Enjoy a Gourmet Getaway Weekend in Bologna

By CrustyCanucks - May 09, 2017

You may remember that back in August we spent four nights in Bologna and loved it. We even created my own personal food tour, such are the number of delicious regional specialities that can be found there. Had we done our research and realised that there were great companies out there like Emilia Delizia offering gourmet food tours and cooking classes, I would have been sure to splurge on one and learn about the cooking and food in more depth. Guess there'll have to be a "next time" now!

Bologna is a well-known gourmet destination which is often overlooked by British tourists who tend to go for more southern and sunnier destinations.  However, this magnificent medieval  town has a lot to offer for those looking for a culinary weekend and a break away from the mass tourism.



How to get there?

Ryanair has daily flights to Bologna from London Stansted. The flights are very early in the morning, so if you leave on Friday morning you should be at your accommodation by 11am just in time for your gourmet lunch with plenty of time ahead to make further explorations.

Stay.

Bologna is a major transport hub in northern Italy so the choice of accommodation is vast.  The hotels around the station are all good value and of high standards, but it is best to avoid the periods around the major trade expositions that take place mostly in September and October; the prices soar and everything tends to be fully booked.  If you still want to come during this busy period, try to stay in Modena, which is only 20 minutes by train and equally pretty but smaller and quieter. If you are looking for a charming place to stay for a romantic getaway in Bologna, we cannot recommend enough the convento dei fiori di seta.  It is a fully refurbished historical nunnery brought back to its charming beauty just for the discerning traveller looking for something special.

Eat.

Bologna is nicknamed “The Fat” so it is only fitting we talk about the food.  The cuisine of Bologna is rich, sophisticated and traditional. If you are after a  real and down to earth experience you should try Trattoria Anna Maria, where you can sample homemade pasta dishes all made according to the strict Bolognese tradition.  If you feel peckish before lunch or dinner you can try La Baita, a delicatessen in the medieval market just minutes away from Piazza Maggiore. This deli boosts the best hams and cheeses from the region that you can sample upstairs in the mezzanine.

Do.

You cannot leave Bologna without trying at least one culinary experience. Again the options are many but two stand out: cooking classes and gourmet food tours.  In this city you have the possibility to become a Bolognese chef for one day and learn how to create some fantastic egg pasta dishes.  The culinary schools are many but some offer a market visit with the chef to buy the ingredients, which seems a much better option. The other experience that you should not miss is the gourmet food tour. In fact from Bologna you can explore three famous foods in one day, namely Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and Parma ham. It is indeed a fantastic educational (and tasty) experience to discover how these foods are made.

bologna food

Not just the foodie’s capital.

The capital of Emilia Romagna offers a lot in terms of culinary entertainment, but do not forget to visit the medieval tower (Torre degli Asinelli),  and if you feel that you need a walk after all that food you can take a stroll uphill to the church of San Luca, which offers outstanding views of the area.  In short Bologna is easily accessible and one of the best destinations in Europe away from the mass tourism of Venice and Florence. Once you have been here you will definitely come back for more.

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