is a small town of about 70,000 (okay so not that small), but it’s mostly industry workers. Shops close early, people speak little English, the roads are quiet in the morning and at night, and it smells fresh.
I took a Trenitalia train from Rome to Bologona, and then to Imola. I realized later the train station was in walking distance to my Airbnb but I ended up taking a tiny little city bus.
I stayed at an Airbnb with one of the best hosts. He not only gave me amazing recommendations of things to do in Imola, but while exploring that afternoon I came back to a written list of things I could do the next day in Bologna. He even did my laundry! And you’re probably thinking that’s a little creepy, but I did need a few items washed. I left them in a bin in the morning on day 2 and when I came home they were drying. Breakfast was also included. They have a little section of the kitchen with cereal, croissants, juice boxes in the fridge and espresso makers! It took me about three times and a few google searches to get the hang of making espresso in the most simple machine, but it worked!
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In Imola I didn’t even need to take transit. Everything in within the town, of Imola, without going to the outskirts was walk able, and you would want to walk, it’s so beautiful!
Heavily Italian, you really better have your Italian basics down, or some good body language. I accidentally ordered a cheese pizza enough for about 8 people because I didn’t know how to just say for myself, ha!
After checking in at my Airbnb, showering and settling my things in for two nights, I was hungry!
Lunch was at Opera Dulcis Srl by my host’s recommendation. The menu was completely in Italian, with the server speaking very little english, so lunch was a gamble! I couldn’t google translate all the words in time, before ordering.
I ended up ordering two dishes, as they had a lunch special, but wowza they were whole meals on their own. First was spaghetti, with the most delicious sauce, noodles and bits of chicken on top. I drool about it just thinking.
Second was some sort of pumpkin flan, with some crispy thingy on top. Great description eh? Well I’m not 100% sure what I actually ate, but it was a very rich pudding like texture, with pumpkin flavour with an almost sweet whipped cheese on top, which I think was ricotta. Doesn’t matter what it was, it was heavenly!
A few people I came across, mentioned that Imola, Italy is known for the automobile industry, museum and track. My dad enjoys watching the big races of the year, so I was pretty excited to go look at the Ferraris. BUT…it was closed! The whole thing was closed under construction for the time being…so no race track or museum for me, not even a sneak peek, a bummer.
I was slowly crashing by the afternoon, likely due to jet leg but I knew I had to keep exploring the town. I hoped into a little cafe, Bar Del Mercato for a €1.10 espresso shot, but was smart enough to learn the word milk for a little top up! This gave me the boost I needed.
Upon walking on my way to the castle, I passed by Palazzo Tozzoni, which was home to the Tozzoni family for five centuries. It was one of the best museum tours, €4 to get into the palace and you were given a speaker to listen to, to follow along room by room. In a cheeky tone, they described all the mischief, events and happenings that would have taken place at that time of the family living there. Highly recommend.
Finally, I made it to the castle, Rocca Forzesca. It dates back to 1261 and until the end of 15th century, the new Lord of Imola, Italy began living in a portion of the castle with his family. After sometime, it became a prison, and now a museum. It provided an awesome view of the town of Imola from almost every angle.
One of my favourite parts of Imola, was there was street signs, unlike Rome! A lot more people are cycling or walking, and all the businesses are petite and the ‘Mom and Pop’ businesses one could imagine.
I had been keeping a journal throughout this trip and I wrote this about dinner ‘When you eat where the locals eat, it must be good.’ La Lanterna sure was! The restaurant doesn’t even open until 7pm, which I thankfully was warned about by my host. Delicious pizza! A swarming little business filled with locals and a line up out the door on a Saturday night.
About 3 days before I left for this trip starting Rome I was diagnosed with strep throat. Yep full on case including antibiotics and probiotics. I need to pick me up a few extra snacks to have on hand instead of just pasta and pizza…which is hard to ignore.
Travel hack: sometimes they make you weigh your produce yourself. I bought a few bananas and apples and struggled to buy them as I needed to weigh them and get a sticker for them, whoops!
Bedtime! That was it for a day of sight seeing in Imola, which really covered the whole town in one afternoon. Next stop was a day trip of travel to Bologna.
Imola, Italy still has a piece of my heart. The simplicity of the small town, without feeling like its an ‘old person’ town, has me itching to go back. The type of city where you can get to the metropolitan cities quick by train, but come home to peaceful people, clean streets and beautiful architecture.
Steps for the day (according to my iPhone): 21, 341 | 13.7km | 27 floors
Next stop a day trip to Bologna!