Bologna: La dotta, la grassa e la rossa

The learned one, the fat one and the red one.

Bologna is home to the world’s oldest university founded in 1088, Università di Bologna. The learned one refers to the importance of the institution. The city is filled with students, making the streets lively and everything cheap.

Commonly referred to as the food capital of Italy and the fat one, we were not let down by its renown. The food was splendid and very affordable. Housed in the middle of the Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna has direct access to prosciutto, salame and parmigiano from its neighbour, Parma.

The food was simple, but well seasoned and made with quality produce. Funnily enough, spaghetti bolognese isn’t actually a thing. Tagliatelle al ragu was the dish appearing on all menus, directly translated to tagliatelle with sauce. Tagliatelle is a flat pasta made with egg as opposed to the more common spaghetti made with semolina/wheat. Sauce was minimal and just enough to coat the pasta. My favourite dish was tortellini in brodo – simply homemade meat tortellini served in a broth of chicken, veal and beef bones.

We came across Enoteca Italiana, an enoteca being a local specialist wine shop. This one in particular served cheese and meat if you chose to have a drink inside.

(in Italian)
Deb: Can you recommend a cheese to go with some meat in a panini?
Meat and cheese man: No.
Deb: No?
Meat and cheese man: No.
Deb: Why no?

He then proceeded to educate us on the correct way to eat. Apparently you can have cheese and meat on a plate, but only meat in a panini.

A first for us was aperitivo. Held in bars and popular with the uni kids, you get food served in a buffet style for free or for a couple of € once you order a drink. The quality and range of food differed at each place and usually consisted of antipasti, cold pastas, cheese and meat. Free food? Always a win.

Lastly, la rossa or the red one. A reference to the orangey-red coat over many of the buildings gives that Bologna a warmth and a bright backdrop for city life. The hue of the city convinced Deb to buy some Bolognese red shoes!

Bologna was very comfortable. Without the mass of travellers, it was a nice breather in between the tourism hotspots.

Also, I just wanna go back for the food.












We loved:
Trattoria Mariposa for home made pasta
Enoteca Italiana for cheese, meat and wine
Le Stanze for aperitvo
Terzi for coffee


9 thoughts on “Bologna: La dotta, la grassa e la rossa

      1. benj Post author

        I’ve got work at night but in the process of trying to get day time work. Got an interview this afternoon so fingers crossed!

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