We loved Bologna the minute we arrived. By the time we made our way to our hotel – we even splurged and got a cab – it was well into the evening and dark. Having arrived in italy and ready to start our "pick a random city" experiment, we had only one thing on our minds.
Food. (Prepare yourself... I think you'll have to endure a few more food posts that represent our time in Italy.)
We walked around for about 15 minutes and headed into the first restaurant that really grabbed us. Quite hungry, we quickly ordered bruschetta. The bread was prepared perfectly, and the tomatoes were unbelievably flavorful.
We then asked our server to select two entrees for us. She said we'd be crazy to not go with Bolognese style cooking, and I think she was right. Here are the dishes we ended up with.
Contrary to popular belief, most Bolognese sauces have very little tomato, relying instead on milk, wine, vegetables and meat (and more!). I wish I could give you more details, but – since we're trying to leave our experiences in Bologna to whim – we don't have very accurate descriptions. This particular preparation – with tagliatelle – is the most common. And delicious.
Vegetarian? Who's vegetarian?
We appreciate that the restaurants in Bologna are big on toothy pastas that hold up to the famous heavy sauces. No angel hair pasta here. We didn't cry.
As great as the pasta was, the most enjoyable part of the night was strolling back to our hotel via the chain of warmly lit, covered walkways that connect the city streets.
About half way back to the hotel, we peered in a music shop's window to find an evening jam session in progress. Fittingly, they were busting out some Nirvana. A hat tip to our home-base, Seattle, and to the way we were feeling that night.
Over the next days, we found out that Bologna is known as the the fat city, the learned city and the red city. What's that all mean? It's a gastronomic gem, a hub for academia and packed with a carpet of red roofs. There's nothing wrong with a place that's full of smart foodies running around.
Although, during our visit, we focused predominantly on the "fat" part of the equation, we wanted to take time to show you a little bit of the city. Here are a few of the shots taken when roaming around.