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Bologna the forgotten city, The city of the world popular fast cars and food and entertainment heaven, a city you must visit.
Bologna is one of my favourite cities in Italy. Mostly because I met Andrea from Taste Bologna here and he showed me the best things to do in Bologna.
A lot of people don't consider the city because they are so busy with Rome, Florence and Venice. But Bologna is sure a city for food lovers. It’s the largest city in the Emilia Romagna region, one of the best food regions in the world producing products like Parmigiano-Reggiano, Modena balsamic vinegar, and prosciutto.
The culinary city Bologna is one of the most favourite cities in Italy.
Bologna is also a university town. it houses the world’s oldest university and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Today it has the energy and relaxed nightlife of a university town with so many inexpensive things to do in Bologna. Yet as it’s not as high on the radar for first-time travellers to Italy, you won’t have any of the crowds.
If you need just one reason to visit Bologna it is for its nickname " La Grassa " who doesn’t want to visit a city called The Fat....
Bologna is also known as La Rossa or the red, for its terra cotta and famous Italian rooftops, it’s a medieval city so you will find beautiful cathedrals and historic buildings but it’s also a left-leaning progressive city with modern art exhibits. Bologna has no shortage of culture it has a lot of things and places to offer.
Asinelli Tower is the city’s largest tower and you can climb to the top to get a great view. It slightly leans and is actually taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the 498 steps to the top will surely work off the extra pasta calories.
Piazza Maggiore is the main plaza in the city with lots going on from movies in the square to art fairs. To get here travel up Bologna’s main street – Via dell’Indipendenza and you’ll arrive at the famous Neptune Fountain in Piazza Nettuno which is just around the corner.
Piazza Maggiore is also home to the Basilica of San Petronio which is an odd-looking church as the bottom is pink marble but the top is brick. While it may not be the most beautiful, it is one of the more interesting as it was once supposed to be the largest church in the world until the Vatican discovered the plans and suddenly funds disappeared and were given to the university. Perhaps a better investment anyway.
Stroll the 666 portici in Bologna, or covered terracotta arcades. With an influx of university students, it needed to expand rapidly. No one wanted to expand outside the city so they build on top of the streets, student houses were created in front of existing storefronts with the portions below. They needed to be high enough to allow horse carts through and today over 45km remain, which is fantastic for the hot Italian sun or rainy days.
When you are looking for the best food and If you are heartbroken that spaghetti bolognese does not exist in Bologna, have no fear and order the tagliatelle with ragu or order one of much traditional food in Bologna.
Here some ideas when it comes to food
Where ever you go in the world we know it as bologna, but here it’s called Mortadella it's an Italian sausage made from ground pork and pork fat It’s decadent and amazing with a glass of prosecco.
Once you’ve had your fill of mortadella, try its lesser-known cousin salame rosa, also known as pink salami. If a cooked ham and mortadella had a child it would be salame rosa as it is a cooked sausage made from the shoulder of the pork
Bologna is popular in Neapolitan pizza, so think thicker, softer crust it’s a perfect snack.
Tortellini in brodo
Delicate parcels of pasta filled with minced pork in broth.
Italian tasty flatbreads filled with cheese and meat.
Torta di Rice
An amazing sweet rice cake.
Here are the best gelato shops in Bologna I learned early on how to distinguish the differences between those that tourists eat at and gelato shops for locals real gelato isn’t piled high to draw people in, it’s hidden in canisters beneath a counter so gelato needs to be cold. Makes you wonder how those piles of tempting gelato-like shops keep it cold.
Another must-try is the Lambrusco, famous Italian sparkling red wine, it goes fantastically with cured meat.
When strolling around Bologna, don't forget the famous markets, see below a few to get an idea.
Mercato di Mezzo is the oldest market in Bologna just off Piazza Maggiore, it's open every day except Sunday. Located in the Quadrilatero, it’s the most famous market and more popular with tourists than other markets so the prices are a bit higher than in other places.
Mercato della Terra is an open-air market it’s a great way to find local products from the region.
Mercato delle Erbe there’s an opportunity to shop for food In the evenings you’ll find locals eating and drinking from stalls. This is a local experience and one of the best things to do in Bologna.
Bologna also popular for its drinking places here below is a sample of ideas
Osteria del Sole already there since 1465 one of the oldest Osteria in Italy. You can bring your own food and drink alongside old Italian men playing cards. in order to get your drinks you have to get yourself no one is coming by your table to take your order.
Piazza del Maggiore, you’ll find lots of cafes and bars around the city square if you are able to bring your own food and/or wine and join the group.
Le Stanze a former chapel that is very popular and reasonable pricing and has interesting decor. even at night it's busy but it’s also open during the day for coffee.
It’s definitely one of the cheapest things to do in Bologna... In Piazza Verdi you’ll find crowds of people drinking in the streets and the faint smell of illegal substances in the air. Consider visiting Bottega to get a couple of beers and you’ll meet a lot of people in the scenic square.
Bologna is also a popular shopping place, with many places to go around and look for the latest Italian fashion
Include fast car lovers Bologna is the place to visit as there are the museums of Ferrari and Maserati and Lamborgini a must to visit and experience a sit in the fastested cars of Italy
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