Head to Bologna for the Ultimate Italy Food Tour
Avant-garde culture, fascinating architecture, incredible food…and few tourists? This is Bologna, the capital city of the Northeastern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna and the place to be for an amazing Italy win tour. Perhaps you’ve focused on major Italian heavy-hitters like Venice, Rome, and Florence, but Bologna is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. This city houses the oldest university in Europe, the unfinished Basilica of San Petronio, 21 remaining medieval towers (beating out San Gimignano’s 13 towers), and countless cultural attractions like the MAMbo Modern Art Museum, traces of Roman ruins, the longest trail of porticos in the world (nearly 40 kilometers!), and most importantly, some of the world’s most-loved foods. In Bologna, meat-filled tortellini, tortelli, lasagna and tagliatelle al ragù rule the local culinary DNA. Lard-dotted mortadella also belongs to Bologna, but you’ll find a variety of cured meats, like prosciutto di Parma and culatello, advertised on charcuterie appetizer boards in surrounding markets. To purists, charcuterie boards are for tourists, and tortellini should be served in homemade broth, as in brodo on menus. After a visit, you’ll understand the city’s three nicknames: la grassa (the fat), la dotta (the learned) and la rossa (the red)
Stroll through the food shops and stalls surrounding Mercato di Mezzo, a commercial center from the Middle Ages whose street names signify the foods that can be found there (Via delle Pescherie Vecchie means Street of the Old Fish Mongers and Vicolo dei Ranocchi, Alley of the Frogs. Yes, frogs). Stop at Simoni for a decadent board brimming with a variety of cured meats, mortadella, and local cheeses including Parmesan, and cut through the fat-heavy foods with a glass or two of local wines like bubbly Pignoletto or red Lambrusco. Want to experience snack time like a discerning local? Head across Piazza Maggiore for a “panino mortazza” (slang for mortadella) paired with a glass of bubbly Franciacorta. The street food hole-in-the-wall is jammed with character, refusing to serve local Pignoletto in favor of elegant Champagne-style wines alongside mortadella sourced from the city’s last mortadella artisan, Pasquini. Next, head over to Mercato delle Erbe off Ugo Bassi and meander through the produce and artisan stands in the main alley before slipping off for a snack at the street food and drink outposts. — words courtesy of Coral Sisk. Vogue US.
Bologna the heart of Italian cuisine
Yes Bologna is the heart of Italian cuisine, a foodies paradise with wonderful people proud to share it . Such a great city to explore too, with miles of colorful porticoes, enticing you to wander a little further and explore around the next corner.
An Etruscan settlement first, then Gallic, Bologna was also a Roman colony and, later, a Roman city. Inside its walls – of which only a few ruins remain today – the first University in the world was established, in the 11th Century.
A main characteristic of the city are its porticoes that in the center reach a total length of about 23 miles, thus rendering Bologna the city with the most arcades in the world.
Food and wines of Bologna
In Bologna tortellini are mostly stuffed with meat, mortadella and ham, and are served in capon or hen broth. Among the first courses the green lasagna cooked in the oven, seasoned with the famous ragù alla bolognese. Among the meats, pheasant, duck, wild boar, hare, roasts and mixed, boiled meats, from the cotechino and zampone to different pieces of beef, chicken, veal, and tongue, served immersed a very hot broth.
Finally the wines. The name Colli Bolognesi comes before the name of the DOC white wines: Bianco Pignoletto, Pinot Bianco, Riesling Italico, Sauvignon. Among the red wines: Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
A point of reference for truffle buffs is Savigno, which gained the title of “Regional Capital of the Truffle” for the particular attention in promoting the truffle culture. The Festival of the Rare White Truffle of the Colli Bolognesi is the perfect place in which to learn how to know, taste and buy this product.