Swine Food Boutique Restaurant & Wine Bar is located in the center of Bologna, about a five minute walk from Piazza Maggiore (the main square), along a string of several restaurants under Bologna’s famous porticos! Dan and I passed this place on our walk from Bologna Centrale train station to our hotel and both decided that we had to return for lunch! Now that says one thing: they have a good facade up to draw in a crowd! And they do – complete with a large “SWINE FOOD” sign, ample outdoor seating and wine barrels! I mean, it was like built for us (and anyone who likes wine and pork)! In fact, it is so done-up, that it attracted the likes of the New York Times in their famous 36 hours series (here). However, while the facade is very “done-up,” the food was very good and it was filled with locals when we ate there.
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!
Having studied in Italy and visited the county on a few other occasions, this time I wanted to see some of the non-touristy cities, and Bologna topped my list! So the final stop on my Italy trip in September 2015 was Bologna, also known as La Grassa (the Fat) and La Rossa (the Red). Bologna is the largest city and the capital of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region.
The Emilia Romagna region is located in the central-Northern part of the country, just next to Tuscany and a little south of Milan. Emilia Romagna is home to many the GREAT foods of Italy, including prosciutto di parma, basalmic, parmiggiano reggiano, tortellini and more. This area is a must-see for foodies, and I don’t know why it took me so long to get here! Aside from foodies, Bologna is not really on many traveler’s radars, and that’s really not surprising to me. Italy has so many “bucket list” sites, you could spend multiple vacations in the country and not see everything, and Bologna lacks one big “bucket list” site. However, instead of one site to base your visit around, Bologna offers a stunning city with the most delicious food, everywhere. I loved it, and it was refreshing to travel to an Italian city that has not been overrun with tourists.