Today was day 2 of the 2008 Mille Miglia - the great annual motor race from Brescia to Roma and back. Tonight at around 2100 the first of 388 cars registered in the race arrived at Piazza Bra in the centre of Verona. They did a circuit of the Piazza and headed down Corso Porto Nouvo and onward to Ferrara and down the south coast of Italy.
As we sat at diner at Osteria Casa Vino, just off the Via Roma, we could hear the roar of engines and catch glimpses of some of the incredible antique Alfa Romeos, Ferrari's, Aston Martins and Lancias in the race. The streets were lined with people taking photos and when a particular favorite entered the Piazza a general roar would go up.
We were tempted to get a better look but dinner was so incredible - Cod mousse on grilled polenta, cut with a fork crusted pork medallions with roast potatoes and cafe creme marscapone for me, Chicken liver pate, stewed rabbit with polenta and lavender creme brule for Laurent - we just couldn't rush away from it. And there was no way we could insult Gianetta and Rinaldo, the brother and sister team who run the Osteria, by leaving any of the food untouched.
But we needn't have worried - it is now 2345 and the cars are still roaring past our window at the Grand Hotel on the Corso. It reminded us both of the race car scene in Fellini's Amarcord.
15 maggio - San Giovanni-Batiste di LaSalle