What To Do (and Eat) in Bologna in February

Carnevale di Cento 2010 (Carro dei Ribelli)

You would think February to be a pretty uneventful month. After all, the Holidays have just come and gone, so what in the world is left for me to see out there? If you’ve booked your trip to Italy and are finding yourself in Bologna during February, fret not – there is plenty to see and do.
Aside from the fact that you could be about to experience a super-romantic Valentine’s Day with your significant other during your Italian Holidays, between fine wine, delicious dishes and the perfect spots around the city for a date, February is also the month that will see Carnival celebrations and parade get out onto the streets.
While not quite as flashy as Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro world-renowned parade, in all cities of Italy you’ll be able to see wonderful and colorful displays of masks, costumes and fun activities!
But first, let’s take a look of the traditional and regional treats that you’ll only have a chance to enjoy during the Carnival season.

What To Eat

Zeppole,Frappe,Castagoli

As you might have noticed, food is a very important part of Italy and its traditions. Food marks a convivial and festive moment, and Carnival is the perfect moment to enjoy a number of sweet and interesting seasonal treats and desserts (which also help to really get in the mood to celebrate). Sweets are a staple of Carnival so be ready to party to the rhythm of a sugar rush.

Sfrappole

The name of this deep fried ribbons of dough is widely discussed in Italy, since each region and province (or even city) calls them by a different name. Known to the English-speakers as “Angel wings”, the pastries are served with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Optimal sfrappole should be crispy, while also melting in a sugar paradise in your mouth. You’ll find these and other seasonal sweets in most bakeries or grocers, which are also supplied by local bakeries so that each treat will be produced according to the tradition.

Castagnole

Still deep-fried, still favored with a dusting of powdered sugar, the castagnole take their name from “chestnuts”. Not because it’s an ingredient, just because they’re round as a chestnut, golden and will fill you with energy. You might find these in a variety of types: with custard or chocolate filling, soaked in Alchermes liqueur or covered in honey.

Tortelli fritti

“Fritti” as in “fried”. This is another caloric treat that is sure to entice your sugar receptors. These pastries are truly a regional tradition and as such are a bit more complex and ingredients vary from bakery to bakery, from family to family. But mostly, they’re fried buns eaten plain or with a filling, and optionally a dusting of powdered sugar. Among the fillings you might find custard, home-made jams with raisins and such. Every tortello is a surprise!

But remember, food stands at every corner also mean it’s a great opportunity to taste other dishes and savoury treats both seasonal and regional.

What To Do

So, now that you’re energized and ready to go out in the city, what is there to do in Bologna?
Carnival will last from Thursday 23rd to Tuesday 28th of February, so here are the main parades and events to attend in cities around Bologna and in the city itself.
The Carnevale di Cento, in the city of Cento (province of Ferrara), is among the most famous celebrations of Italy. As such, it’ll last from Sunday 12th of February to the 12th of March with samba dancers, food stands and catwalks and contests for the best masks.
Most cities’ parades showcase floats decorated according to themes or pop culture, but in the city of Comacchio (Ferrara) the “Carnevale sull’acqua” will feature literal floats parading over the waters of the city’s canals on Sunday 19th an Sunday 26th of February. Don’t miss the seafood and fish delicacies, and the activities for children!
To enjoy true traditional seasonal dishes and treats, you can pop by the Carnevale di San Pietro in Casale. The town in the province of Bologna will offer catwalks and parades of beautiful masks and plentiful food stands for every taste.
If you’re more interested in seeing floats and buskers than masks and costumes, the Carnevale dei Fantaveicoli, an eco-sustainable parade in Imola that will take place on the 26th of February is the event for you.
On the other hand, if you enjoy traditional and Renaissance-style costumes and the idea of a more historic re-enactment of Carnival parties from the 1400’s, be sure to check out the Carnevale Rinascimentale Estense from the 23rd to the 26th of February. No floats will welcome you, but just the wonderful costumes inspired to noble and historical figures of the city of Ferrara and it’s court. Buskers, jugglers and street artists will entertain you as you wait for themed events and shows to take place on the last day of Carnival in the Piazza Municipale.
There’s plenty to choose from, and anything goes, as long as you can truly experience the exhilaration and festive atmosphere of Carnival with foods, entertainment and masks.

A Week In Bologna? 7 Pasta Delicacies For You!

Bologna is a beautiful city in Northern Italy. You can take pictures with the leaning tower, wander through the streets of Quandrilatero, visit the Museum of History and enjoy Bolognese specialties. Bolognese pasta delicacies lure many tourists every year. I am listing down the best pasta dishes you must try in Bologna and where to find them. If you spend a week in Bologna, you can try one special pasta dish every day.

A Bologna classic... Lasagne. The best I ever had. Ever.
Lasagne in Bologna? Hungry now!

Tortellini.

Tortellini name after the belly-button as they do appear like a navel. There is an interesting story about how Tortellini came into existence. Once, Pope’s daughter, Lucrezia Borgia stayed at an Inn in the town of Castelfranco Emilia. The Innkeeper finding her extremely beautiful, tried to peep through the keyhole in her room and got a glance of her beautiful navel. Impressions of her navel never left the mind of the Innkeeper and he made Tortellini during the euphoric state he was unable to get out of.
Tortellini are delicious and generally served in broth of chicken or beef. Generally, they contain a mixture of meat and sometimes cheese. These small parcels filled with so many different flavors are so delicious that you will keep craving for more even if you are full.

Where to try
You can try delicious Tortellini at Trattoria Anna Maria, but make sure it’s not Monday, as they are closed on Monday.

Lasagne

One of the finest Italian cuisine, you just cannot afford to miss this one while you are in Bologna. The key ingredients for Lasagne are Bolognese sauce and fresh pasta. Many places claim to be the birth place of Lasagne, but generally, Bologna is accepted as its place of origin. Sheets of Lasagne Pasta are layered with Parmesan, bolognese sauce, bechamel, etc. and baked to produce the best flavors for your taste buds. Some people also recommend to let the lasagne settle for one day and expect a better texture and flavor on the second day.
Lasagna appears to be as a tower of food and they are, so maybe the architecture of Bologna inspired the cooks to build a tower of foods.

Where to try
A restaurant, not so far from Downtown, with an amusing decor, Osteria Satyricon serves amazing Lasagne.

Tortelloni

They are stuffed mainly with with ricotta cheese and spinach, look like Tortellini, but 2-3 times larger in size. They are generally served with melted butter, Parmesan and sage or ragu. Though Tortelloni sound and look like Tortellini, but they taste entirely different. Extremely thin dough is rolled and being larger in size, obviously more fillings go in Tortelloni. Tortelloni contains mainly veggies and ricotta and generally easier to digest as greens contain more fibers. Other than ricotta and spinach, other ingredients like  parmesan, nutmeg find their place in the fillings of Tortelloni.

Where to try
Ristorante Diana, located close to eight square parking August.

Passatelli

Passatelli means, ‘to pass them through’. A special tool, iron for passatelli is used to give it its typical form. Pasta dough balls are pressed and cut when they are around 4 cms long. Passatelli are composed of stale breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese and eggs. They are prepared in broth traditionally, but nowadays preparation may include tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, prawns and many other ingredients. Passatelli are poured into boiling chicken stock and it lets them absorb all the flavor from the stock inside out. They are eaten generally in the evening.

Where to try
Trattoria dal Biassanot. It is advisable to book a table in advance, especially if you are planning to go there on a weekend.

Tagliatelle

They look like flat ribbons and prepared with egg pasta. It is said that a court chef took inspiration from Lucrezia D’Este’s hairstyle at her marriage and then keeping that in mind, prepared ribbon like pasta and tried to match the hair of Lucrezia with his dish. Later on, it came out to be a humorous story cooked by Augusto Majani.
A gold replica of tagliatelle has been kept in glass case at the Chamber of Commerce, Bologna.

Ragu’ is one of its main ingredients and you can find many different variations of it throughout the Italy. There is no one variety of ragu’ which is better than the rest, it simply varies with individual preferences. Tagliatelle go particularly well with meaty and earthy sauces and that’s why Bolognese sauce is the most served sauce with Tagliatelle.

Where to try
You can try them at Osteria Dell’Orsa near Piazza Maggiore. They don’t accept reservations and open everyday from 12:30.

Cannelloni.

Cannelloni at Ti Piacera

Fine pasta sheets are rolled into cylinders and make them suitable to contain all kinds of fillings from spinach, and ricotta being the most traditional. It is browned in the oven to bring out all the flavors of ingredients and topped with besciamella before being served. 

Where to try

Antica Trattoria del Pontelungo, located in the outskirts. You can make reservations for your convenience.

Rosette

These rolled pasta hold together the flavors of cheese, ham and egg to let you savor all the goodness in each bite. Some people also like to add nutmeg in the ingredients. These rolled and cut pieces of pasta containing the goodness of Parmesan, ham and other ingredients are cooked lightly in the over for 20 minutes before they are soft and delicious.

Where to try
Trattoria Aldina, located in the Modena Town Centre, just 20 minutes by train from Bologna, Open only for lunch, no reservation taken. In a lovely ambiance, you will find your rosette even more delicious.

So, let your taste buds go for a joyride with the ingredients of these awesome pasta delicacies in Bologna. I am sure, your love for pasta will bring you back to Bologna over and over again, just like many fellow travelers. I am sure after trying all the listed dishes, you will fall in love with Pasta all over again. All the suggested restaurants provide a very distinct ambiance that certainly make your food more delicious in an unknown way. So, not just beautiful places like Piazza Maggiore, San Luca or Archiginnasio will bring you back to Bologna, but the food will compel you to travel to Bologna again.

Christmas Markets in Bologna

If you find yourself looking for something to do to pass the time, to explore and live the city during your stay in Bologna, there’s nothing better than to take a look at the many, varied Christmas markets dotting the streets during the month of December.
Sheltered by the arcades and towering architecture of Bologna, you’ll be free to stroll to the various locations that will house different markets and displays of antiquities, hand-made crafts and gifts. And don’t forget that the city has many other things to offer, and that you can enjoy to add a little something more to your experience: food stalls, bars, restaurants and cafés will offer unique treats of wintertime, perfect to soothe you and warm you up.
If, indeed, you’re looking for trinkets, gifts or even more special objects and mementos of all kinds, keep an eye out and be sure to be around when these Christmas markets take place.

Antica Fiera di Santa Lucia (Ancient Festival of Saint Lucy)

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The Ancient Fair of Saint Lucy will take place along the arcades of the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi: it’s a tradition for the city, and the region, and it’s the epitome of Christmas markets and Winter shopping. Lasting until the 26th, you’ll have plenty of time to revel in the Christmas atmosphere of the city’s Christmas tree, food stalls with typical Winter treats, a thriving and lively market with all sorts of objects and gift ideas and exhibitions with hand-crafted creations.

Fiera di Natale (Christmas Fair)

On the right side of the Cathedral of Saint Peter, at the core of Bologna, the traditional Christmas Fair will be taking place for the whole month of December until the 8th of January, allowing visitors and tourists plenty of time to take a look at the many stalls offering all sorts of gift ideas, trinkets, hand-made objects and even sweet and savory Winter-time snacks.

Natale a Porta Galliera (Christmas at Porta Galliera)

Piazza XX Settembre in Bologna will be the location for a small Christmas market that will last all the way to the 1st of January, giving you a chance to go shopping for late presents, or to buy interesting items even after Christmas. There’s a carousel to entertain children, as well as food stalls to entice everyone.

Handicrafts in Via San Giuseppe in December

For the month of December, lasting until the 24th, two markets displaying hand-crafts and hand-made products will be taking place along Via San Giuseppe: they’re the “DecoMela Art” and “Colors” markets, showcasing creations made of wood, natural materials, leather, gems, glass and stones, bijoux and jewelry as well as cloth items. Be sure to visit Via San Giuseppe and its hand-crafts market if you want to find unique and custom made gifts for your friends and family, or even just something to decorate your house with.

Mercato Antiquario (Antiques Open-Air Market)

A great display of antiques, trinkets and knick-knacks, both meant for the Winter holidays as well as home décor all year round, will be taking place on Sunday 11th and the weekend of Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th along Via Santo Stefano. The Traditional Bologna Antique Market is a staple in the city’s Christmas traditions and the location, in the square in front of the Basilica di Santo Stefano, makes the experience all the more suggestive.

La Piazzola in December

Aside from the weekly appointments on Fridays and Saturdays, the Piazzola will offer a dedicated Christmas market full of incredible stalls with displays of many different trinkets and gift ideas during the month of December. Be sure to hop by the Piazza VIII Agosto on Sunday 11th and Sunday 18th to see the Christmas ideas on offer for what concerns clothes, shoes, accessories, pottery, jewelry and more.
Fiera dell’Antiquariato (Antiques’ Fair)
From the 12th to the 24th of December, the Fiera dell’Antiquariato will be waiting for you to come by and take a look at an amazing display of original and valuable antiques to purchase as Christmas gifts for yourself or your loved ones. The antique market will take place at the heart of the old town center, under the Voltone del Podestà. Looking around the stalls, you’ll be able to find antiques, modern-antiques, knick-knacks, unique objects and paintings.

Villaggio di Natale Francese (French Christmas Market)

You have time until the 21st of December to head over to Piazza Minghetti to enjoy the wonderful display of stalls and decorations that make up the Christmas market, with its mesmerizing atmosphere and French setting that will be sure to captivate you. Enjoy typical French gastronomic specialties and products such as fine wine, cheeses and baked goods, and save some money to purchase delightful trinkets and accessories to gift or to decorate your home for the holidays with.

5 Art Museums in Bologna That Will Blow your Mind.

As a city with an important history of art, it’s only natural that the culture of Bologna would reflect in an abundance of museums and exhibitions available to all who seek to discover the past of this incredible cultural center. The choice of places to visit in this regard is wide, offering artworks and masterpieces of all ages and origins to satisfy even the most avid art-lovers.

Stroll through the city and you’re sure to find these museums, and many others, on your path: it’ll be an exciting and mesmerizing journey through the centuries, seeing works from artists who made the history of art in Bologna, and Italy.

Bologna museum

Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna

The Pinacoteca is just a couple minutes away from le Due Torri (the Two Towers, symbol of Bologna) and consists of 30 halls for permanent exhibitions, and other areas that host temporary exhibitions, workshops and conferences. The exposition is divided by historical period, and the journey through art in the Pinacoteca goes from XIII and XIV century artists to Renaissance masters such as Rafael and Tintoretto, and again to the artists of the current of Mannerism like the Vasari, and Baroque one such as the Carracci, the Guercino, and more. Lastly, you’ll get the chance to see large scale 1600’s paintings.

Museo Civico Archeologico

Near the Basilica of San Petronio, at the heart of the city, you’ll find the Archeological City Museum. The Museum hosts many collections from different historical periods: sections about the Kingdom of Egypt and the Ptolemaic Dynasty, the Prehistorical Section and the Bronze Age are also exhibited, and an important exhibition of over 4000 pieces from the Etruscan collection are hosted. For the lovers of Ancient Rome, the Museum can offer great and relevant pieces from the 1st and 2nd centuries b.C. along with the most important Numismatic collection in Italy with over 100 thousand samples of Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins.

Museo Civico Medievale

The building that houses the Museum is a masterpiece in and on itself, being a perfect example of Bolognese architecture and a former noble residence dating back to the 15th century. The most important part of the museum is dedicated to the Middle Ages, of particular relevance are the Early Middle Ages artifacts and the gold-plated copper statue of Boniface VIII built in 1301. A museum such as this one couldn’t avoid a reference to the roots of the history of Bologna itself, and for this reason it also hosts many funeral sculptures of teachers from the renowned University of Bologna. The Museum also displays the development and growth of Renaissance art thanks to other important artworks from the 15th and 16th century. For those of you who have a passion for the Middle Ages, a collection of armors (particularly interesting is the jousting armor exposition) and of manuscripts with 13th-16th century Bolognese masterpieces are sure to enchant you.

Collezioni Comunali d’Arte

The Municipal Art Collection represent the closing stage of the reorganization of the municipal museums: the original collection, the core of artworks belonging to the previous town government has been added to with art pieces from local collectors, together with the properties from dismantles religious orders and donations from wealthy families and citizens through the centuries. Founded in 1936, the collections are hosted in rooms still important historically and artistically to this day, and the exhibitions is displayed in an unique way: not necessarily chronologically but more like a “furnished museum” where canvasses, furniture and furnishings mark the sequence of historical rooms opening into one another. The Vidonian Hall recalls the Baroque gallery arrangement with interspersed paintings and sculptures; in the Rusconi rooms, the arrangement of furnishings evokes images of 18th century mansions for a one-of-a-kind, immersive experience.
In the museum is also the most important example of Bolognese Baroque, in the form of the Sala Urbana or “Coats of Arms’ Hall”, a room designed to display Michele Colonna’s ceiling decorations, a true statement of Baroque art.

Mambo – Bologna’s Museum of Modern Art

The MAMbo goes in a completely different direction, hosting Modern Art in the form of a visual experience. The Permanent Exhibition traces the history of Italian art from WWII to the present day. The permanent collection is organized in nine thematic areas that represent some of the most innovative aspects of art from the second half of the twentieth century to the present day. The aim of the museum is to let people of all age groups get into contact with innovative forms of art and artworks, and start a dialogue based on the themes of the works hosted here.
The Museum also includes and hosts other exhibitions, such as the Museo Morandi, temporarily housed here. 85 works from Giorgio Morandi can be seen at the MAMbo in an itinerary through the years and personal history of the artist.

What to do in Autumn in Bologna

Bologna is a wonderful city all year round, but it’s during the Autumn months that some of the best chances to experience the city make their appearance. If you’re staying in Bologna or nearby for your holidays, keep an eye out for these fairs and local events: they’re the perfect occasion to taste traditional meals and local produce cooked and served in many different ways.

Roasted Chestnuts in Rome

Cioccoshow 2016

At the heart of Bologna, in the Piazza Maggiore, is the most important fair of artisanal chocolate in Italy. With free entrance for all, it’s a great chance to taste traditional and innovative chocolate preparations made for all tastes and in a variety of ways that are sure to amaze and entice anyone!
From the 16th to the 20th of November, you’ll have the chance to experience Italian chocolate in all of its forms, shapes and tastes.
Festa di San Martino in Casalecchio di Reno
In Casalecchio di Reno, from the 8th to the 11th of November, the holiday celebrating the 1700th anniversary of the birth of the Patron Saint of the city will take place: celebrations, exhibitions and musical performances to honor the religious figure will be the main events, but the Festa di San Martino will bring together other activities that are typical of local, traditional fairs, such as the presence of an open-air market with food stands, antiquities and art. Don’t forget about the many activities and games for kids and remember that many local restaurants will have special menus tailored on the ongoing celebrations.
Festa di San Martino in Anzola dell’Emilia and Fair of Wine Must
Saint Martin is also celebrated on the 11th of November in Anzola dell’Emilia, were you’ll find on the streets of the city several food stands that will offer local dishes and snacks (such as polenta, crescentine and tigelle, Italian-style spit-roasted pork) as well as a presentation of the traditional methods employed to mash grapes for the production of wine and must, the main ingredient for the traditional desserts known as “sughi d’uva” made with boiled must of grapes.

Sagra del Bollito of San Pietro in Casale

This fair will showcase one of the staples of local cuisine: the bollito, a dish made of boiled meat prepared in a way that enhances the taste of the cuts of beef and pork used, celebrating the sublime local meat of the area, and the classical preparation brought forth through generations. This festival takes place from the 10th of November to the 13th and from the 17th to the 20th in San Pietro in Casale and you’ll be able to taste wonderful “bolliti” and other local dished of the Emilian tradition.
L’Antico Castello (the Ancient Castle): to the discovery of tastes and culture
This is the name of a fair, lasting from the 11th to the 13th of November, that will take place in Castel S. Pietro Terme and the surrounding area, showcasing local tastes, dishes, wines and traditions dating back to the Middle Ages. Cultural events will also take place, to create a traditional and historical atmosphere.

Fair of Taste in Crevalcore

On the historical city center of Crevalcore, on the 19th and 20th of November a weekend of festivities will take place. Showcasing local and traditional dishes, produce and tastes this Thanksgiving event will bring together products that are typical of the Autumn months, cooked on the spot at the many food stands that line the streets of the city. The open-air market will also feature shops with knick-knacks, baubles and antiquities, street performers and music events. You will also be able to purchase local, biological produce from the farmers of the area that will display and present their products.

“Baccanale” Imola’s festival of food and tastes

From the 5th to the 27th of November, in the historical center of Imola, a food and wine fair will take place to amaze and mesmerize all who come to enjoy local and typical dishes and produce. The official name of this year’s Baccanale is “Grains and flours”, and will celebrate the cultural and gastronomic importance and relevance of rice, grains and beans.

Tartufesta 2016: The Appennines celebrate truffles

Truffles are the most sought after and refined produce of the Autumn season, and on Saturdays and Sundays from the 5th to the 20th of November you’ll find this wonderful food celebrated on several cities of the Appennines: Lizzano, Vergato, Monzuno, San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Pianoro, Castel di Casio, Castiglione dei Pepoli, Sasso Marconi, Loiano, Grizzana Morandi, Monghidoro, Camugnano and lastly Savigno. This will be the 33rd edition of the International Festival of the White Truffle of Savigno, and for the occasion a shuttle bus will depart from Bologna on the 13th and 20th of November at 10:30 AM (returning to the city at 7 PM) that will bring you to Savigno to visit the truffle growing grounds (info: Bologna Welcome).

Bologna Festival Gems for Summer and Fall visits

Italy is well-known for its rich culinary and cultural offering, especially during the warm summer and fall months. However, two festivals held in the city of Bologna stand out and are well worth a visit if you find yourself somewhere in Italy or Europe at the time: the Mortadella Festival and the Cinema Ritrovato. The first — officially called MortadellaBo — is a four-day festival celebrating mortadella, a cold-cut, cured pork sausage that is one of Bologna’s specialties. The second is the Cinema Ritrovato, an eight-day vintage film festival that screens gems from cinema’s past and features a beautiful, free outdoor cinema in the evenings.

La Grassa

MortadellaBò Festival

The Mortadella festival is a one of a kind event and a must for fans of what the Italians call “the Queen of Sausages.” The sausage –well-known for its round, pink appearance and white specks — is a sandwich favorite in a lot of homes. It is made of crushed pork mixed with spices and sometimes includes chunks of black pepper or pistachios. Normally, this delicious sausage is cut into thin prosciutto-like slices, but it can also appear in cubes as part of different appetizers or salads.

Mortadella di Bologna (PGI) has a protected geographical status, meaning that it can only be called mortadella if it has been produced in the Emilia Romagna region or other neighbouring Italian provinces. This makes the MortadellaBo Festival a unique opportunity to fully experience mortadella in its region of origin. Apart from tasting the best mortadella in the world, you can also learn more about this specialty’s history in the city and discover new ways to integrate it into your cuisine.

For four days in October, the center of Bologna is transformed into a haven of mortadella-related activities. You can choose to participate in a range of events — from tastings of all of the best mortadella producers in the region to cooking classes held by famous chefs from all over Italy. There is even a range of events for your kids, as well as a fun addition — a mortadella queen wearing a pink dress with white dots. During these four days, you will learn how to pick the best mortadella, what cheeses accompany it best and even get to taste the best wines that go with this specialty. The MortadellaBo is a must-see event that you are sure to enjoy with your entire family.

Cinema Ritrovato

The Cinema Ritrovato is another great local festival that draws thousands of people from all over Italy and Europe. While outdoor cinemas and film festivals are no rarity, this particular one is unique for its focus on films from before 1975. So in addition to drawing thousands of locals and European film buffs, it also attracts numerous film scholars and film archivists from around the world.

For eight days at the end of June and beginning of July, around 350 forgotten gems of cinematography are shown in three different theaters in the city — the Lumiere theater, the Arlecchino and the Jolly. In these venues, you can enjoy themed screenings ranging from homages to beloved actors like Marlon Brando and Charlie Chaplin to regional themes, such as some lesser-known Argentinian and Japanese films from the 50s and 60s. The Cinema Ritrovato is a truly unique opportunity to enjoy movie classics from around the world in a theater format and surrounded by film buffs from different parts of the world.

Apart from the events requiring a ticket, the Cinema Ritrovato also features free screenings each evening on Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. These screenings are very well-organized and have excellent sound and a large screen, allowing you to enjoy the film no matter where you are seated. The added bonus? If you are a pass holder, you have access to a special area of reserved seating close to the screen.

Finally, on top of the excellent selection of films, Cinema Ritrovato also features a number of special lectures and panel talks. This gives attendees the opportunity to gain an even better insight into the films being screened. This makes the Cinema Ritrovato a true festival of film, celebrating the legacy of older creations and keeping them alive through renewed attention. Bologna — a city that beautifully combines the past and present — is the perfect setting for this type of event and truly comes alive during these 8 days of film magic.

How To Eat In Italy Without Gaining Weight

Italians are known for their rich culture and amazing food. When travelling to Italy, most people find themselves in the dilemma of skipping all the goodness in Italy or going all out or eating everything they can get their hands on. The problem with these two options is that you either miss out on tasting exotic foods or you gain a lot of weight during your holiday. You can find a balance amidst this dilemma with the following tips in order to fully enjoy your trip in Italy.

Pizza in Trieste

1. Lose weight before your trip

It is a fact people might gain weight during their vacations. This is because they engage in different activities out of their usual schedules hence working out and dieting is not easy. As such, it is advisable to lose some weight before you travel. This will give you some room to gain weight during your vacation without going beyond your ideal weight.

2. When in Italy, do as the Italians do

Italians are known for their good food and healthy appetites, but notably, they are rarely every overweight. Their trick is in their eating habits. Italians follow the system of food which means that breakfast should be the light meal, often just a coffee and a cornetto followed by lunch that should be main meal of the day normally eaten at 12 noon and a light dinner.  The main purpose of this is to ensure that you consume most calories during the day, which is when you need a lot of energy for your activities. Dinner should be small enough to allow your body to process it before you sleep.

3. Be mindful of meal options

Another important food factor apart from how you eat is what you eat. You may have a light dinner whose ingredients will not benefit your body. Thus, ensure that you consume your carbs during the day during breakfast and lunch. This is the best time to satisfy your palate with the famous Italian pasta and pizza meals. The carbs will give you the energy to enjoy other activities during your vacation. For dinner, proteins are preferable since they aid in the growth of muscles and unlike carbs, they will not be converted into sugar and fat during digestion. Proteins will also keep you full throughout the night hence you will be able to avoid unnecessary snacking.

Being in Italy gives you the rare chance of having ice cream for dinner. Italian ice cream, known as gelato, is unlike any other normal ice cream out there. Gelato is made locally and fresh using a lot of milk and less cream and sugar, unlike usual store bought ice creams. It also has less butterfat and sorbets have no egg hence it is quite a healthy version of ice cream. In summer often the Italians replace dinner with a gelato.

4. Walk

Italians often go for a stroll after dinnner, so you do. Walking after dinner increases your metabolism and in turn, your body processes food faster. The energy used when walking after dinner burns up sugar produced by the body and this results in the production of chemicals that induce sleep. Your mindless stroll after dinner fast tracks your digestion and gives you a good night’s sleep.

5. Healthy snacking

Snacking is the one of the culprits of quick weight gain. The sweets and cakes in Italy are very tempting snack options, but their large variety of fruits is healthier. Italy is a major producer of fruits and in summer are plentiful, you can snack on peaches, apricots, melons, plums cherries and the list goes on.

A vacation in Italy is an amazing chance to be part of a rich culture and to enjoy delicious Italian food while keeping healthy and still having fun.

Bologna: Review of Trattoria Anna Maria

The Trattoria Anna Maria is a restaurant located in the historical heart of Bologna. The cozy and homely atmosphere definitely remind the customer of the history of the establishment, opened in 1985, and that of Bologna and of the Bolognese cooking tradition.
The trattoria is furnished simply, so that the customers will be able to enjoy the high-quality and handmade dishes of the Emilian tradition of the city and they’ll be able to do so in a setting that welcomes interaction and merrymaking between the people seated at the table, as is typical during an Italian meal!

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Tortellini in brodo di cappone

The Trattoria Anna Maria prides itself in its selection of local dishes, perfectly in line with what a tourist might be looking for when choosing to sample traditional cuisine. For example, among the first courses served here we cannot fail to mention tortellini, tagliatelle, tortelloni with filling and lasagne, all made with ragù, the traditional meat sauce that accompanies most of the pasta-based dishes of Emilia-Romagna. Among the second courses offered by the trattoria, we have game, such as rabbit (which is a delicacy and a very savory dish that is highly recommended!), guinea-fowl and capon dishes, and again duck or various cuts of pork prepared according to recipes handed down through the generations.
The dishes I’ve ordered have all been presented somewhat simply, but that only contributes in avoiding distractions for the customer, who can then focus on the true tastes of Bolognese dishes.
As the first course of my meal, I had tortellini with capon broth, different than regular chicken-stock broth as it’s more savory and genuine, according to the traditional recipe of grandmothers who prepared this type of dish for the Sunday lunch. The portion was generous and the tortellini were fairly good.
Despite being famous for the first courses of meat-filled pasta, the meat-based dishes of the trattoria were especially well prepared and surprised me for their high quality. I ordered a roast of pork shin-bone, accompanied by a small portion of baked potatoes that was excellent.
I’ve also ordered two typical desserts, a “zuppa inglese” and a tiramisu, both very good and served in generous portions.
The prices for the first and second courses are medium-high, ranging between the 11 and 15 euros per dish. Considering the central position of the restaurant, this is a good price, and the quality to price ratio is very good.

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Roasted pork shin
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Tiramisu and zuppa inglese

Coffee: Become a Master Barista With This Masterclass in Italy

Being a barista is something that can be done wherever there is a coffee house, but the role finds its roots in the Italian tradition of coffee making, and with the Terzi Coffee School you can finally learn this incredible and refined trade.

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Terzi coffee shop where you can become a certified barista.

The Terzi Coffeehouses of Italy provide the chance to take part in lessons and courses at the Terzi School for Coffee and Foodies, located in Vignola, no matter your starting skill level. Coffee lovers, baristas and tourists who seek a truly Italian hands-on experience will be taught by an English-speaking (other languages available) master barista all about the different types and techniques of coffee making and most of the classes – that range between short, half-day ones, one-day experiences and multi-day classes – also include breakfast, lunch and/or dinner of the best local Emilia Romagna dishes.

The aim of the owner of Caffè Terzi of Italy, Mr. Manuel Terzi, is to spread his knowledge and coffee expertise to anyone who’s willing to learn. The school doesn’t just cater to those who wish to become more familiar with the world of coffee, but also to foodies and food-lovers, and the school offers insight about the best dishes of Italian cuisine, the best pairings between coffee and cheese, information about coffee beans and all you wanted to know about the history of coffee, the methods to harvest and grind the beans, the equipment needed for the Italian techniques as well as the other methods of extraction available and also how to make the perfect drink (you can learn over 125 coffee drinks!), latte art, and the perfect cappuccino.

There are many online courses about the art of coffee making, but the Terzi School offers a first-person experience, with focused training, not detached demonstrations. The participants will take part in the activities and will be engaged in an all-around experience in a friendly atmosphere, with small classes that allow for individual attention for optimal learning. The course will be tailored on your needs, and there are many curricula available on the school’s website to choose from. Registration is easy and the prices range from 35€ for a simple lunch/dinner to join your friends who have taken part in a class (this option doesn’t include the class itself), to 195€ for a 4hrs class where you can learn how to make the perfect espresso or cappuccino, and up to more expensive classes for the coffee die-hards who want to know everything about coffee roasting. Barista classes are available for beginners (3.5hrs/195€), intermediate participants (4.5hrs/250€) or advanced baristas (8hrs/495€), so that anyone with any level of experience can find the course that best fits their wishes.

The world of coffee is wonderful, and perhaps a bit complicated at first glance, but the Terzi School of Italy just opened its doors and it’s a chance to learn all you wanted to know about coffee you just can’t miss.

Gelato Museum and Masterclasses in Bologna

Tourism in Italy revolves around two main aspects of our culture: food and art. For people visiting this amazing country there are plenty of chances to experience them in a multitude of ways, but few of them allow tourists to savour both at the same time.
The production of homemade gelato is one of such art forms and thanks to the Carpigiani brand, one of the best known artisan gelato foundations in the field, tourists and visitors will have the chance to learn and experience the world, history and culture of Italian gelato.

Carpigiani Gelato University graduation

The museum is located inside a 1000 square meter industrial structure converted into a creative space in Anzola dell’Emilia (near Bologna), offers workshops, classes and interactive tours that will showcase a collection of 20 original gelato makers, interactive presentations, and over 10,000 historical images, tools and documents that will take you through the history and the improvements of the technologies employed in gelato making through the centuries. In the museum, three main themes will be covered: the evolution of gelato, the history of production technology, and the places and ways gelato is consumed

The main workshops available are those of the Gelato Emotions 2015-2016:

“Taste the History of Gelato” is a tour and gelato tasting experience.

“Discovering Gelato” is a visit of the museum and a tasting experience of the duration of 1h45 with a lesson in gelato making.

“Gelatology” a tasting experience through the history of gelato and a guided tour of the museum.

Other experiences offered inside the Museum include a “Gelato Masterclass”, that will have participants prepare their own gelato with instructors from the Carpigiani Gelato University, and a “Gelato Team Building” activity where participants will create their team and challenge opponents to create the most creative gelato flavour (that will be judged and awarded by a panel of experts).

The Carpigiani Gelato Museum also partners with the Carpigiani Gelato University, a way for those interested in learning and improving their work in the field of artisan ice-cream production through courses and lessons with professionals.

Prices and an extended overlook of the workshops and professional courses offered by the Carpigiani brand can be seen on the Museum and University’s websites. Prepare yourselves for a whirlwind of taste, tradition and creativity!
The Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9AM to 6PM and reservation is required for both visits and workshops and can be done by mailing the Carpigiani