Where in the world is Leslie?

The Region – Emilia Romagna

Italy’s wealthiest wheat and dairy producing region (or so says my travel book). On the Po River, it is known for its culinary traditions, having in its borders…Parma (of the famed parmigiano and prosciutto), Bologna (of the famed Bolognese and Mortadella) and Modena (of the famed balsamic vinegar).

The Province & the Big City –
Piacenza – Population 95,132
The Province I live in, it takes me 1 hour by bus and a 45 minute walk to get here, to my only internet connection. It was one of the 1st Roman colonies and was the longtime headquarters for Julias Caesar. The city is quite pretty, with a moderate amount of shopping, that is only open arbitrarily. The region of Piacenza is known for its cured meats (coppa, salame, pancetta), pasta (anolini, pisarei e faso, gnocchi, panzerotti and tortelli con la coda) and its main courses of duck, guinea fowl, and cavallo (horse!). The province is known as the Province of Castles, but I have yet to see one.
The Commune (Municipality)
Borgonova Val Tidone – Population 7,483
The town closest to where I live. I can bike here in 15 minutes, or walk in 45minutes. There is one main street with a small piazza, Piazza Garibaldi, and a town hall. It is very small. The stores, also sporadically open, are few. Great gelato though, thank god for small miracles. The best thing about Borgonova is the bus stop that takes me to Piacenza for £3.50.
The Frazione – (Hamlet)
Bilegno – Population 70, with 15 children, and 1 Canadian
The village I live in. Or, the street. The centre of Bilegno is La Palta. They sell caffe, cigarettes and gelato in the coffee bar, and have an osteria for casual lunch in the basement during the week, while the ristorante is upstairs and caters to people from away more than Bilegno locals. Random dogs, cats and children run around. There is a church (under repair), as well. The towns around here are in the valley so the views of the hills (I would call them mountains…) are very pretty. We went to pick up cheese for the restaurant a few weeks ago up in the hills and I got very carsick, it was like driving to Whistler, but much much much worse and dare I say, more beautiful.


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