Home of mortadella and Maserati, Bologna is routinely ranked among Italy’s top 10 most liveable cities and has one of the most extensive food markets I’ve ever seen.
Bologna is famous for its porticos (covered walkways), all 45 kilometres of them, some dating back to the 11th century, which make this most foodie of cities a very comfortable place to walk around in any weather. Here are five things not to be missed on any Bologna food tour.
Stay in Bologna Art Hotel Commercianti
Start with a base right beside the imposing Basilica di San Petronio in a building that dates back to the 11th century. Room on the top floor have balconies from which you can almost reach out and touch the red bricks of the church’s looming side wall. Guests on my Bologna food tour love staying in this gorgeous art hotel.
Eat in Bologna Caminetto d’Oro
If I only have one night in Bologna, this small, simple restaurant is where I want to eat. Fresh local Ingredients shine beyond the traditional dishes, while still respecting the heritage of Bolognaise cuisine. Cold cuts, salads, fresh pasta, grills and delicious desserts, plus an impressive wine list. I love the response when I bring my Bologna food tour guests here.
Bologna Food Market Quadrilatero
The highlight of any Bologna food tour is walking around this collection of small, packed-to-the-rafters shops lining narrow laneways off Piazza Maggiore. It’s the ideal place to shop for special souvenirs and an afternoon aperitivo or lunch at one of the ancient delis – surrounded by local wines, salumi and cheese – is a definitive Bolognese experience.
Shop & Drink in Bologna Corte Isolani
I love this little arcade between Strada Maggiore and Piazza San Stefano created by the restoration of two 13th century noble houses and the courtyards and hallways that connected them. It’s a charming collection of shops and restaurants including Il Caffè della Corte, the perfect place to relax with a spritz during your Bologna food tour.
Bologna Art Terracotta Sculptures
Hidden away beside the altar of an unassuming church in the Quadrilatero is a spectacular group of life-size terracotta figures depicting the Lamentation Over The Dead Christ. Sculpted by Niccolò dell’Arca in 1463, the six figures gathered around the body of Christ include Mary Magdalene, the Madonna and the disciple John, all displaying the most intense and lifelike torment.
Updated 21 Dec 2023