Best things to do in Italy all involve food. Bologna is at the center of Emilia-Romagna region, famous for Parmigiano-Reggiano and Prosciutto di Palma, but also aceto balsamico di Modena and much more. And to think I associated in the past the city only with pasta sauce and the Bologna university system, home of Europe oldest university.
Even though today we are fortunate to find everywhere in Europe good Italian food and real gelato, the most memorable meals, where I enjoyed the best pasta have been only in a loud, crowded authentic trattoria in Italy.
New word – Portici
First, I discover how beautiful the architecture in the city is, and that Bologna has hundreds of beautiful covered arcades or porticoes (or portici in Italian). Elegant and useful in both rainy or really sunny days of summer. Now also recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage.
My favorite “portico” started on via “Santo Stefano” at a gelato place I will mention below, and ended near Piazza Maggiore, main square of Bologna, home of Basilica of San Petronio and of the summer film festival. Thinking about food, next is Quadrilatero, a lively area with restaurants, local markets and Eataly.
Worth a trip to Bologna – this amazing lunch at Osteria al 15, on Via Mirasole 13 – Tagliatelle al Ragu or/and Lasagna verdi al Forno. With primi piati – a very crisp Crescentine or fried bread. And typical cheese of Emilia-Romagna region, Squacquerone. End the meal with espresso. It was without a doubt the best meal I had this summer in Italy.
Aperitivo at beautiful central market “Mercado delle Erbe”. Or dinner „on the go“ with piadina at Ca’Paletti.
Leave room for gelato
Gelato at Cremeria Santo Stefano – that I heard, won an award for the best gelato in Italy – I had 2 flavors – Sorbetto di Ciocolata e Arancina that complimented perfectly the second, salty pistachio di Bosforo, and regret nothing.
But Sorbetteria di Castiglione was for me the best gelato in Bologna – creamy and melting fast, as ice-cream should be. I had “zuca inglese” a typical Bolognese dessert, and also the fantastic flavor Dolce Emma crema – with ricotta and caramelized figs.