Food in Bologna and Emilia-Romagna

By Viator, February 2016

4.5 43 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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Italian Food and Museo Ferrari Small Group Tour from Bologna Including Lunch

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 57 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 $169.31

Private Emilia Romagna Food Tour from Parma or Bologna

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 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 $90.90

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 $181.81

Parmigiano Cheese and Vinegar Food Tour with Wine Tasting

When you think about Italy, food is one of the first things that comes up in mind, right? This tour is made for you if you're a food lover and want to taste ...  Read more

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

From USD $193.17

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

4.5 star rating: Recommended 38 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 $120.73

Traditional Home Cooking Experience in Bologna

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Reviews

Learn the secrets of Bolognese cuisine at Lucia's home and discover the old food market.

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

From USD $89.77

Bologna Food Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 3 Reviews

Get a taste of Bologna’s enviable food scene on this 2-hour walking tour around the old medieval market streets. In the company of a food-obsessed guide, ...  Read more

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

From USD $28.41

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 $124.99

Pasta Making Class in Bologna

A lesson to discover the secret of making fresh and delicious pasta in a very nice and real atmosphere. Enjoy making Tortellini, fresh dough and Tagliatelle ...  Read more

Location: Bologna, Italy
Duration: 2 hours 18 minutes (approx.)

From USD $198.85

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 $237.20

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