Best aperitivo in Bologna: enjoy happy hour where locals do

Aperitivo in Bologna is taken very seriously. Here is a selection of Aperitivo bars popular with locals: enjoy appetizing drink, snack and perfect time out

After a whole day around the city it’s time to relax a little … and to taste one of the specialties Bologna is known for: the Aperitivo.

Aperitivo time starts around 6:00 PM, when the Bolognese finish their work and study activities, and can go on pretty late, often substituting the dinner: you may hardly still be hungry after a large cured meats and cheese “tagliere” and delicious “bruschette”.

Aperitivo in Bologna is an old and very popular tradition, just like in Milan and in Venice. On top of that, Bologna is a beautiful and lively town, so people just like to stay out, enjoy a drink and spend time with their friends.

You can literally find hundreds of great places to sip a glass of wine (or a cocktail, or a beer), chatting with friends and enjoying life.

Mentioning them all in this post is unfortunately not possible, so I’m just sharing my favorite places, the ones where I go when I’m in Bologna. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

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Off the beaten path Italy itinerary – in two or three weeks

A two weeks Italy  itinerary off the beaten path for the travelers who already enjoyed Italy essentials, and look for more. Discover Milan, Emilia Romagna, Umbria, Apulia and Sicily.

Civita Bagnoreggio_the dying city_115
Civita Bagnoregio

What? Visiting Italy without seeing Rome? Not even Florence or Cinque Terre? Yes, that’s what I mean, and I didn’t get crazy!

Here are five good reasons why you may wish to skip Italy main touristic highlights and to explore less famous (but for that reason even more fascinating!) destinations:

  • You already saw them in your previous trips (sounds logical, indeed)
  • You’re tired of seeing more tourists than Italians (yes, that’s what can happen in Rome, Venice and Florence in high season!)
  • You are looking for the real Italian atmosphere
  • You believe that there’s much more to see than just St Peter, St Marc and Piazza della Signoria (and you’re right!)
  • You hate doing what everybody else does

So for you maverick travelers, here is my itinerary, to be enjoyed in two weeks or more. Of course, you can cherry pick any of these destinations and add it to a “classical” Italian tour: you won’t regret it!

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Bologna in one day – amazing itinerary in Italy food capital

Italy in 4 weeks Bologna

Visit Bologna_Mortadella

Mortadella made Bologna towers

Free walking itinerary to explore Bologna in one day. Discover Bologna amazing art and culture, its lovely porticoes and its delicious 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 – amazing itinerary in Italy food capital”

What to eat in Bologna: a Bologna food guide to discover local specialties

A complete Bologna food guide to decipher a Bologna restaurant menu and to discover what to eat in Bologna such as tortellini, lasagne and tagliatelle

Bologna amazing food is worldwide known, just think of Lasagne, Tortellini and Tagliatelle alla Bolognese. “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. 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”). Fresh pasta can be either plain, like Tagliatelle, or stuffed, like Tortellini.

Also famous specialties are cured meat pork and the Cotoletta alla Bolognese, the local answer to the more famous “cotoletta alla Milanese”.

So here is what you could expect to find in a typical Bologna menu.

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