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Where to eat lunch on way to Bologna

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I am all set for my restaurants( thanks Chowhounds) for Venice and Bologna, but forgot that we are driving back from Austria to Bologna and want to stop along the way to see a nice city and have lunch. I don't want to have to drive into a complex city just to find a meal so maybe something along the route in the country? We will be driving south on A-13 and A-22. Cities along the way are Bolzano, Trento, Rovereta, Verona, Mantua, and Modena. The first cities are probably too early on into the trip for lunch but I think we can make Modena by noon if we leave Austria at 6 AM as planned. We would like to see and eat something a bit different than Venice and Bologna but don't want to go too far off the beaten path from our main route. We leave for Venice this Tuesday ( Oct 18). We will be traveling to Bologna on Sat Oct 29. We have a great restaurant reserved for that night at 8:30 so don't want to eat too late or too much.I am thinking exploring Modena as it is our only chance to be outside of Bologna( only there for 2 nights before heading home). Is this a must?Any suggestions? Thanks

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  1. La Porta Accanto in Mantova.

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    La Porta Accanto
    Vicolo Bonacolsi, 4, Mantova, Lombardia 46100, IT

    3 Replies
    1. re: allende

      Thanks for the suggestion. It looks like a lovely place and if we get there around lunchtime we will check it out.

      1. re: clarkgranny

        I am a little bit confused by your itinerary, are you visiting Bologna before or after Venice. Are you looking for something between Venice and Bologna, or between Austria and Bologna?

        If after Venice, I agree re mantova -ts an is an amazing town, and its cuisine is in a different region (Lombardy) from both Verona and bologna, so you should be able to eat something different. They have freshwater fish and good rice dishes for example. La Porta Accanto is right in the historic center, near some of the top sights including the Ducal Palace. Modena cooking is much more similar to Bolgna, and in addition, you will have to make your way into a busy, crowded town center thre. While there is some traffic and congestion around Mantova, its not nearly as bad.

        1. re: jen kalb

          Great to know. There is nothing in my 2 guide books about the town, but Fred Plotkin says good things about Mantova. We like water and fish so I will try to get there. Depends on our ride from Austria. we have dinner reservations for 8:30 in Bologna at All' Osteria Bottega that night so I need to get rid of car at airport, get to our hotel before then. I will keep Mantova in mind and try. Can't wait for we leave for Venice tomorrow. I'll report back here about all our meals. Thanks again for all your help