These gourmet related guided food tours of Bologna are organised by Ilaria of Casa Ilaria Bed and Breakfast which is located in the center of town.
Guests of the B&B can already request evening cooking lessons offered by the host, but Ilaria has extended her own interest in the food traditions of the territory to take take you further afield on full day or half day gastronomic tours.
Below we highlight a selection of her tours and do consult the dedicated website www.bolognagourmet.it to view all the proposals.
The tours are designed exclusively for small groups of travelers from 2 to 8 people.
Bologna and the Mercato di Mezzo
Walking under the two great arches of the spectacular facade of Palazzo dei Banchi designed by the celebrated architect Giacomo Barozzi (il Vignola), we enter that fascinating area known as the “Mercato di mezzo”, a network of narrow streets almost all of which bear the names of the type of craftsmen or shopkeepers to be found there (Drapperie (drapers’ shops), Degli Orefici (goldsmiths), Clavature (locksmiths), Pescherie Vecchie (fishmongers in the old fish market).
These narrow streets are a wonderful sight and a joy for the palate: a riot of brightly coloured vegetables, fresh fruit and also different kinds of rarely seen and long forgotten fruit. The shop windows are a fantastic display of our local gastronomic specialities: from pasta (tortellini, lasagne, tagliatelle, tortelloni with ricotta and vegetables), to every imaginable type of salame and sausage (especially mortadella) and the different prime cuts which compose our traditionally delicious dish of boiled meats.
The tour will take you to various different shops where we’ll become familiar with the best quality products and fresh hand made pasta. Of course you will also be able to try some local specialities, such as parmesan cheese or balsamic vinegar. On request, finish off the morning with lunch at one of Bologna’s typical restaurants.
Chocolate in Bologna
Bologna also has an ancient tradition linked to chocolate. The largest chocolate producer is Majani, founded in 1796 and renowned all over the world for their invention of Fiat chocolates at the start of the 20th century and later of a type of chocolate known as Scorza, which resembles the bark of a tree. In the last few years they have also created chocolate tortellini
You will visit their historic shop and will be able to try some of their specialities. The main producer of excellent handmade chocolate is Roccati, who create absolutely anything with chocolate, from greetings cards and layered squares of chocolate to their enormous half spheres of hazelnut chocolate, but their pièce de résistance are their unbeatable truffles!
On request we can finish our tour with a visit to Castelguelfo, a small town near Bologna, for lunch or dinner with chocolate based recipes at the Osteria del Cioccolato…
Ferrara, eels, bread
You’ll begin the day with a visit to the small town of Comacchio and its typical bridges and canals. Continue with lunch in a typical local restaurant to try eel with its strong salty flavour and other local specialities such as tortelli, salama da sugo and pampepato. The Ferrara area is also famous for its bread, known as "ciupeta" in dialect.
Then move on to the delightful medieval town of Ferrara and a visit of the castle and the maze of narrow streets and end the day trying the chocolate at the well known Offelleria Rizzati.
ON SPECIAL REQUEST
Classical City Tour
Your guide, Sergio, will show you all the best in Bologna, talking about art, history and gossip…
Spa and Relax in Bologna
Casa Ilaria offers its guests special rates to relax at the Terme di San Petronio Spa. Ask us for the vouchers!