Main attractions in Bologna and why to stay here.
What to eat in Bologna.
Bologna in the last 20 years has became the mecca of the food lover and foodie travellers. With its world wide reputation for food food it never fails to attract and surprise gourmet eaters from the U.S.A, Canada, Australia, Japan, Russia, China and so on. We have seen all nationalities coming here just for one reason EAT!
Bologna is big for its fresh egg pasta and it comes in literally 100 of variation with matching sauces. Winter or summer you should not fail to try the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (please do not ask for Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce as it is not an Italian dish but an approximation invented abroad), then you will want to try the lasagne, tortellini and tortelloni, quaretti, maltagliati and so on. A less known dish by the visitor but extremely popular in Bologna or Modena are the crescrentine or sometimes called tigelle . Small breads that back in the days were baked by the fireplace sandwiched between round shapes of clay and they constitute the staple meals for the farmer and their families. Nowadays they are served with all sort of cured meats.
Gnocco Fritto or crescentine fritte.
This is the bad boy of the Bolognese cooking style, as it is flour dough fried in lard, it is divine with prosciutto and it should not be missed for any reason. It is also very common in Modena and Parma, here you will find that it called torta Fritta.
Mortadella in Bologna.
This slow cooked pink sausage is know all over the world in its copycat versions which simply ruined this popular salumi in Italy. Now the real mortadella di Bologna is protected by the IGP label from the Italian government. The Indicazione di origine protetta indicate that the sausage is produced following a traditional recipe using only prime lean pork cut, then ground very finely which will give the pink appearance, and slowly cooked for 72 hours, the only ingredients should be pork, and salt. However it is very likely to contain nitrates added as preservative. It can be eaten finely sliced or cubed.
What to see in Bologna.
After many heavy meals in Bologna you will soon find out that you will need to move a little to shed off the calories. In Bologna the best activity to do so it is to take a walk to the church of San Luca, which is the orange building that you see on the top of the hills surrounding Bologna. The porticoes stretch from the centre of the town and go all the way to the top, it is about 4 km of steep uphill walk. If you do not feel so adventurous you can take the tourist train from the central square. Other urban adventures are the torre degli Asinelli, one of the 2 tours adjacent to Piazza Maggiore has several 100 steps all the way to the top, once representing one of the powerful Bolognese family now offers visitors breathtaking views of the city. Along the Piazza Maggiore don’t miss the Jean de Boulogne fountain, San Petronio one of largest churches in Italy, and finally the room of the Spellati in the oldest university in the western world. It is a room in the faculty of medicine with two statues of man without their skin to expose the underneath muscles to the students.
Where to sleep in Bologna.
Bologna is a major transport hub in Italy, with a large train station, one airport and one major motorway if you are travelling from north to south and vice versa you got to pass from Bologna. Hotels tend to be fairly price compared to most the other tourist part of Italy, however in September you might find it expensive as there many exhibition around that period, in this case you can stay in Modena which is only 20 minutes by train and it has many very good quality hotels.
If you stay in Bologna it is best to book one of the hotel around the station, or around Piazza Maggiore, but remember if you are driving there in a no traffic zone in force so make sure that you know where you are going.
We recommend the Grand Majestic Baglioni that it is the city 5 star hotel with all the luxurious comfort that you will ever need. La Una, Starhotel excelsior and Mercure hotel are all very similar and right in front to the station. The Zan Hotel and 3 Vecchi are also popular choices are all very similar in standard.
Where to eat in Bologna.
Diana and Caminetto d’oro have been the best and most renowned restaurant in Bologna for many years but you will find that the prices have also risen and they are not that reasonable any more. If you are looking for somewhere where the locals eat I would recommend Trattoria Anna Maria Via delle Belle Arti 17, open for lunch. For the evening you can try Taverna dei Lords in Via Nazario Sauro, here you can try many of the pasta dishes from the Bologna cuisine.
Cookery lessons in Bologna
Emilia Delizia organises cookery classes in Bologna with a tour of the local market, student who want to be chef for one day can prepare fresh egg pasta with our professional chef. We can take solo travellers and larger groups anyone is welcome.
Gourmet tour from Bologna.
Emlia Delizia also pick up small or larger parties for our 3 food gourmet food in one day, with departure at 7.15 from your hotel or nearby location we will take you to visit the Parmesan cheese production, a balsamic vinegar producer with tasting and finally an organic winery in Modena or if you prefer to see the Parma ham we can also accomodate that.
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The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.
Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).
My family felt our first trip to Italy must include a tour of a Parmesan Cheese Factory so when I stumbled on this website several months ago I had no idea what I treasure I found! From the moment I submitted a request for the tour, my experience with Emilia Delizia was first rate. Gabriele provided excellent customer service by patiently answering all my questions to guide me through the selection and reservation of our Foodie Delight Tour. Paolo, our driver, was prompt, cordial and knowledgeable about the processes we were observing and the area in general conveying loads of information with his well-developed English speaking skills. Our stop in Modena fell on a Saturday so we were quite fortunate to end up with a private tour which allowed us to have a nice, personal interaction with the people at each site. Everyone was friendly, generous with the tastings and we never felt rushed to move along to the next location. Now that we have returned to the states, my family agrees this tour was a highlight of our 10 day trip. I was really looking forward to this excursion and am glad to report it exceeded my expectations.