This was the macrobiotic meal I ate in Bologna before catching the overnight couchette to Paris. A classic balance of grains (brown rice and millet) with pulses (pinto bean stew) and a medley of fresh local vegetables, steamed and raw, it came with a dish of deep-fried vegetable tempura.
Un Punto Macrobiotico offers only one choice. I like that. It’s like eating at home, “you’ll get what you are given”, and no endless agonising choice and “I wish I’d had that”.
Any austerity was softened by the home-made peach ice-cream, sweetened with rice malt, which releases its sugar slowly so is better for the body.
I strode off for the ten-minute walk back across the bridge to the station, feeling quite the international traveller. I like trains. Slower than planes but far more civilised, it’s no sacrifice taking the green option.
(Foodie warning: Trenitalia and Eurostar serve rubbish and pricey food, so take your own. The waiter kindly parcelled up my tempura to take-away).
Bologna station was the scene of a horrifying terrorist attack in 1980. We witnessed a moving memorial (see flag below) on the day we travelled to the Adriatic coast, August 2nd. This is the date now designated in Italy as a memorial day for all terrorist massacres.
In the sauna-like heat on the Adriatic, we arrived at our stunningly stylish apartment, with its high ceilings, wooden shutters, IKEA furniture, Virago books, essential oils. So, I am sitting there glancing idly through the welcome file when I realise: crikey, it belongs to a friend of mine!
Ingrid Rose had booked it on the web (“I chose it because it was the only one saying you could walk – not drive – to the beach” she said). And then I find out I know the co-owner! A journalist who, 30 years ago, had given me encouraging and enduring advice – to “break up long sentences into short ones” – and whom I had recently met up with again because (another crazy coincidence) she is a dear friend of a dear friend.
Below is a picture of my sister gazing down from the apartment at the spectacular view below. Real food lover that she is, she patiently answered all my questions about Italian food.