By Giorgio Nardini
A little history for you: largest city and capital of Emilia-Romagna, the 1-million population town has been a melting pot of cultures since the Etruscans and Celts and is home to the oldest university in the world that dates back to 1088.
Bologna is a lively and very livable city. You can easily move around by walking or by bike. I visited Bologna last year for just one day. I hopped on a train from Rome in the morning and got back in the evening; a tiring adventure, but well worth it!
If you ask any Italian what's the first thing that comes to mind when you say "Bologna", they will say "Tortellini".
These rings stuffed with meat and sometimes cheese, are usually served in a broth of beef or chicken. I personally prefer them dry like the ones in the picture.
Other than tortellini, a must-eat local food is mortadella. It’s a sort of huge sausage made of pork (and pork fat, the white circles you see in the picture here) and spiced up with black pepper and pistachios. It’s a classic in every Italian region though: a “panino” with mortadella was my daily lunch during university because it’s cheap and delicious. In Bologna, it’s accompanied with tigelle. See those round slice of breads? Those are tigelle, usually served warm. And yes, everything else is good on a tigella: cheese, salami or ham.
Aside from the DELICIOUS food, there are also some great cultural attractions in Bologna.
Portici are these elegant archways that line a large part of the city's streets. There are more than 23 miles of portici in the old town only. If you count the outskirt's portici, it's 36 miles!
Between the XII and XIII century, the total number of towers reached 100. Nowadays only 24 survived. Two towers of Bologna are ones of the landmarks of the city: the tallest one is called Torre degli Asinelli, while the shorter one is the Garisenda.
“As when one sees the tower called Garisenda from underneath its leaning side, and then a cloud passes over and it seems to lean the more, thus did Antaeus seem to my fixed gaze as I watched him bend…”
-Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy, Inferno, XXXI, 136-140
Surrounded by historic and administrative buildings, Piazza Maggiore is the main square of Bologna. This majestic Medieval wonder dates back to 1200s and it was one of the first piazza built after the Roman Empire’s downfall. It is spectacular at night.
Bologna is a destination you don't want to miss out on.
Want to visit some other awesome places in Italy? Check out some of Travel Italian Style's tours!
Giorgio Velardita Nardiniand was born and raised outside Rome! He is joining the TIS team as International Public Relations and Branding Advisor. As a passionate amateur photographer, traveling is the thing he loves the most can’t live a day without thinking about his next destination. When not researching for TIS, Giorgio shares his photos and advice on his very own blog wanderlustdaily.com/en which is written in both in Italian and in English. His goal is to inspire people to travel more. While he loves Italy his dream is to live somewhere in the USA (every since his first visit in 2009 when he was 18 & fell in love with the American culture (and burgers). Oh yes: he is also a foodie. Say “pasta” and “pizza” and Giorgio is your friend.