LOCATION: Bologna, Italy
WEATHER: Cold. Snow! Wet! Highs in 30s
We awoke to big flakes of snow falling outside our hotel window. Pretty, but not so great for walking around in. Not to be deterred, we headed out toward the old part of town. The old streets are mostly covered with porticos, so we kept mostly dry. We each had on about 5 layers of clothes.
The streets were lined with really elegant shops, the modern style interestingly juxtaposed inside the ancient exteriors. We wanted to buy some gloves, so we stopped in one shop. They were 135 Euros! (About $170 USD). No grazie.
We found the section of town that was recommended in my book “1000 Places to Go Before You Die” called the Quadrilatero. Most of the buildings are from the 14th century. The streets are lined with shops. Lots of locals there buying things, as well as some tourists. Parma ham and Bologna meat shops….
And delicious-looking fresh pasta in shops. We heard that many of these pastas can only be found here in Bologna…
By this time, our feet were getting cold, walking on the wet cobblestones, so we ducked into this bar for an expresso.
The place was tiny….about 5 Italian men were crammed into the back section, sounding like they were arguing (but I think they were just talking) plus one small table where we sat. The men were drinking wine, all obviously friends,
After walking around some more, we returned to this little bar, as we had liked the atmosphere so much. We each ordered a glass of wine, then helped ourselves to the free snacks on the bar. What fun!
Lunch was in the same area, another very small cafe. We shared a bologna (called mortadella here) flatbread, which is a specialty in this city.
In the evening, we walked just a few blocks from our hotel to this interesting looking trattoria that we had scoped out earlier in the day..
We shared an order of Bologna’s signature dish — tagliatelle with ragu sauce. It was out of this world…
Feeling a little guilty for just splitting the first course (rather than each of us ordering both a first and second course), George ordered a dessert. It was vanilla gelato with balsamic vinegar from nearby Modena drizzled on top. He loved it.