Travel Tips

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.

Travel Agent Tip: How To Avoid a Poor Deal For Your Travel Money.

What is the best way to get travel money and how do I avoid getting a poor deal?

Preparing to go on holiday can be a stressful time. Deadlines to meet, clothes to wash and bags to pack – there’s lots to think about.
One thing that often gets left until the last minute – but never gets less important – is sorting out your holiday money. Getting it isn’t difficult, but knowing where to go for a good deal is.
So we’ve done a bit of research and put together a guide. Follow this and avoid any nasty financial shocks when you get home.
Never exchange money at the airport.
This is a super-easy rule to follow: Simply don’t use bureaux de change at the airport to exchange your currency. Ever.
It might seem like a convenient option, and it is, but the exchange rate is always horrible and at that late stage what other choice do you have but to accept it?
Don’t be fooled by a sign that reads “0% Commission”, the fees are often hidden in a poor exchange rate. This is a good rule to follow in general: When a sign reads “0% COMMISION”, it’s usually too good to be true.
Using your UK debit/credit is super-easy but can be super-expensive.
Of course, you may get to the airport, see those poor rates and decide to use your UK card abroad. More and more travellers are opting to take their regular debit/credit cards away anyway.
This is by far the easiest option and requires no effort whatsoever apart from packing your wallet. The thing is – you’ll often spend a considerable amount on fees.
Let’s take a Halifax debit card, for example. If you were using your card in Rome – they would charge you £1.50 for each point-of-sale transaction and/or £1.50 for every ATM withdrawal. On top of that, a 2.75% conversion commission is charged each time. Costly.

Don’t exchange abroad

Of course, you could just do the exchange once you reach your destination. The problem is you’re still going to have to hunt around for the best rate.
Spending the first day of your holiday scanning for the best deal doesn’t sound like much fun, wouldn’t you rather be having a glass of wine and picking at some olives?Also, what about paying for your taxi from the airport?

Prepaid cards are usually the cheapest way.

Prepaid cards are cards that you load up with currency before you go and use when you’re on holiday like a debit card here.
Imagine a prepaid card is like a pay-and-go mobile contract. You can’t spend until you’ve loaded it with money but there are lots of benefits once you have.
Like a pay and go – you can track exactly what you’ve spent and how much you’re spending. You can also ‘top up’ anytime. The rates are much better than most other options and unusually, rates are fair and transparent.
The guys at Money Saving Expert know their stuff, they’ve reviewed all of the UK options. 
We really like WeSwap which is a prepaid card with a difference.
Instead of buying money from a trader and selling to you – like most banks and bureaux do, WeSwap actually swaps money between travellers heading in opposite directions.
Swapping is obviously much cheaper and therefore so is WeSwap. They noe have 200,000 travellers in their community and just raised over £2 million in crowdfunding.

Beware of dynamic currency conversion

Cash machines and some vendors will ask you when making a transaction whether you wish to make it in pounds or in the local currency.
It very rarely pays to make the payment in pounds. This is due to the fact that the overseas vendor is making the conversion, usually at a less than favourable rate.
In short, always select to pay in the local currency.
If you’ve already swapped into Euros – which you will have done with a prepaid card – you don’t need the ATM to convert because you’ve already done it! This is just a way for the local bank to try and make some extra money.

Don’t take a packet of cash, it’s not 1997.

A surprising amount of people still nip down to somewhere like the Post Office or M&S, swap all their money and take it in their suitcases.
Not only are these traditional providers often expensive – how often do you walk around with hundreds and hundreds of pounds in your wallet in the UK?
Even if you hide a few hundred Euro under a mattress, in a ball of socks or inside the curtain it’s not exactly bullet proof. If it doesn’t get stolen, it is easy to lose and you’ exchange rate would have been poor anyway.

Keep an eye on the markets and watch out for elections.
It is worth keeping an eye on the FX markets in the lead up to your trip and bearing in mind the potential impact of politics.
Two surprise election results had volatile consequences on the FX markets in 2016. Firstly, the British public voted to leave the European Union, and secondly the American public voted Donald Trump as their next president.
Both of these decisions had a negative impact on their respective country’s currency. Basically, markets don’t like uncertainly and new leaders and political change often mean uncertainty.
Shrewd travellers may have exchanged some money pre-election so as not to be affected by the result. Obviously this isn’t very practical but it helps to have a little knowledge of these things so you can make a measured decision.

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)

Untitled

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.

Coffee and Gelato Experience Tour

coffee

This tour will allow you to discover hands on how to make the perfect espresso, cappuccino and caffe’ latte. Participants will be visiting one of the most famous coffee maker in the province of Bologna and Modena, where they will take a one hour Italian coffee-making experience with a local trained barista. Following the coffee experience we will be visiting the Ice Cream museum in Anzola Emilia at the Carpigiani factory. Here you will be taking a guided tour with gelato sampling at the museum where you will learn the basic of gelato making.
This tour also include a visit to a balsamic vinegar maker.

Time: Leaving at 9.30 am and returning at 4 pm. Tuesday to Saturday, excluding Italian national holidays. Min. 2 adults.  This is a private tour just for your group.

What is included:

Transport from Modena train station or Modena Hotel is standard. We can also pick you from Bologna however this is an extra, please see booking calendar for pricing.

  • 1 hour hands on barista course in Vignola (Modena)
  • Visit to Carpigiani Gelato museum in Anzola (Bologna)
  • English-speaking driver and guide.
  • Free visit to Balsamic vinegar maker. (Modena)
  • Free Gourmet gift.

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).

Foodies: Why Andalusia should be in your travel list?

Andalusia is a melting pot of various cultures and cuisines. Since ancient times, it has seen the Christians, the Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs – basically all the heavyweights of world history, congregate and leave an indelible mark on the region and its culture. A proof of this rich and varied heritage exists nowhere as prominently as in the cuisine of Spain’s south – the Andalusia gourmet.

Keeping alive the glorious reputation of producing some of the finest food, are the Andalusian chefs who are widely regarded as one of the finest in business today. You can easily get a taste of their skills in a five star restaurant, as well as at a cozy chiringuito on one of the several beautiful beaches found in the region.

To keep it short, It is an excellent culinary model where imagination, tradition and modern culinary science, all converge. The following list of only the best dishes from Andalusia’s gastronomy reveals as much. So, for all the foodies looking for their next adventure in the upcoming holidays, we present the Andalusia gourmet region as the place to look toward!

Top Culinary Offerings from Andalusia

First homemade Salmorejo of the year. Salmorejo Berlin Kuchen

Salmorejo

A denser form of the quintessential Andalusian dish, Gazpacho (chilled tomato soup), Salmorejo is also the more fulfilling version of the two. Like the famous Gazpacho, it is made of tomatoes, garlic and olive oil but along with a heavy dose of bread crumbs. Although several variations of the dish exist throughout Andalusia, you will always find the Salmorejo served with a liberal dose of hard-boiled eggs, jamon (cured ham) and sometimes, tuna (especially in the coastal areas).

Salmorejo originated in the city of Cordoba but it quickly became one of the most famous foods in Andalusia. You will easily find most of the restaurants serving the dish as a refreshing lunch entree during the spring and summer. At other places, you might as well find Salmorejo being offered as an evening appetizer!

Jamon Iberico de Bellota

The jamon iberico (or the Iberian cured ham) is quite simply the best ham that is served throughout Andalusia and possibly, the entire Spain. The taste, the aroma and the texture of this Andalusian ham is what foodies crave for in their meat.

The secret?

Note the word de Bellota, which denotes that the ham you are eating comes from pigs fed on a diet comprising solely of acorns!

These speciality pigs are raised in the oak forests of Cordoba and Huelva mountain ranges and are one of the most sought after for the flavors they offer. The Iberian cured ham is a result of as many as twelve months of curing and processing, and pays off handsomely in terms of taste and aroma.

If you are in Andalusia, there is simply no way you can leave without trying the jamon iberico – probably the most exclusive and exceptional item on this list!

Pescado Frito

Also called, Pescaito Frito, which translates to “fried fish”. This Andalusian staple dish recipe is as simple as its translation. All it contains is fish coated in flour that is fried in olive oil and then, served with a lemon wedge along with salt sprinkled lightly all over it. But don’t be fooled by its simplicity. It counts among the best fried fish recipes across the world!

Along with cod and sole as the more popular ingredients, you can also find some chefs mixing calamares (squid), adobo (marinated dogfish) and puntillitas (baby octopus) to make the Pescaido Frito. No matter the ingredient though, the taste remains unbeatable.

Remember when in Andalusia, Cadiz is the place where you want to go to try out the Pescado Frito. You can find it being served in a paper cone on the streets, as well as on the menu in the more sophisticated restaurants in the area. Legend has it that Pescado Frito was actually the real inspiration behind the now world renowned English meal, fish and chips!

Chicharrones

Chicharrones are a popular dish in Spain (typically in Andalusia), Latin America and basically, every other country in the world which has some affinity to the Spanish culture or cuisine. These are very similar to the French rillons, in that the end result is the same fried chunks of succulent pork.

People in Andalusia generally make chicharrones using chunks of pork belly that are fried or saute-d over high heat in their own fat. Once prepared, you can enjoy them along with a smattering of cumin powder and some lemon juice squeezed on the top.

Expert’s tip: A bottle of chilled San Miguel lager is what you want when having those juicy chicharrones!

Sherry From Jerez

Brought to you straight from the so called Sherry Triangle (an area encompassing Jerez de la Frontera, Puerto de Santa Maria and San Lucar de Barrameda), is the world famous Spanish Sherry. The British have been addicted to it (the cream sherry to be exact) since 1587 and one can’t really blame them!

The secret to this one of its kind pre-meal aperitif lies in the place of its origins – the Cadiz province. A unique combination of the local soil, damp climate and the Spanish solera system, along with the Palomino (white grape) is all that goes in making this splendid version of fortified wine. Some of the best styles of the Spanish sherry include Oloroso, Fino, Manzanella, Amontillados and the sweet tasting Pedro Ximenez.

Vinegar from Jerez

The Sherry Triangle is also home to one of the most flavorful vinegars – the Sherry Vinegar. It is a gourmet vinegar that is produced exclusively within the same triangular area that gives us one of the oldest wines in the world, the Sherry wines. Most forms of the Sherry vinegar are aged using the same Solera system as the Sherry wines and their production and quality is monitored by the Consejo Regulador of Spain.

The vinegar made from Sherry is considered to be a gourmet ingredient and adds a very distinctive and crisp taste to several recipes in both Spanish and French cuisine. Typically, you will find Sherry vinegar being used in a variety of stews, casseroles, soups, sauces and salad dressings.

Andalusia – A Feast for Senses

The gastronomy of Andalusia has such variety that it is impossible to cover in a single article. And it’s not just the food, equally enticing are the great diverse landscapes and cultures that are present there. If you are a true foodie, you will never get tired of sampling the region’s terrific dishes and wines. And if you are lucky enough to be in time for a food-themed festival, you will discover new meanings to the word “feast” in its complete sense!

Amarone Tours: Best wineries in Valpolicella – Verona

Verona represents the main Italian tourist center due to its history. It’s the most famous town of Romeo and Juliet all around planet earth. An industrial city and bustling business center are located in Verona. This city is surrounded by famous territories known for wines production. The following are three famous wineries you shouldn’t hesitate to visit to enjoy cool wines and scenic beauty in Verona.

Zeni winery

It’s located near villages of Bardolino and Lake Garda. Zeni winery is situated on beautiful sceneries of Moreinic hills where you can enjoy a cool, inspiring panoramic view. It’s a family based wine producing Company. Currently, it’s run by the fifth generation of Zeni family.

Over 130 years, Zeni family has been enthusiastically committed to the best production of premium Veronese wines. Some of the most famous wines are known in regions such as Valpolicella, Recioto, Ripasso among others. Besides the classic wines, wine museum was created for the unique exhibition. This offers an interesting itinerary to visitors through the techniques of making the old wine. It presents the old pictures, tools, and documents used to make old wines. This museum is sub-divided into different areas. Each area is dedicated to present a particular process of wine production. This includes all stages from the vine growing to wine bottling.

Zeni winery has recently built a new wine cellar. This cellar is a structure that combines old tradition functionality with the modern. Impressive vaulted roof anchored on strong columns and a terra cotta floor represents this cellar. In this structure, you will find the oak barrels, barriques, and tonneaus. Zeni products age in the perfect condition of humidity and temperature at the cellar.

Are you planning to visit Zeni winery? Relax. A guided visit is introduced for you to wine museum at Zeni. It’s followed by a relaxing stroll. This is in the hills behind the wineries along the vineyards growing Estate. The tour then proceeds to Zeni beautiful barriques cellar. It ends here where the visitor tastes a selection of wines that are chosen among the best products of Zeni wineries.

Bertani wineries.

Bertani is one of the most famous wineries in Verona. Historical wine production is represented at Bertani. It started producing traditional wine many years back. It produced Recioto and Amarone wines back in the 1950s. It’s a unique place combining modern and old at the same time. Bertina winery owns vast hectares of vineyards, approximately 200 hectares, in Verona.

The cellar is situated at the winery headquarters located at Grezzana, North-East of Verona. This cellar is open for tours. It represents a clear example of industrial heritage. You can learn more about history that made this winery a unique expression of this land during a guided tour visit. Tools used in the past for wine production can also be seen in the cellar wine museum. Tasting of winery’s most famous wine is also possible and ends the tour.

Tommasi winery

Tommasi - Magnifica Oak Cask

Tommasi winery is one of the largest producers of wine in Valpolicella. It was founded back in 1902. It’s a family based winery. It’s located in Pedemonte. Currently, the winery is run by the fourth generation. It owns hectares of extended vineyard. This vineyard is located in the most productive hills. Best red wines have made Tommasi one of the most famous wineries in Verona.

Tommasi welcomes visitors and wine lovers for a guided tour. Tasting of famous Tommasi wine is possible for visitors. It also welcomes friends and visitors in it cellar. A tour to Tommasi Estates gives you a chance to know regions of Valpolicella Classica and its wine. It also represents a chance to understand the effort made and the passion involved in making each bottle of Amarone.

Visiting the historical vineyard, which is located behind the winery building, starts each tour. Tours learn how vines are grown. The tours continue to the fruttaio. This is where grapes are dried on a loft for Recioto and Amarone. Large Slavonian oak barrels are seen down in Tommasi cellar. Aging of Amarone is done using these oak barrels. Tasting of the most famous and representative Tommasi wines ends the tour.

What a beautiful and awesome moments? Make a day and visit our wineries. Enjoy to your level best. Taste the most famous wines you desire. Visit wineries impressive vineyards and other beautiful sceneries. Don’t forget to come with a friend and share this great moment and experience. All are welcome.

Travel Agent Secret Tip: How To Save On Holiday Money

Most of us can afford to go on holiday only once a year, and even then, we have to be very careful with money to stretch it as far as we want it to go. When you have saved an entire year for a much-awaited holiday, you wouldn’t want to lose a huge chunk of it to money transfers and hidden bank fees, would you? In this post, you are about to get first hand secret from a travel agent how you can save money so that you can have more to pamper yourself and actually enjoy your holiday.

How do most people lose money on holiday?

Money Exchange
You will not get the best deals when exchanging cash at the bureau de chanage

Before you can figure out how best to save money, it is vital you understand where it often goes. In the past, financial planning for a holiday was a daunting and time-consuming process that never ended happily, largely because of the hurdles of money exchange and hefty hidden bank charges one had to pay just to access or spend it. If you are planning a holiday, there are much simpler and straightforward ways you can plan to get the best deal for your holiday money. The most expensive financial services when you are in a foreign country include on-the-spot currency conversions (especially if you have cash), Travelers’ Check fees, credit card charges, interest on prepaid or debit cards, and dynamic currency conversion rates.

So, what are your best options?

Transferwise

Transferwise is wire transfer service from the creator of Skype. It allows you to transfer money abroad at interbank rates, which are the best exchange rates (wholesale rates) you can get when buying currency, plus a small reasonable fee. Transferwise is ideal when booking establishments that do not take credit cards and require a bank transfer, but also you can use to pay anyone who has a bank account around the world so you can avoid hidden credit card fees, or bank wire costs.

If you are looking for the safest, most convenient, and affordable way to book holidays abroad—whether you are looking to stay in a hotel or some other establishment— then Transferwise is a service designed just for you. With Transferwise, you will never have to:

– Deal with the insecurity of walking around with cash travel money;

– Pay huge commissions of Travelers’ checks;

– Carry prepaid or credit cards you are never sure will be accepted; or

– Worry about the complexities and delays of wire transfers.

Any travel agent who knows his stuff will tell you that Transferwise is the convenient, cost-effective, and quick way to transfer money and make payments while on holiday and get to enjoy the best interbank exchange rates.

Revolut

Revolut’s tagline, ‘Simply Revolutionary’ is exactly what this app-based global payment system is—revolution of payment simplicity. This new way to send and spend money instantly globally is a clever combination of the advancement of MasterCard and the convenience of a smartphone app. What you will need to do as you plan your holiday is simply charge your account with Euros or Dollars travel money before you leave. When you get to your destination, simply draw the money in the local currency and enjoy the best exchange rates in the market with no fees for as much as 650 euros. You can also conveniently make payments for your purchases in restaurants and shops, save your travel money over time, and send money straight from the app

There are several important considerations when comparing the various money transfers methods available to you. The most important considerations today are low transfer rates, money exchange rates, convenience (especially online access), and safety. Take the word of an experienced travel agent, the best ways for you to get the most of your money and enjoy your holiday is by using one of these two great travel money management systems.