I visited Bologna for one reason only – to eat! In planning my trip, a number of foodie blogs recommended Trattoria da Gianni as a local restaurant to taste Bologna’s famous foods. So I obviously made a reservation (or had Dan do so, since his last name is Italian!).
Trattoria da Gianni is located in the center of Bologna, not too far from Piazza Maggiore, down a small side street. We called ahead a few days before and made a reservation for “Sunday Lunch,” which is a very popular and heavy meal in Italy. Actually, I recommend making a reservation for any day/night. The restaurant is not very big and it seemed as if all of the tables were reserved when we were there. If you do show up without a reservation and have to wait, the servers were handing out complimentary glasses of prosecco to pass the time!
When visiting, be advised that the menu is exclusively in Italian, but the waiters were happy to answer our questions in English and explain the menu. The menu consisted of a regular menu and a chalkboard with a number of daily specials. You definitely want to ask about these! This was our last day in Italy, so we went all out on the food (well really, on the pasta!).
To start, I ordered the famous tortellini en brodo. Tortellini en brodo is a Bologna specialty and difficult to find outside of the Emilia Romagna area. The dish consists of small tortellinis stuffed with minced pork and cheese served in a warm broth. The dish was very good and highly filling. A must-try when in Bologna!
Dan started with gnocci di patate con ragù bolognese. Basically potato pasta in a red meat sauce. A simple and filling dish.
For mains, I ordered a second pasta dish (oops) – tagliatelle con ragù bolognese, but with lamb meat instead of beef! Ordering two pasta courses is a faux pas, and the waiter called me out on it, but then again, it was my last day in Italy so I really did not care. As expected, this was absolutely delicious!
Dan ordered one of his favorite dishes – tripa (tripe). Tripe was listed as one of the specials of the day. He loved it. It was served in a red sauce and much lighter than my double pasta!
I found Trattoria da Gianni a local restaurant with solid food in the center of Bologna. I definitely recommend this restaurant to other travelers!
STEAL OUR DINNER
Trattoria da Gianni – Via Clavature, 18, 40124 Bologna, Italy. T:+39 051 229434. Closed Monday (all day) and Sunday Evening. Open Tuesday – Thursday 12:30 – 2:00 and 7:30 – 10:15. Open Sunday 12:30 – 2:00. Call a few days ahead and make a reservation, as the restaurant is small. If you don’t have a reservation, its worth walking up and asking to wait for a table. They give out free prosecco to those waiting for a table! Tip – if anyone in your party has an Italian last name, make the reservation under that name!
ON A BUDGET
The restaurant’s prices are listed on their website. If you are on a tight budget, visit the University Quarter for your meals. You can find high quality classics as student prices!