Bologna! Somewhere people don’t necessarily think of when they think of Italy, but it’s somewhere that should be. Especially if you love food.
It’s the food capital of Italy and it deserves the title. We had amazing meats and cheeses, fresh filled pasta in broth, the original bolognese – tagliatelle al ragú – (no spaghetti in sight). Oh my gosh I’m getting so hungry thinking about it.
Also. Why had I never thought of having just pieces of parmesan before? Forget just having shavings over your pasta! Slice it, enjoy it, because boy it is good!
I would say just go for the food. Do, if you want. And to be honest that’s what drew us to it. But we fell in love with Bologna for so much more than the food.
As well as being nicknamed The Fat One (hellooooo food), it’s also nicknamed The Red One for the beautiful wash of red tiles that cover the roofs of all the buildings. There are two towers in the centre of Bologna and you can climb one of them, most likely very slowly because it’s very steep and high, oh so high. Writing this is reminding of just how out of breath I got. The views are worth it though, it’s stunning (picture below).
God, I want to go back.
If any of you go after reading this please share pictures. The wanderlust is running high.
Bologna is such a beautiful place, highly highly underrated.
I loved that there were barely any tourists. In the three days we were there I think we heard two other groups of English speakers, so it’s somewhere to go to get a feel of true bustling Italy. It’s not somewhere overly quaint or touristy, it’s a city filled with normal shops, you see people going to work, there are students hanging out in front of the cathedral, people only spoke basic English. It felt lived in.
And just to convince you all that you need to go even more I’ll share three quirky bits of history about it with you. Things that you can’t help but laugh at in bewilderment.
1) The two towers are some of the few that remain, there used to be over a hundred of them. What were they for? So that people could prove their wealth, the taller the wealthier. Seriously. And what did they do with the tower of a family lost their wealth? Just leave it? Nah. They knocked it down. How petty does that sound? I’m still not over it.
2) Bologna has porticos all over, archways that cover the pavements. That’s all well and good but when they have a church up a mountain 5 kilometres away and a something precious to carry to the church in the centre? Would you not think they’d maybe get an umbrella or just keep it in the one church? Nah. They build a 5km long portico to keep it covered.
3) The church in the last picture of the post looks a little odd, no? A funny design doing half marble half brick? Almost… unfinished? Well, you would be right. It has been like that for about 500 years, it was meant to all be marble. But it remains unfinished, but I think it’s here to stay. I quite like it.
If I still haven’t convinced you about Bologna I don’t know what else to say. It’s pretty. It’s got an interesting history. It has amazing food. It’s laidback. It’s not rammed with tourists.
Go now before the crowds descend. I feel like Bologna is a hidden gem that will soon be discovered by all.