I have this theory that every time I think about eating a cone of gelato, five minutes of the day just disappears. Cuz I’ve been meaning to post about Bologna for a while now, and I feel like it hasn’t been that long since I went. But then all of a sudden it’s been like 2 and a half weeks and I don’t even know what day of the week it is and my friends and I will go out to eat after work and I’ll look at my watch and BAM it’s 9pm.
What does that say about how much I think about gelato?
Anyway, Bologna is a super cool place. We even got to masquerade as locals because we met up with our friend and his cousin who lives in Bologna and got shown around instead of having to give ourselves away by opening a map.
Bologna is home of the oldest university in the world. It’s like a college town in the US but better because there is so much history, and it’s in ITALY, of course. After tiring ourselves out climbing a 498 step tower (Torre Asinelli) and stuffing ourselves with bread and pasta at Osteria dell’Orso for lunch, we spent a while in this beautiful park called Giardini Margherita. There were kids playing Frisbee, an outdoor market, a drum circle (you read that right), and some PDA I’d like to unsee.
We must have passed at least three markets while we were walking around, each with unique treasures. Outside of Basilica di Santo Stefano (which has 7 churches inside of it!!) there was an antique market with everything imagineable. The market by the park had flowers, scarves, furniture, and art for sale. I’m pretty sure another market we passed had more shoes in a single place than the DSW warehouse.
In one piazza, Piazza Maggiore, there is a fountain with an enormous statue of the god Neptune. There’s a pretty funny story about a disagreement between the sculptor and the church about the size of certain parts of the statue which I’ll link to here for your reading entertainment.
Bologna has a few nicknames. One is “la rossa,” meaning “the red one,” because of the color of the roofs of the buildings. Another is “la dotta,” or “the learned one,” because of the university. My favorite, though, is “la grassa,” or “the fat one,” because of Bologna’s reputation for its delicious food (which is well-earned).
I was only there for one day, but here are the places we ate at that I think are cool/delicious (because food):
La Scuderia – Piazza Giuseppe Verdi, 2
This is a café that apparently turns into a bar at night on the weekends? We went there in the morning and ate some of the best brioche (Italian croissants) I’ve had so far. It was converted from a barn, and it’s really popular with the university students.
Osteria dell’Orso – Via Andrea Costa, 35
Another student favorite, this casual restaurant serves up some of the best pasta in Bologna, and it’s pretty cheap. If you’re not vegetarian like me, try their pasta with ragù sauce. I had ravioli, and it was yummmmmmmy.
La Sorbetteria Castiglione – Via Castiglione, 44
This is a gelato place, go figure. Fresh, creamy, and super flavorful. A+