Bologna is not the most well-known of Italian cities, but it is certainly one of the more interesting ones”Enrico
And it’s important within Italy itself as it is the capital of Emilia Romagna. Of course, that may not mean much to you! So here a few things that you have surely heard of that come from Emilia Romagna: Ducati; Lamborghini; Ferrari; tortellini; Parma ham; balsamic vinegar and parmesan! Bologna merits a visit in itself, but also makes an excellent starting point to explore this fascinating region even further.
History cheet sheet
Bologna was founded by the Romans and it’s centre still preserves the typical square shape with vertical and horizontal of streets with two main street crossing each other at the centre of the town. Bologna has the oldest University in Europe. In the middle age the lords of Bologna competed in building the tallest tower, which height represented the richness and the
The food in Bologna
Food plays a very important role in the life of the people from Bologna. In fact, Bologna is considered to be Italy’s food capital – even by Italians! The list of food that originates from here reads like a what’s what of Italian cuisine (think tortellini, lasagna, mortadella). Be sure to try crescentine which you have may never have heard of but are definitely worth sampling. Be warned though – don’t ask for spaghetti bolognese! That is an anglified-Italian dish (a bit like garlic bread) If you want to try authentic ‘spaghetti bolognese’ ask for Ragu’.
Bologna is in a strategic position because it sits between Milan and Rome. It’s 1 hour from Milan and 2.5 hours from Rome on the fast train (Freccia Rossa). The ticket from Milan to Bologna will cost you around €35. The city is about an hours drive from the Adriatico Sea where Rimini and Riccione are. Bologna is surrounded by hills which make an ideal escape from the town during the weekend and in the summer.
Wines from Bologna
Emilia Romagna is famous for 2 red wines: Sangiovese di Romagna e Lambrusco dell’Emilia. And two whites Pignoletto e Trebbiano
Crescentine e Tigelle.
If you happen to be near Bologna and you have a few hour for lunch or dinner you may want to invest them to drive up to one of the famous hills of bologna and step into trattoria. Food is of the utmost importance in Bologna and the quality is up to the expectations. The crescentine or gnocco fritto are soft warm thin bubbles of bread served hot straight after cooking them. They are served generally accompanied by a selection of cured meats and cheeses on a wooden tray, this is called Tagliere. : parma ham, salame, mortadella, and squacquerone, a fresh creamy cheese spreadable on the crescentine and tigelle. They can be eaten as a starter or as main course.
Tagliere means chopping board but when you read tagliere on a menu at an Italian restaurant it means a tray full of slices of cured meats (salumi). Or you could find tagliere di salumi misti di salumi and formaggi which means tray with mixed cured hams and cheese pieces
Best places to eat Crescentine e Tigelle are in the hills of Monte San Pietro, in this area there are about 60 restaurants, trattorie and agriturismi (agricultural tourism places) and most of them will serve you well. My recommendation for this area are: Ristorante al Cappone and Nuovo Parco dei Ciliegi. At parco dei ciliegi you can also eat pizza, pasta and other traditional plates. I recommend book Parco dei Ciliegi before going to avoid surprises, if the restaurant is full you won’t get a seat. No matter if you are willing to wait, because after a certain hour the kitchen closes. Especially at lunch, the restaurants in Italy usually don’t serve any more after 14:30 (2:30 PM).
Cesto di Crescentine e Tigelle (Basket of freshly backed breads)
The crescentine are fried breads but they aren’t heavy. They are served freshly cooked and therefore they are hot. They are served generally with a selection of cured meats and cheeses: parma ham, salame, mortadella, and squacquerone, a fresh creamy cheese spreadable on the crescentine and tigelle.Crescentine served with a selection of sliced cured meats
Where to eat them
Parco dei Ciliegi (15 minutes drive from the center of Bologna)
Via Gessi 2, 40069 Zola Predosa
Trattoria Bottega De’ Facchini
Vicolo De Facchini 4/a, 40126 Bologna, Italia
+39 (0)51 226 325 | www.trattoriabologna.it/