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Saturday in Bologna

Another hot and sunny day. It seems that after what people have told us was months of damp gloom, Summer has arrived in Italy. After figuring out the pod-style espresso maker in the apartment, we took our shopping bag and headed over to the market.



We bought some prosciutto and mortadella at a salumeria; and some fresh tortelloni stuffed with ricotta. We then headed down one of the main streets to look for the covered market. Inside was a large collection of fruit and vegetable sellers, cheese shops, butchers, and bakeries. We bought several cheeses, tomatoes, apricots and cherries, herbs, bread, and amazing grissini, crisp breadsticks. We took a meandering walk back home.

Larry walked over to the apartment of the owner of our apartment to giver her the remaining balance. Her husband recognized a fellow old house enthusiast, and invited him in to see the house. They own the whole building, an old Palazzo which he inherited from an aunt. Up several winding staircases was an amazing view over the rooftops to San Luca, the church on the hill overlooking Bologna.

We walked over to Al Sangeivese for lunch. This is a small trattoria on the edge of the Centro, which happens to be around the corner from a simple place we enjoyed years ago, Osteria al 15. I enthusiastically agreed with the owner that it was too hot to sit outside, and I enjoyed the air conditioning as we looked at the menu of traditional Bolognese cooking, and a few interesting specials.

Wine, two glasses of decent sangiovese. We shared an antipasto of a flan of goat cheese with mushrooms. Nice play of the cool flan with warm mushrooms. Next, I had lasagna, which was amazingly delicate considering it had 10 thin layers of pasta, meat, and besciamella. Larry had a special of tagliatelle with asparagus and smoky guanciale. There was no way we could finish this and also eat our shared secondo, so our leftovers were thoughtfully boxed up. (things have changed in Italy!) For our secondo we shared a perfect carpaccio, shaved raw beef with arugula and parmesean, dressed with lemon and olive oil. Fantastic. No room for anything more than espresso. Perfect first lunch in Italy, and a very fair price. I'd definitely go back.


We slowly walked back to the apartment for a brief rest before heading out into the heat of the day. On the way we stopped in the piazza outside San Domenico, where a group of elderly Italian tourists were singing. Scattered around the piazza are sarcophagi with the remains of Medieval lawyers.

We walked down the street to the Museum of the History of Bologna, in the old Palazzo Pepoli.
This is a new museum, filled with artifacts and amusingly over-the-top wacky displays using holographs and special effects.We were offered a tour, and so a lovely young woman took us around for the better part of two hours. We learned some new Italian vocabulary, taught her some new English, and had a blast. It really deepened our understanding of the city. We were just about the only people inside, though I'll bet it's crowded with schoolchildren during the week. The displays are thoroughly explained in Italian, so I would recommend asking for an English-speaking guide unless your Italian is very good.



Walked around a bit more. There was an organization of women doing a charity event in the city this weekend, we saw many women in orange shirts running around doing some sort of scavenger hunt. Larry and his GPS phone were very popular.



We found the first house that had basement waterwheels installed to provide power to the silkweaving machinery upstairs. For a long time, almost half of the people in Bologna were involved in the silk trade. A system of canals and underground streams provided waterpower to the small factories throughout the city.



Home for a dinner of salumi, tomato salad, and wine.

Comments (4)


Thanks for blogging, Amy! I love it.

Sounds like a wonderful day and your lunch sounds divine!

Sounds like a perfect day in one of my favorite cities! Love Rocco & his wife at Al Sangiovese

Great post - I had no idea about the waterwheels in the houses to fuel the home industry. I will have to look for that the next time I am there!

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