That’s Baloney! Why You Need to Visit Bologna

by Chris Atwood
Eating in Bologna is hands-down the best to visit in Italy. Isn’t it funny how we mention food when we talk about travel? Travel feeds us. Or we crave escape. Thankfully, the food needs no translation.  Moreover, it’s something locals and visitors can bond over. And, when it comes to edible travel in Italy, it’s in a league of its own.
In this, typically, 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, where eating is extraordinary, is a paradise for food-loving travelers. Let’s go visit Bologna!
Cafe in the street

A Delicious Stop for All Kinds of Travelers

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 a day visiting 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, fishmongers, and cheese stores.

yolk-yellow fettuccine

Famous for Prosciutto and Lambrusco

We stopped 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.

Man on a prosciutto store

The Pride of Local Cooks 

We then wandered over to a pasta shop watching tortellini get made, some of the best in Italy. Stuffed pasta is the pride of Bologna’s cooks. Each morning pastifici (pasta makers) take fresh pasta dough, choose their pasta rollers, pick up their rolling pins and give purpose to the flour. They roll out long sheets of fresh pasta to make tortellini (small) and tortelloni (large). Every single one is filled and shaped, lovingly, by hand.
Speaking of pasta, when you visit Bologna, you should eat tagliatelle al ragu, commonly referred to as “pasta bolognese.” Every restaurant, trattoria, and osteria in town will offer this one on the menu. But as it’s one of Bologna’s best foods to eat, chances are high that you still won’t get enough. There are all types of pasta in Italy but each region has it’s own that is special or unique to them, right down to the pasta shapes, the roller, and cutters they use, and even the way they cook the pasta.
pasta bolognese spaghetti in plate

The Birthplace of Lasagna

In addition, Bologna is also the birthplace of Lasagna, and eating it here comes with side effects. You will never be able to appreciate just any kind of Lasagna afterward if it’s not a “proper” one. You won’t find dried pasta or pasta machines with their cutter attachments here.
While you might feel that Lasagna isn’t unique enough since you have probably had this meal countless times throughout your life. But Lasagna you used to eat in the US is another story! The food is different in Bologna, and lasagna is no exception. 
Who doesn’t love ending a long day eating with…even more eating?
Lasagna being served on a plate

Searching for The Best Gelato

So, of course, we have to make a stop for gelato in Bologna. Although gelato is not native to Bologna (Florence claims that), it doesn’t mean that locals haven’t perfected it. A local tip: when searching for the best gelato, don’t go for brightly colored mounds, as they usually mean lower quality. Instead, search for places with simple steal canisters that are more authentic. Above all, I can recommend two excellent options to try gelato when you visit Bologna: Cremeria la Vecchia Stalla and Cremeria Santo Stefano. Enjoy and Buon Appetito!


Start Feeling (and Feasting!) Like Our Family

In Bologna, the 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.
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

person making pasta

Away from The Tourist Traps

What makes Bologna truly special is its rich culinary traditions. Away from the tourist traps, you can spot plenty of authentic places to eat and drink. So, if you’re looking for a real taste of Bologna, don’t hesitate to venture off the beaten path. You’ll be rewarded with some of the best food in the world! And we’ve made sure that with this mini guide, you’ll find your perfect local delicacy to remember! And not just one!

Why SeeItaly?

When you think of traveling to Italy, what comes to mind? The Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the canals of Venice, one of the many Unesco World Heritage sites?
While these are all iconic tourist destinations, they only scratch the surface of what this wonderful country offers. To truly experience Italy like a local, you must go off the beaten path and explore its lesser-known regions.
That’s where we come in; we know it’s hard to find a travel partner that doesn’t just feel like another retail experience. You want authentic travel experiences!
SeeItaly Travel works with local guides and tour operators who will show you the hidden gems of Italy that most tourists never get to see. Our luxury travel brand provides an authentic Italian experience that cannot be found anywhere else. If you’re looking for something different, look no further than SeeItaly Travel!
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If you are an avid foodie, have a look at our blog post about

Sicilian gourmet adventures.

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