Bologna, known by the Italians as the heart of Italy cuisine, was founded in 1088 and is snuggled between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains. Located in one of my favorite regions, Emilia – Romagna: Parma ham, Parma cheese, Modena balsamic and another favorite mortadella.
Bologna also has one of the oldest universities in Italy, actually in all of Europe. The university is as old or older than mortadella. The place has seen many thinkers walk through it’s halls, such as, Dante Alighieri, Petrarch, Nicolaus Copernicus and Guglielmo Marconi just to name a few. I’d bore you with who they are, but I bet you all know them.
We arrived late after noon, after being stuck in a traffic jam for about two hours. I guess Italy is famous for it’s traffic jams, well someone should have sent me a memo, because instead of exiting the autobahn when I had a chance, I drove us right into the thick of a stau(German word for traffic jam, which I like saying better than traffic jam…traffic jam, sounds like a really band eighties band).
I forgot to take pictures of the place we stayed at, don’t worry you’re not missing much. After meeting the owner of our place, although we were never quite sure if we dealt with the owner or a friend anyway, moving on, we walked in the evening to get a sense of the place .
The following morning we walked into town taking in the sites and sounds of Bologna.
Below you’ll see a statue of King Neptune, which was quite controversial when it was first built for having a rather large unident…get it. So he was down graded and apparently his left hand index finger is placed in a manner as to imply what once was.
Here we were walking through the university section of Bologna and if you haven’t noticed let, Bologna is also know for it’s porticoes. Also Portland Oregon, is know as Bologna’s twin city or sister town. How do you like that!
Looks like someone else was also looking for cured meats. (below)
Downtown shopping and searching for a cure.
The food shopping in Bologna was amazing. Fresh, yummy, tasty and did I mention yummy.
The Young Man Yazzo was highly intent on finding the best cured meats in Bologna for Yazzo Senior, which he found and the chuck is now resting in my kitchen. Or should I say was resting, I’ve hidden it, hopefully he won’t notice it missing when he returns from Prague.
Food and more food.
We were told about this pizzeria by the owner of the place we were staying at. She was quite convinced that it was the best Bologna had to offer, as she said, is da best, better than the stuff in Napoli.
So of course we had to try it, below is the best I could do for a picture of the pie. The light in the place cast long shadows for that special mood.
Below was our favorite place to eat. We eat there when we arrived and then we eat there again on our last day. We realized that the chef offered all the great local food, plus his cooking had that extra sparkle of Italian pizzazz. Earlier during the week we went out to a fancy Italian restaurant and while it was good, it wasn’t as good and inviting as this place.
Circolo Mazzini, if you find yourself in Bologna and want a place to have good local inspired food visit this place, it’s on Via Emilia Levante 6, and if I remember correctly it’s hidden from public eyes, one has to search for this place. It’s easy to find once you realize where it is, I’ll give you a hint it’s behind a big center where people buy groceries.
Pasta Perfecto, just ask the locals eating there, I’m sure they’ll let you know.
Bologna’s famous Bolognese
Kidney and Liver with tagliatelle.
Gnocchi with Radicchio
Just in case you didn’t know, Italians reataurants don’t serve all your food on one plate, which is a tradition that started many years ago. Sooooo there is:
Formaggio e frutta
All served and dressed by themselves. Think you can hang?
Searching for Bologna’s world famous gelato shop.
Don’t let the name fool you. I know it says Sorbetteria, but I think I only saw five sorbet flavors, the rest is all gelato all the time. Words can’t describe their gelato…hold on pausing for the memories to rush back…yes, no words. I don’t think I can give the place the right adjectives it deserves, you’ll just have to visit.
We were lucky that night, we arrived before a horde of about forty bikers moseyed on up to the gelato bar. I didn’t quite capture how busy this place was. But you can see some of the bikes and people lingering outside of the shop.
We had a great time in Bologna and similar to Lyon, where the French go for vacation and to eat good French food, Bologna is the same, Italians fill the streets and restaurants, it’s still one of those places where the locals aren’t put off by the tourist.
With that I’ll finish this post with a picture of the three stooges eating their gelato.
Next: Fontanellato near Parma.
and the Yazzos