At the end of this post, someone steals my bike.

I spent this last weekend in the suburbs of the city of Reggio Emilia, spending time with my boss’s in-laws and seeing the sights. I admit, it felt a little weird taking up an invite such as that, but maybe that is just the culture here. It seems to beat America’s culture in this regard. In any case, everyone was pleasant, and the cooking was incredible. One of the gatherings occurred at a family grape farm.

An honest-to-God Ma and Pa operation.

As you can see, the area around Reggio Emilia is flat, in stark contrast to Savona. The whole area is agricultural. The street-fair I encountered here had a large wing of people show-casing the latest and greatest in farm equipment. Of course, the rest of the street-fair was much like any that I had seen in Savona. I had some excellent honey-roasted almonds and saw a display of classic scooters.

They actually shut down a piece of highway for this thing.

I guess the main improvement over the years was going from metal to plastic.

Later that day, I found further proof that Italian punks are poseurs after American culture.

Only cool dudes tag underpasses in English.

The next day, I was able to essentially stroll through a cheese factory. There was no tour. We essentially just walked around.

Here we have a bunch of milk-stirring bowl things.

Here we have what will be cheese placed in large cheese-wheel molds.

Here we have the cheese-aging wing. This is the difference between high-quality Italian cheese and, well, anything else. The cheese-wheels will spend between 18 months and two years in this climate-controlled room, before they go to market.

Later that day, we visited a small town called Maranello, where they build cars.

Cars like this.

Ferrari doesn’t give factory tours, at least not for people who can’t afford their cars. However, they do have a museum. There probably isn’t much I know about Ferrari that isn’t common knowledge, so here are some pictures.

Hey, a wind tunnel model! I didn't spend all that effort in aero classes for nothing!

You may have noticed throughout all of this that most of those pictures were of poor quality. I took all these pictures with my cell phone. That’s because I was finishing the last post here at 11:30 pm the night before an 8:19 am train out of Savona. Luckily, I anticipated doing something like that and bought tickets the day before. I packed most everything before I went to sleep. All that didn’t stop me from sleeping for twenty minutes while my alarm was going off. I took the little Nikon Coolpix off of its charger yet forgot to actually put it in its little carrier on my man satchel. In characteristic idiot fashion, I arrived at the train station six minutes before my train was set to depart. I locked my bike to some handrail and walked briskly to my train.

When I got back into Savona yesterday around 8:15 pm, my bike was gone. There were other bikes tied up all over the place, but my bike was not among them.

I’m sure I locked my bike. I always, always, always lock my bike. I even pulled the bike away from the handrail to make sure that it was stuck good. Could I have been in such a hurry as to mistake some mechanical clicking noise emanating from the lock as it being locked? Would pulling the bike from the rail in such a situation not dislodge a falsely-locked lock? Could some punk have gotten up the balls to cut my lock with a pair of bolt-cutters at a train station?

I will likely never know, but I am probably going to be doing a lot of walking in the next few months.



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