That's Baloney - Why You Need to Eat in Bologna

by Christopher Atwood

Isn’t it funny how we mention food when we talk about travel? Travel feeds us. Or, we hunger for escape. Thankfully, food needs no translation. It’s something locals and visitors can bond over. And, when it comes to edible travel, Italy’s in a league of its own.

Let’s be honest: food is a big reason travelers return to Italy over and over. We hanker for a second and third helping of experiences like -- 

· Making pasta from scratch in the hills of Tuscany

· Savoring the perfect pizza near the ruins of Pompeii

· Enjoying rigatoni at a rustic Roman restaurant

· Going behind-the-scenes at a parmigiano reggiano producer

Eating in Bologna is hands-down the best in Italy. In this crowd-free town, travelers can savor the soul of Italy – whether it’s a steaming plate of tagliatelle or an artisanal gelato. The region that houses Bologna – Emilia-Romagna – invented such Italian staples as parmigiano, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto di Parma, and tortellini. In other words, Bologna is paradise for food-loving travelers. Simply put, eating in Bologna is extraordinary.


Strolling the stone squares of Bologna, you’ll spot shops filled with yolk-yellow fettuccine. Flour and eggs are kneaded into fresh pasta here each day. Located between Florence and Venice, Bologna is a delicious stop for all kinds of travelers – both return visitors and Italy first-timers.

I spent the day in Bologna a year ago, touring the city with my See Italy colleagues. After crossing the city’s main square, Piazza Maggiore, we walked up and down Bologna’s Via delle Pescherie Vecchie. This historic street bustles with gourmet food shops – including fruit sellers, pasta makers, fish mongers, and cheese stores.

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We stopped in at the nearby Salumeria Simoni -- a family-run delicatessen -- for a plentiful platter of prosciutto. The Simoni family has been carving up cheese and cured meats for generations here. You order at the counter and then enjoy your savory snack with a glass of local wine. I recommend lambrusco -- a fizzy red wine popular in Emilia-Romagna.

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We then wandered over to a pasta shop -- watching tortellini get made. Stuffed pasta is the pride of Bologna’s cooks. Each morning, pastifici (pasta makers) roll out long sheets of fresh pasta to make tortellini (small) and tortelloni (large). Every one is filled and shaped, lovingly, by hand.

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In Bologna, locals’ love of food is eclipsed only by the warmth of their hospitality. With our local connections, you stop feeling like an outsider and start feeling (and feasting!) like family.

Hungry for the real Italy? On our trips for travel advisors, you'll experience the country tourists rarely encounter. Next year, we’ll traipse through ROME, VENICE & FLORENCE (11/03/19-11/19/19).  We’d love to help you share the authentic Italy with your community of travelers.

Apply Now to See Italy in 2020!

We promise you’ll be back for seconds and thirds of Italian hospitality!

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