travel diaries: italy [bologna + ferrara]


what better way to fight the stir crazy than to  make a quick trip to check out the FOOD capitol of italy?!  bologna: the UNESCO “city of music.

ever order spaghetti bolognese?! well, if you have (or haven’t) — i’m sure you heard about it. this region is know to make the best ragù [aka meat sauce] in all of italy! bolognese ragù is where it’s at.. and let me tell you — i’ve never had better pasta anywhere in italy.  it was rich + buttery, but so light that i didn’t feel stuffed after eating my entree. i mean… we were in food heaven. add in a fantastic wine?!  i’m never leaving.

we decided to leave home around 10am, so that we would get to bologna just in time for lunch. we parked outside the city center, and found ourselves walking to the main piazza [piazza maggiore] looking for ristorante al pappagallo. after coming into the main square we heard some amazing street performers playing contemporary music orchestra style. we wandered a little farther until we found just what we were looking for… our lunch location.  mmm. mmm. mmmmm.  i could not wait! we ordered the tortellini in crema di parmigiano reggiano, lasagne alla bolognese [not pictured. we devoured it.], and the tagliatelle al ragù [very traditional bolognese dish].

after lunch we wandered the city a little more. we were hoping to see the fountain of neptune, but it was under construction. we saw san petronio basilica, altabella tower,  he vecchia scuola bolognese: the culinary school for learning authentic bolognese cooking, just to name a few.  while walking back through the market i saw “mortadella” for sale — which is the meat product that americans call bologna. however, the city is not pronounced “baloney” — it’s more like “bo-lone-ya.”
i really enjoyed seeing all the urban art. my favorite was the nesting dolls. i could only get a quick shot, but the entire bridge was covered in “graffiti” by random individuals who all left their signature behind with colorful works of art. so amazing. a true cultural capitol.


on the way home we made a quick stop in ferrara — another UNESCO site. we went to see the renaissance wall, castello estense, palazzo dei diamonti and the cathedral [which was under complete renovations to the main facade]. we found a quaint christmas market, and the lights of the city to be so charming.


we enjoyed our daytrip out, and highly recommend eating true bolognese dishes if you ever get the chance!



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