THE STAYCATION EXPERIENCE
Salute social media tourists! We’re wrapping up our week of cruising through the cute cobblestone alleyways of Florence, and we’re ready to keep moving up through central Italy. We’ve spent the last nine weeks touring through the motherland; every Monday landing in a new destination and exploring it through our blogs. This week we’ve reached Bologna, a hub of history and food. For this stop, we travel as locals, not tourists.
Week 10: Bologna
La Rossa – the red – is the famed nickname for the city, influenced by its prevalence of medieval terracotta buildings. The city is also home to a famed 38km of porticoes, all of which are UNESCO heritage-listed. Here, we’ll bask in the weekends: what they call “T-days”. On Saturdays and Sundays, the centre is closed to traffic and turned fully pedestrian. So you can forget about the stressful Italian driving, and stroll carelessly through the streets. Andiamo!
To See in Bologna
The hidden canals of Bologna are not known to many tourists. You can see one of these mythical waterways from Via Piella, from a small window built into the wall. The canals were once used by merchants to easily transport their goods through the city, but most are now covered by parking lots and other modern buildings.
The Bologna Archaeological Museum is located in the Piazza Maggiore, which lets you see the centre of town before taking a deep-dive into Bologna’s past. It is split into nine different sections that explore various phases of local and international history.
To Do in Bologna
Climb the Asinelli Tower for the best vantage point in Bologna. In the Middle Ages, Bologna was full of tall, narrow stone towers. The Asinelli Tower is taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and it also leans slightly for that quintessential Italian tower experience! To get there, you just need to brave its 498 steps to get to the top of the 97 metre height.
Roam through the Quadrilatero Market. This is a medieval market area, that sells all the typical Bolognese delicacies. Here you can try the mortadella, or pick up some handmade pasta & ragù to make some spaghetti bolognese at home!
Flavours of Bologna
The key dish to try in this city is the famous tagliatelle al ragù, what we know in Australia as bolognese! No matter how good your grandma’s bolognese is, you will find a better one in the dish’s home city. Whilst here, it’s also worth trying anything with parmigiano-reggiano & balsamic vinegar. These two famous Italian ingredients originate from Bologna’s broader region of Emilia-Romagna. Lastly, it’s worth trying the mortadella meat, which is known to us as… you guessed it, bologna!
Bringing Bologna Home
As we said earlier, to experience Bologna you have to do so as a local, not a tourist. This means delving into the world of Italian cinema, as there are not too many English films set in the red city. Unveil the love of bars in Bologna through the comedy ‘Gli amici del Bar Margherita’, or experience a Bolognese coming-of-age in ‘Jack Frusciante è uscito dal gruppo’. To accompany your Italian films, enjoy some Italian grub. Try our take on tagliatelle al ragù by ordering a Fettuccine Bolognese.
Enjoy you staycation and the sites, sounds and flavours of Bologna and we look forward to taking you on another adventure next week in the city of love…Venice.
Lastly, as always buon appetito!