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Bologna and Verona

We leave June 13 and need meal recommendations for Bologna and Verona. Breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas greatly appreciated. We prefer places that don't require suits and ties for the men but the men will don jackets if the food warrents it. Thank you!

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  1. This recommendation is for Bologna, and is strictly a lunchtime thing or a snack thing, not at all fancy. In fact, the furthest thing from fancy. You just have to try the local specialty sandwich at some point - it's made with the Italian flatbread called "piadina" and so the sandwich is called a "piadina" ("piadine" in the plural). You'll see them throughout the city. You choose what goes in them - get the mortadella, it's one of the things the city is known for - and they're excellent.

    1 Reply
    1. re: andiamo

      More on snacks and breads: Piadina is the Romagna flat bread, I like it best topped with Squaquerone cheese and caramelised figs though you can put anything on or in it, form roasted sweet peppers to grilled sausage to Prosciutto. And fried Piadina is delcious. Bologna has fried dough puffs which we fill with Mortadella or Prosciutto Crudo. Emilia has Gnocco Fritto, larger than Bologna's puffs and similarly stuffed with cured pork products like salamis. Modena has Tigelle, served warm, little flat bread pockets which I like best filled with a Pesto of Lardo pounded with rosemary and garlic, or with Pancetta and a few drops of Balsamico. Tuscan Romagna has Tortelli alla Lastra, large thin dough pockets filled with potato and pumkin mash with sausage . Such yummy snacks all over this region!

    2. Hi Lisa -- I posted some recs from Bologna under a posting (along with Venice/Amsterdam) about a week or two ago. Worth checking out the gelato places in addition to the restaurant I was at: Osteria dei Poeti. Great spot for dinner...

      I have some other spots that were recommended to me from a friend who lived in Bologna along with places to visit. They're in an email that I can forward to you if it's of interest.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Vinoguy

        I am interested in your email, as I am planning a trip for one week in Verona and Bologna.


        1. re: justified

          Happy to pass it along...it's from my friend who studied in Bologna for a year during her MA in Int'l Affairs from SAIS. Shoot me an email to michaelpreis579@hotmail.com and I'll send it over...

      2. For Bologna, I would recommend three restaurants. For a traditional trattoria, Trattoria Biassanet on Via Piella just south of Via Righi was wonderful. I loved the "caramelle" pasta - tri-colored pasta stuffed with ham and meat and shaped like caramel candies.

        For a more formal dining experiece, go to Ristorante Grassilli on Via Del Luzzo between Via Maggiore and Via San Stefano. I think they're only open for dinner, though. I would recommend sharing the tagliatelle al ragu and the risotto ai funghi. Also Orianno was a terrific waiter.

        The last recommendation is for Ristorante E Cucina on Via San Vitale at Piazza Aldronvandi for non-Bolognese food. The chef offers three tasting menus of four courses- one for fish/seafood, one for meat, and one for vegetables. We had the fish tasting menu and each dish was an inventive mix of flavors with perfectly cooked fish. Dessert was also great.

        1. I highly recommend Tamburini, the famous deli/food shop in Bologna. It is a GREAT place for a casual lunch and for seeing the wonderful range of Italian foodstuffs available.

          1. I did a report here on eating in Bologna in early 2006. In case you cannot find it, I had fantastic meals at da Gianni and da Cesari. Caminetto d'Oro is also great but less traditional. Second the rec for Tamburini at lunch.

            6 Replies
            1. re: erica

              Not sure if it is me, but I was fairly unimpressed with Tamburini's food. Albeit visually a beautiful and impressive display of food, (and again, maybe I ordered wrong) halfway through our meal we decided to simply stop eating so we could save the meal for something better.

              Seeing as you are going to be in the culinary mecca of Italy (ok, I'm asking for another argument, I know) and seeing as the Slow Food Guide is made for Italy (again) I wouldnt hesitate to pick one up right away, and eat your way through the guide. it is hard to go wrong.

              Also, if you have a car in Verona and are in the mood for an awesome drive, take a drive to Valpolicella (20 minutes away...amarone galore and very reasonable prices). Valpolicella is chalk full of culinary surprises. There is one restaurant in particular in a tiny town called Fumane, called enoteca Valpolicella. Make reservations.

              Have fun.


              1. re: erica

                I live here and run foodie days and cooking classes and I do not shop at Tamburirni. Their cured meats range are generally sold far too young and insufficiently aged. Some excellent and some poor cheeses. The lunchtime large serving platters and containers hang around in non chilled cabinets. So do the platters of food to take home, sometyimes for days. Once Tamburini was superb and deserved its reputation. Now it lives on because it catches the eye being large and photogenic and bang at the entrance to the market and is in all the guide books.

                Bologna has far far better delis and far far better places to eat.

                I say take photos and give the rest a miss.

                1. re: carmelita

                  Caemelita: I am curious as to where you DO shop..would love to have some good tips for a second visit. One salumeria I liked is on Via Oberdan, #16..Bruno e Franco..do you know it and what it your opinion?..many thanks..always looking for good eating tips in a stupendous eating city..

                  1. re: erica

                    Very late reply: I shop at Bruno and Franco, fabulous deli, fabulous pasta, fabulous service.

                    1. re: carmelita

                      Thanks! I bought lots of things to take home with me in that store and have fond memories. I think their prices are better than those of Tamburini, too.

                      1. re: erica

                        Yes Erica, Franco does his best to keep prices dwon and he is always introducing new delicacies.
                        Today he told me he had a surprise for me: Salami and Lardo made from the small dark breed of pork called La Mora Romagnola. I bought some to share with my cooking class guests: superb salami! The little pig, an ancient and prestigous breed native to Romagna that was on the verge of beocming extinct, has oddles more flavour than the large whites now common here.

              2. Sorry, probably too late, but this is from my Fall, 2005 trip report on Verona. I doubt a jacket is required at any of these although it might be the norm at the first one.

                Ristorante Antico Tripoli, Via Spagna 2, Verona, tel. 045/803.5756 (no note of closing day) (very near Basilica di San Zeno). This is a very attractive restaurant in a renovated stable – large space nicely broken up with gauzy white curtains here and there. It stars a huge open hearth where most of the cooking occurs over wood coals – ask to be seated near the fire unless you are there in very hot weather. I had an amazing fish carpaccio (three kinds of fish, each marinated in a different dressing to achieve a sort of ceviche effect) followed by revelatory baby lamb chops cooked to perfection over those coals and accompanied by roasted potatoes and an eggplant caponata that was both fresh-tasting and incredibly rich and luscious. Lovely service. Would go back in a heartbeat. Fairly expensive.

                Ristorante Calanova, Via XX Settembre 13, tel 045/8008309, closed Tuesday all day and Wed lunch. Very modern, minimalist yet luxe décor. All seafood menu. Amuse of mussels which were alleged to be fabulous. Starters were smoked swordfish (very good) and julienne of squid (did not try but pronounced delicious). Main courses were a fabulous filet of bronzino with thinly-sliced potato “scales” that had crisped up in the oven, tiny tomatoes and baby rosemary, and giant prawns (said to be excellent). Desserts good too. Excellent, solicitous service (we were the first ones there and we noticed that almost immediately after we sat down the music changed to a selection of classic American show tunes and jazz; when the restaurant started to fill up with locals the music changed over to classical – how hospitable can you get, to greet guests with their “own” music?). Expensive.

                Trattoria Al Pompiere, viccolo Regina d’Ungheria 5, tel 045/8030537, closed Monday lunch and all day Sunday. The big deal here is their incredible selection of salumi (cured meats). A corner of the small restaurant is devoted to shelves of the stuff, together with a gleaming slicer, all presided over by the boss of the restaurant (we dubbed him the slicing chef) who also seemed to be the father of the main waiter. We asked for a selection of the salumi for a starter – the waiter asked if we wanted ham only or everything – everything we said. (Turns out “ham” in this case meant what we Americans think of as prosciutto and what Italians call prosciutto crudo. You are going to get pork of some sort when you order salumi.) The first time we got lardo, sopressa, porchetta, and prosciutto – the slicing chef delivered them and told us where each was from. Each was the best of its kind we’d ever had – the sopressa was particularly amazing – melt-in-your mouth tender – we flagged him down and asked him to repeat where it was from. “Di nuoi” he said, jabbing his finger at his chest. Wow. Ravioli filled with caramelized onion and tagliatta (sliced beef) with potatoes and baby salad were also excellent. Second time there we asked for a selection but please include the sopressa di vuoi. The slicing chef showed up this time with his sopressa (another poke in his chest) plus a “flight” of Parma hams: crudo, cotto and pancetta – excellent again. They also have an amazing cheese selection which we did not explore, but similarly the cheese waiter will put together a selection for you and discuss it at great length when he delivers it. This is a small place and packed at lunchtime – reservations are essential. Moderate to moderate plus.

                Trattoria di Via Stella, via Stella 5c, tel 045/8004824, closed Monday. A casual spot popular with locals for Sunday lunch. Some of the very best beef I had on a trip full of good beef – in this case sliced over rucola salad, the warm beef a lovely contrast with the crisp greens. Pastas also good. Moderate.

                Trattoria all’Isolo, Piazza Isolo, tel 045/594291 (no note of closing day). A small, family-run place near our apartment and providentially open on Sunday evenings. A Slow Food selection and appropriately enough most or all of their offerings are stews and braises. I am blanking on starters but the osso bucco was delicious. Moderate.

                1. http://www.bottegavini.it/

                  dal 1980
                  Via Scudo di Francia 3 - 37121 Verona

                  for more info in english: