Hell in Bologna

The Basilica of San Petronio is the main church of Bologna, and the fifteenth largest church in the world (132 metres long and 66 metres wide).

One of its most fascinating masterpieces is the Chapel of the Magi, hosting the awesome Heaven and Hell fresco by Giovanni di Pietro Falloppi. It depicts Dante’s vision of “Inferno”, with a gigantic figure of Lucifer consuming sinners.

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Bologna in one day

Visit Bologna_Mortadella

Mortadella made Bologna towers

 A one day walking itinerary to explore Bologna, a fascinating medieval city, (still) ignored by main stream tourism. Discover Bologna works of art, its porticoes and its amazing food!

Surprisingly enough, the vast majority of tourists see Bologna only from the window of a high speed train, moving from Venice to Florence and vice versa. A real pity for them, indeed.

Though neglected by  the mainstream touristic flows, Bologna is home to the oldest university in the Western world,  and is known for its lavish porticoed walkways and squares, its fascinating medieval center and its bustling night life. Bologna is also one of Italian food capital: great pastas such as tagliatelle, lasagne, tortellini as well as delicacies such as Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar and some of the finest cured meats in Italy hail from Bologna and the surrounding Emilia Romagna region. Continue reading “Bologna in one day”

How to visit a Balsamic Vinegar maker in Modena

Discover the making of traditional balsamic vinegar in Modena and learn how to visit a  Modena Balsamic Vinegar maker. This is a very easy half day tour from Bologna or day tour from Milan.

If you have a taste for “slow food”, you can’t ignore Balsamic Vinegar (“Aceto Balsamico”), which needs not less than 12 years of aging (but usually as much as 25!) before being savored!

This is still a family handmade product, and you can visit an “Acetaia” (litterally: the “vinegar place”). This is a fantastic experience to discover a century old tradition, and one of the most exclusive Italian food products.

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What to eat in Bologna

Bologna food is worldwide known, just think of Lasagne and Tagliatelle alla Bolognese! Here is a quick Bologna food guide to decipher a Bologna menu and to discover what to eat in Bologna, beyond Pizza and spaghetti

Bologna (and all the Emilia Romagna region!) is world wide known for its amazing cuisine and “Spaghetti alla Bolognese” are just like “Pizza” the most famous Italian dish in the world (actually, you will never find “spaghetti alla Bolognese” in Bologna, but this is a different story…).

Like in many other Italian regions, the traditional cooking can vary a lot among the different towns of Emilia Romagna, and you are likely to find rather different menus in Modena, Ferrara or Bologna. In this post I will talk mostly of Bologna food, leaving you the pleasure to discover the food peculiarities of the other Emilia Romagna cities.

Tortellini, Tagliatelle, Lasagne: undoubtedly the core of traditional Bologna food is “Fresh Pasta” (made with eggs and flour and not dried like spaghetti, hence “fresh”), either plain, like Tagliatelle, or stuffed, like Tortellini. Also famous specialties are cured meat pork (with excellencies such as Culatello) and the Cotoletta alla Bolognase, the local answer to the more famous “cotoletta alla Milanese”.

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One day in Ravenna, Italy

Visit Ravenna_Sant'Apolinarre nuovo 6

This Ravenna in one day walking itinerary will let you discover one of the most amazing towns in Italy.  Ravenna has been the last capital of the Roman empire, and displays the most amazing mosaics you could see in Europe. It’s an easy day trip from Bologna. 

The greatest mystery about Ravenna, Italy, is why it is so far from mainstream touristic itineraries. This tiny town one hour away from Bologna has eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites  and a glorious past. Its 1,500-year-old churches are decorated with best-in-the-West Byzantine mosaics.  By the way, Ravenna hosts the human spoils of Dante Alighieri (they are in here and not in Florence as most people think…). Like most ancient tiny towns in Italy,  Ravenna will seduce you with its laid back atmosphere, and its delightful Italian provincial town sensations.

If you have a spare day in your  rushy tour of Italy, you will find the peaceful charm of this untouristy and classy town and its extraordinary churches and mosaics definitely worth the effort.

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