I have just returned from a five-day trip to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. If you're not familiar with this area (Bologna is the capital) it is famous for both its food (prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, Aceto Balsamico) and its automative industry (Ferrari, Ducati, Lamborghini).
As I landed in Bologna at lunchtime, I went directly from the airport to a culinary gem called Drogheria della Rosa, to tuck into my first meal. This traditional Bolognese trattoria used to be an old pharmacy and still has shelves full of apothecary jars.
Past diners include Francis Ford Coppola, Danny de Vito and Arnold Schwarzennegger.
Emanuele sent over this starter, which was delicious (though I was too afraid to ask what it was for fear it might have been horse meat).
We selected a bottle of local Sangiovese wine:
This pasta course was actually a southern Italian dish, drawing on the owners roots. It was cavatelli pasta tossed with sweet sausage and broccoli:
I could not resist the famous tagliatelle bolognese, the pasta with meat sauce that was invented right here in the city that bears its name:
For the second course we had a melt-in-your-mouth (no knife necessary) piece of pork loin with potatoes and chicory:
Before dessert we tasted some chunks of the local parmigiano reggiano cheese:
And we finished with a mascarpone cream dressed with persimmon sauce and chocolate chip disks:
Drogheria della Rosa also has one of the finest wine cellars in all of Europe, with some bottles reaching up to 3,000EUR! There are tables in the cellar as well, which makes for a cosy dining experience.
Even if you've eaten so much you roll right out of Drogheria della Rosa, like I did, make sure you walk around the corner to La Sorbetteria, where under the arched porticos you will discover one of the best gelato spots in Bologna.
Here you will find all of the classic flavors (chocolate chip, pistachio, hazelnut) alongside some very inventive combinations that La Sorbetteria have created using all natural ingredients, including favorites like Dolce Karin (white chocolate ice cream with caramel covered hazelnuts) and Desiderio (Mascarpone ice cream with spreadable gianduja cream).
The gelato is made continuously throughout the day directly on-site: