Bologna is known as the food capital of Italy and what a fantastic way to spend a weekend there! I didn’t really have that much expectation for this city but it definitely surpassed it!
I arrived into Bologna late on Friday night and checked straight into my hotel, Hotel Palace. It was a fantastic location to base myself in for the next 2 days.
On Saturday, Nikki who lives in Brescia joined me for a full day of exploring, eating and drinking.
We walked around the city and explored Piazza Maggiore and then headed towards the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca basilica. There are porticos covering around 40km of the city, so even in rainy weather, you won’t ever get wet. We started from Piazza di Porta Saragozza and walked under the porticos all the way up. As we were walking, it started snowing which was quite cool too!
For lunch, we went to Trattoria Serghei and had the tagliatelle ragu and ricotta and spinach tortellini as our starters, and then shared this amazing meatball stuffed zucchini stew dish.
A gelato stop was in order so we went to Cremeria Funivia. I had 3 flavours which was pistachio, fragola and this almond amaretti one which were all really good!
Afterwards, we headed to the Christmas markets where I bought some goods like chocolate and we also warmed ourselves up by drinking some mulled wine. We explored the small streets around the centre of Bologna then headed to Le Stanze for aperitivo. This bar has been converted from a private chapel of the Palazzo Bentivoglio which was really interesting and is a cosy place for drinks. Aperitivo is probably one of my favourite things to do in Italy! it is a pre dinner drink which also comes with a small buffet with a selection of pastas, salads and breads. We had a couple of aperol spritz and enjoyed a selection of the food available.
For dinner, we headed to Ristorante San Pietro and had their large but delicious pizzas, coupled with a beer. The staff were also super friendly and the prices are very reasonable!
On Sunday, I walked around the city trying to find some shops to buy some Italian goods to take home. I bought some ragu sauce, pancetta and different pastas including tortellini.
For lunch, I went to Osteria dell’Orsa. This place constantly has queues as it is popular with both the students, locals and tourists alike so it’s best to get there early if you can. The prices are very good at only €6 for the ragu tagliatelle! I also had a glass of wine to go with it and finished off with the tiramisu. Highly recommended for a good, cheap meal!
To burn off lunch, I headed up the tower, Torre degli Asinelli which was 500 steps up. You must pre book to go up as there are set times for it and it costs €5. The views over Bologna from the top were stunning!
Another good gelato spot was La Sorbetteria Castiglione – the nutella and pistachio flavour I got was really good!
In the evening, I went to La Proscuitteria for wine and the meat and cheese platter. They come in different sizes and the medium was plenty and it was so delicious!
I highly recommend visiting Bologna for a weekend trip to avoid the tourist scenes, to soak up the culture and experience amazing Italian cuisine. I will definitely be back!