On a recent trip to Italy I got a chance to spend an evening in the city of Bologna in the Emilia Romagna region. Home to the oldest University in the world, a bastion of Italian socialism and a city renown as having some of the best restaurants in the country, Bologna has always been somewhere I’ve meant to visit.
Bologna is a city with graffitti on the buildings, dogmess in the streets and a truly terrible place to drive in – however I fell in love with it within the first 30minutes. It has the buzz of a University town with lots of stylish students discussing politics and art in dark little bars. We decided to go to Drogheria della Rosa, a drug-store turned Bohemian chic, modern-art cluttered restaurant. There is no menu and instead Chef Emmanuele Addone joins you at your table and suggests dishes based on what you like while you drink complimentary Prosecco.
To kick things off they brought us vegetarian antipasti including sauteed greens and roast potatoes.
Starters were Ravioli with truffles and Tortellini with courgette flowers, both perfectly cooked and bursting with flavour.
To accompany all this we were suggested a Donna Olimpia 1898 red wine from Tuscany which had a complex aroms of currant, coffee, spices and blueberry follow through to a full body, with silky tannins and a delicate, refined finish.
The main course was a light cheese flan with a white sauce that was as soft as panna cotta and with a phenomenal flavour.
The clientele was an interesting mix of University lecturers, artists and small groups of stylishly dressed women catching up on gossip. Here are some pictures:
The evening was finished off with ice-cream from the famous Sorbetteria Castiligione, a place so spotlessly clean it almost looked like a labratory.
Bologna is not on the usual tourist trail of Italy but because of that it retains an earthiness that you will not find in Florence or Pisa. Check it out.