Pod Houses and Precious Pigs
June 10, 2017
a detachable or self-contained unit on an aircraft, spacecraft, vehicle, or vessel, having a particular function.
“the torpedo’s sensor pod contains a television camera”
Imagine yourself immersed in the Italian countryside. Your abode is a 1,000 sq. ft mini-dome -– a pod. Simply furnished with luxurious Swedish mattresses, with private bath including a personal Hammam and steam room. Your days are spent in leisurely strolls around the property, touring art cities like Parma and Bologna, savoring prosciutto made from an almost extinct breed of pig, and watching the sunset over endless hills (check out the photo here) while sipping superb wine. It used to be that we travelers were all about connectedness, and tempers flared when the wi-fi wasn’t as fast as lightning. But now a “holiday” for many of us is about DIS-connecting. This is one way to do just that.
Tempted? Meet Rosa dell’Angelo, a company located in the heart of Italy’s “food valley”. We recommend a couple of nights here. Fly into the Bologna airport and rent a car. Head out of the hectic city to these hills. Enter the property and head straight to the prosciutto bar, where you’ll sample the delicacies of the farm and the area. As the meal depends on availability of local produce, the menu changes often. You’ll always find superb fresh pasta, fruits, and salumi. This is the heart of parmesan cheese country, so that will be incorporated in many ways as well. Eat and drink to your fill, then head to your pod. If ever there was a place where the body and mind can truly rest, it’s here. Premium quality beds and bathrooms make the pods supremely comfortable, and there’s nothing here to disturb you. The pace is easy. After a nap, there are a few ways to navigate the property. Try mountain bikes, donkey tours, off-road vehicles, antique Lamborghini tractors, or your own feet. You’ll learn more about those pigs I mentioned above, black as can be and famous locally for the delicate yet rich flavor they lend to the many cold cuts produced by Rosa dell’Angelo. Interesting is the tour of the production process, where you can learn the different techniques used to make the many types of salumi: crudo, coppa, capacollo, pancetta, etc. The farm also boasts rare breeds of dairy cattle that roam the property freely, and produce extremely tasty cheese. Rosa dell’Angelo promotes many fellow small and local businesses that are similarly interested in saving from obscurity these types of animals and products, and you can easily venture out to meet like-minded souls in the area.
A great time to visit this corner of the Food Valley would be during the Rural Food Festival, founded by a pig farmer in 2014 and hugely successful over the past three years. Keep an eye on www.rural.it for this year’s dates; likely early September. Last year’s festival offered swing music for dancing, samples of the sweet flesh of baked violina pumpkins and sips of fresh termarina grape juice. Both products are unique to the region, just like the majority of other products available for purchase. The producers believe that events like the Food Festival can introduce upscale consumers to a sustainable way to farm and enjoy produce. Oh, and this is the perfect place to take the little ones. They can cuddle a lamb or feed a baby donkey. DIS-connection at its finest!