10 things you should know about Bologna, if you want to be a classical foodie insider
|Agricola e Vitale, great point of view with a drink|
Last night, near sunset, I was coming back home to my neighborhood, la Bolognina, after a nice bike tour to the center and further, to the gardens of my beautiful Bologna. What surprised me, was that I saw some tourists on the Ponte Matteotti, the railway's station bridge, not going from Stazione Centrale to downtown, they were walking backwards to my beloved hood, maybe looking for a restaurant.
So it came to my mind that it's true, Bologna is exploding with tourism. We are now a destination, which is great. But when people come and visit us, they do not have clear ideas about how to reach the best in few days. Tourists do not stay in town for 2 days anymore, they prefer to live here at least 3/4 days, and discover all they can about food and more.
Well.... that's why I decided to select a Little Insiders' Guide for you who are visiting Bologna, to catch the best you can. Only 10 easy steps, and the town is at your feet.
|walking under Bologna's arcades: this is what we love to do, especially with rain!|
My Little Insiders' Guide is based on a lively choice, to experience different moments of bolognese lifestyle, going to places where people from Bologna, included me, go.
******************************************************************************************** Where should I have a drink at sunset with a great view in town?
If you want to live the center of the town, with monuments, in front of a fantastic church in the most beautiful piazza of Bologna (which is not piazza Maggiore, in my opinion) go to Agricola e Vitale. Chose a seat in the piazza, order a glass of wine and enjoy the panorama and the people-spotting (don't go further with expectations and enjoy a glass and a seat, sometimes it's because of the point of view!!!) That will make your day.
via Santo Stefano 13, 051236650
|Botanica Lab e il suo cibo vegan_row|
I don't eat meat and I am looking for a special place with great veg food...
Botanica Lab is your place, to eat well and experience a deep elegant atmosphere.
via Battibecco 4/c, 3428606026
I want to eat traditional food from Bologna in a low profile and non touristic place...
Tony is a super-traditional trattoria, based in a not so touristic street, though near the very center, few steps from Piazza Maggiore, so to say. It's a family led restaurant, now run by Stefano Zuppiroli, ex photographer and son of the famous Antonio Zuppiroli, Tony for friends, who decided to open the trattoria in 1968. Ask for tagliatelle, tortellini and lasagne... and go in peace. Bertozzi is a hot spot in Bologna, to eat great tradition and experience bolognesità at the top! Mind the gap!!!
Tony via Augusto Righi 1/b, 051232852
Bertozzi via via Andrea Costa 84/2d, 0516141425
|Ragù, the tradition to take away|
Is it possible to eat tagliatelle or tortellini in a fast way... like street food?
Well, people from Bologna hate to match words like "fast" and "tortellini", but recently a whole culture about tradition and street food has raised with quality. That's why a good place to visit could be Ragù, tiny spot in the center, only 8 chairs around a tall table and the possibility to take away. The interior is warm and great.
via Goito 9/b, 051268585
|la pizza by Pasquale Penne, Bianco Farina|
Best pizza in Town?
Pizza is a hot topic in Italy in this moment. Bologna is not the epicenter of this food, but, on the other side, there is no Italian town which is a real Italian town... without a pizzeria. Many styles, many point of view, always quality. So... if you are looking for the traditional pizza from Napoli, I can only suggest you Bianco Farina, in Bolognina hood, behind the railway station, beside the new town hall: 72 hours leavened and crazy good toppings. If you are looking for the new wave of pizza, then go to Berberè, the hometown to 8 slices pizza or gourmet pizza, great toppings, different flowers, very nice place.
Bianco Farina, via Domenico Zamperei 36, 3466112769
Berberè, via Giuseppe Petroni 9, 0512759196
The best breakfast?
With this 2 hints, I also answer to another curiosity: where can I eat the best sweets in town? Or: what is the eldest cafe in town?
Regina di Quadri is my suggestion for a great pasticceria by Francesco Elmi and for a memorable breakfast, also outdoor, under the dehor. Gamberini: is a old cafe with great taste for sweets, salted snacks and aperitivo. Take your time, seat and make peoplespotting.
Regina di Quadri, via Castiglione 73/a, 0516446201
Gamberini, via Ugo Bassi 12, 0512960467
What is your favorite gelateria?
I know Bologna is the town of ice-cream in the world, which means many dresses talk about the renaissance, new spots with extremely researched ingredients, natural, gourmet. But I have to confess.... my heart always goes back to Gelateria delle Moline, the gelateria where I first met ice-cream as a child. This is a family run gelateria, from grandfather to son to nephew... I find it moving. My favorite flavors? Pralinone, whipped cream with strawberries, bacio and chocolate. Ask cialda or pagnerino to eat and not the plastic one!
via delle Moline 13, 051 248470, closed on tuesday
Where can I see people of Bologna relaxing and enjoyng saturday morning?
Of course I could suggest you: go to a supermarket... as everybody goes there for the big food shopping (and by the way, always visit a supermarket wherever you go, to understand the deepest foodie soul of the people). But... I prefer to suggest you a place where people relax, foodshop and eat, chat, play with children, have a drink on saturday morning. This is Mercato della Terra, in front of the Film Library with cinemas Lumière. Super nice spot and, in case, great place to catch a stylish movie.
via Azzo Gardino 65, only Saturdays
A special chef in town?
I think Bologna is full of great chefs, but my heart always goes to Mario Ferrara of Scacco Matto and his genuine, researched, mediterranean mixed with local cuisine. Chitarrina, spaghettone, ravioli pizzicati, ziti speziati, calamaro arrosto, segreto di maiale iberico, lots of vegetable, fish and meat in a creative and cultured style.
via Broccaindosso 63, 051 263404
A great enoteca?
There are lots of good enoteche in Bologna. But I have to suggest you only 3, for 3 different styles. Go to Enoteca Calzolari - in the university area- because here you can experience a unique and real 'intellighenzia' drinkers. A mix appeal of professors, students, musicians, middle class/upper class people, everybody standing, no seats. Ask for wine and discover the independent champagnes with a good price. If you are looking for natural wines go to Osteria Faccioli and if your destination is more that of the celebrities, then Enoteca Italiana is the place: many wines, great taste, Marco Nannetti, the boss in da house, is there to suggest you the best (and you can also eat a panino con mortadella and seat).
Enoteca Calzolari, via Giuseppe Petroni 9, 051222858
Osteria Storica Faccioli, via Altabella 15/b, 3493002939
Enoteca Italiana, via Marsala 2, 051235989