Food in Bologna and Emilia-Romagna

By Viator, June 2015

4.5 33 Reviews | Add your review

Italians are fiercely proud of their culinary prowess and with good reason. It’s widely known among natives and visitors alike that some of the country’s best food comes from the Emilia-Romagna region, an area that lays claim to several things we take for granted as Italian staples. And of course, there’s much more that doesn’t quite make the export list to discover.

There are many famous ingredients that hail from the region – ingredients that are so well-known that it's hard to get a handle on how much they speak to the local flavors of a particular Italian region. One of the most famous cheeses in Italy, parmigiano-reggiano, is made in and around the city of Parma (hence the name), along with the buttery cured pork of prosciutto which has its own annual festival in the region.

The tiny town of Modena in Emilia-Romagna, just outside Bologna, produces true balsamic vinegar, and the area around Piacenza creates grana padano, a cheese similar to parmigiano-reggiano. Along with tortellini, lambrusco wine, piadina flatbread and mortadella (the origin of the processed stuff we’ve come to know as bologna), all of these ingredients serve as the basis for Emilia-Romagna cuisine and provide a rich menu of items to choose from.

The region's nickname isn't “The Fat” for nothing, after all. From dishes such as tortellini in brodo and tagliatelle al Bolognese to the signature lasagna, Italy is lucky to consider Emilia-Romagna a piece of its pie. If you’re in the area, be on the lookout for the dish of piadina and its corresponding “Piadinerie”kiosks around busy cities, which sell only folded, grilled piadina sandwiches. For dessert, try zuppa inglese, which quite literally translates to “English soup” and is basically the Italian version of an English trifle – cake, custard, and liqueur. 

Tours & Tickets

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Modena Food and Wine Tour Including Parmigiano Reggiano and Balsamic Vinegar Tastings

Discover how Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and traditional balsamic vinegar are produced during this 4-hour tour.

Location: Modena, Italy
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $183.24

Food and Museo Ferrari Tour of Emilia-Romagna from Bologna Including Lunch

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 40 Reviews

Explore the culinary and motor heritage of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region on this full-day tour from Bologna. Traveling by minivan, visit producers of the ...  Read more

Location: Bologna, Italy
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $170.64

Private Emilia Romagna Food Tour from Parma or Bologna

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

From tempting pasta to rich, nutty Parmesan, taste the Emilia Romagna region’s finest gourmet products on a private half- or full-day food tour from Parma or ...  Read more

Location: Bologna, Italy
Duration: 5 or 7 hours

From USD $91.62

Private Tour: Gourmet Walking Tour of Bologna - Pasta, Mortadella and Chocolate

4.5 star rating: Recommended 37 Reviews

Take a private guided walking tour through the medieval market of Bologna and explore the history, art and traditions of the city and its famous food. With ...  Read more

Location: Bologna, Italy
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $118.82

Emilia Romagna Day Trip: Museo Ferrari with Optional Test Drive, Balsamic Vinegar Tour and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Factory

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Leave Siena and discover three highlights of Italy’s must-visit Emilia Romagna region: Museo Ferrari, a Modena balsamic vinegar estate and Parmigiano-Reggiano ...  Read more

Location: Siena, Italy
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $125.98

Private Tour: Wine Tasting in Bologna

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 4 Reviews

Take your taste buds on a trip to remember through Bologna on this private gastronomy tour. You'll enjoy personalized attention from your English-speaking ...  Read more

Location: Bologna, Italy
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $239.07

Private Emilia Romagna Food Tour from Milan

From succulent Parma harm to rich Parmesan, discover the Emilia Romagna region’s finest gourmet products on a private half- or full-day tour from Milan. Choose ...  Read more

Location: Milan, Italy
Duration: 5 or 7 hours

From USD $91.62

Emilia-Romagna Day Trip with Museo Ferrari Admission and Food Tours from Florence

4.5 star rating: Recommended 17 Reviews

Combine luxury cars and gourmet food on an action-packed day trip to the Emilia-Romagna region from Florence! After ogling sleek Ferraris and sports-car ...  Read more

Location: Florence, Italy
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $125.98

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