Bologna, Italy is another city that makes a perfect Short Hop destination, particularly if you love food. Of course the longer you stay, the more you’ll be able to eat, but even with a few days you’ll be able to try an ample selection of restaurants.
Another advantage of staying longer in the city is that you may find Trattoria Tony open for business. My father-in-law always manages to eat there when he visits Bologna, but whenever I’m there, I only get to stare longingly at the closed shutters. Recently when my husband and I recommended it to LondonEater, we were astounded to hear that he also got in and ate very well. Fortunately you’re guaranteed to eat well at most places in Bologna.
The Hotel Touring is a cheap, clean and central little hotel. It’s also very close to the popular Cafe Zanarini on Piazza Galvani, where we stopped by most mornings for breakfast. Its aperitivo buffet on display every evening nearly stopped us from eating anywhere else.
Mercato delle Erbe, the main covered market, is a visual feast for the eyes. Visiting food markets always makes me wish that I were staying in an apartment so that we can cook all the fresh produce we find. There were so many varieties of chicory that I never even knew existed, while the fennel bulbs were simply enormous.
Other places to make you regret not having access to a kitchen are the specialist food shops and market stalls on Via Drapperie, such as Tamburini and Atti. Tamburini produces top quality fresh pasta and both times we’ve bought boxes to take home to cook. They also serve a simple lunch, with a selection of fresh pastas and salads.
There are other memorable highlights. Lunch at the wonderful tiny Trattoria Meloncello run by two sisters is a must. There is no fixed menu so the server just talked us through the choices of the day. The tagliatelle al ragu is a classic, as are the polpette and zuppa inglese. It’s a long way from the centre on foot, but afterwards you can walk up the porticoed walkway to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca.
Here are a few photos from Bologna.