Oh Bologna!


Hello! The intermission is over now and I will keep calm and carry on blogging.  Thanks for your patience.  We had 3 wonderful weeks in Spain in March and so much I would like to share from there.   But first I had this post almost finished before we went to Spain, so for now I will talk baloney Bologna!   Yes I know I usually talk baloney, but this is the real Bologna, Italy.

map

Driving from Lake Como to Bologna the road signs, like Parma and Modena, seemed more like signs in the grocery store aisle and we were ready for a taste of Italy by the time we arrived.

bologna

Real bologna above, but Bologna the city is much more than a lunch meat!   Unfortunately it was a wet and dreary day when we visited the old town, but we were still able to get a feel for the city.  Below is one of the main squares of the town with the fountain and statue of Neptune dominating the square as it has done since the 1500’s.

square

Did you know the University of Bologna was founded in 1088, and was the first university and is the oldest in the world?  The city is also know for it’s red brick buildings, towers and for it politics.

Bologna square

Another main square above which is adjacent to the Neptune square.  The Bologna Cathedral is on the right.  They were setting up for a festival to take place that coming weekend.  Some of the historic towers shown below.

towers2

A closer view of the Neptune fountain.  I like to think that the spear he is holding is a fork, because Bologna is getting to be known as the foodie capital of Italy.  On the right is one of the many covered walkways, which Bologna has more of than any other city.  City counsellors in the 13th century said roads could not be built without porticoes.  We were thankful for the beautiful cover on a rainy day.

statueand

Now about the food.  The market section of town was my favourite part.

fruit

The colourful fresh fruit and veg attractively arranged to entice, even if partially covered to protect it from the rain.  No harm in the fish getting a little wet.

fish

The ultimate ham and cheese selection.  With all the fresh parmesan it was not unusual to have a freshly grated bowl at your table when you sat down to dine.  We used it with wild abandon, ha ha!

ham and cheese

Wonderful restaurants and cafes filled out the food quarter that have been serving happy customers for ages.

store

This is inside the doorway shown above.  So many years of tradition and history, and amazing atmosphere.

food counter

counter

I love these type of places, this one selling fresh pasta.  In fact this very shop was featured recently on one of our tv shows we watch,(Michael Portillo train journeys) and showed behind the scenes of the pasta being made as it has been for generations.

pasta shop

What we might know as Spaghetti Bolognese, is actually not the same as it is in Bologna.  Here they use the flat pasta or tagliatelle, rather than round spaghetti,  which has more area to soak up the flavour of the sauce.  Also the pasta is fresh and not dried.   The sauce usually has a variety of meats, such as beef and veal or pork and is not as sweet or have as much of a tomato flavour as the version perhaps that comes canned.  And then of course there is the free use of freshly grated parmesan and the wine and fresh bread and olive oil…you get the picture.  Think of Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love and you can understand the eat part in Italy pretty well.

fresh pasta

parma

Our time in Bologna was short but sweet, and I would definitely return given the chance and the appetite!

desserts

The next day on the road to Rome we passed this wonderful village, but did not have the time to stop.  How amazing is that?  Have you been to Italy and if so what was your favourite part?  or what is your favourite Italian food or meal?

rome road

 

Categories: Europe, ItalyTags: , , , ,

5 comments

  1. Welcome back from wonderful travels ! Your pictures are beautiful – I really enjoyed looking at all the colorful market stands – I can almost taste those cheese and meats ! Thanks for a lovely post !

  2. Bologna is my favourite Italian city!:)

  3. It looks wonderful and makes me want to follow in your footsteps there 🙂 I love watching Michael Portillo’s train journeys, they show me so much history about my own country that I did not know!

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