This post is waaaay late—partially because I just am slow, and partially because I got SO SICK a few weeks ago. I started feeling funny late that Tuesday with a weird feeling in my chest. Wednesday I woke up and definitely felt achy, which we all know is not a good sign this time a year. By that afternoon I was sitting in class freezing to death (wearing my heavy coat and still shivering). I knew I probably had the flu. Thursday came around and things got worse. By the time Friday hit I knew I should see a doctor. She said I had the flu, gave me some meds for fever and stomach pains. Although we soon came to the conclusion that I had the nasty Norovirus rather than a normal case of the flu. The norovirus has all the same symptoms as the flu BUT with the addition of belly issues. All of that to say I was down for the count 5 days. My poor, sweet husband took good care of me. I was pitiful.
Now back to your regularly programmed entertainment.
day 43 // fri feb 23
Wade and I had an open weekend and were browsing for cheap flights. We saw Bologna, Italy. Not a place most people even consider because they are intrigued with Rome, Florence and Venice. But when we read that Bologna is a city for food lovers, we were in. It’s the largest city in the Emilia Romagna region, one of the most prolific food regions in the world producing products like Parmigiano-Reggiano, Modena balsamic vinegar, and prosciutto.
We flew Ryan Air—which is the worst. Please don't do it unless the deal is just too good to pass up. We have had much better experience with EuroWings, also cheaper but way nicer and timely. We got to the Bonn-Cologne airport around 4PM and then waited forever. and ever. Our flight was delayed, then as approaching the aircraft they made us check our backpacks... say what? Since when is that a thing? Like I said, just avoid if at all possible.
Once in the air the flight was less than an hour. We finally made it to Bologna but it was later than we had originally planned. It was also very rainy. We took a taxi to our Airbnb. It was a cute little place with great details. After unloading we quickly ventured out to see what we could eat at this late hour. We stumbled across a few places that were still open but nothing really caught our eye. We found one place that looked tiny and quaint. We walked in and the Italian owner sat us down. There were no menus, he just began reading off a list of options. I decided on tortellini and Wade a lasagna with ham. THEN he just kept naming things and we soon realized that was only the first course. We were giggling because our plan was to just "get something small," then head back. We embraced it and dubbed it our honeymoon meal. We even ordered desserts. When in Bologna, right?
day 44 // sat feb 24
The next morning came bright and early. We booked a tour with Italian Days and they were picking us up at our Airbnb at 7AM sharp. Early, but a cool perk of the tour we booked so we didn't have to try to find our on way. We were greeted with a couple in the van, then proceeded to pick up one other couple. We then drove out of town for about an hour. We arrived at our first stop: A Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Factory. This place was nuts. We got to see the artisan cheesemakers making the cheese, and were walked through the process. Very cool to see. They had thousands and thousands of wheels of cheese.
Then we headed to stop two: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. We got to taste 12 year aged balsamic vinegar, and THEN they were like, "oh try this 25 year aged Balsamic Vinegar too." It was unlike any balsamic vinegar you have probably every tasted. Very good. When I thought it couldn't get any better they brought out ricotta cheese that was made that morning at our first stop and topped it with said vinegar. MELT IN YOUR MOUTH GOOD.
Our last tour stop was Prosciutto Factory. My least favorite for obvious reasons, but really interesting nonetheless. They had over 93,000 prosciutto which is insane. After the tour we did some tastings. Wade and I both really liked one that was truffle flavored. Yummy!
After all the tours they say you get a "light lunch." Don't trust Italians. We had food on food. We went to a private room of this restaurant and they just kept bringing out food. There was tortellini, bolognese, bread, cheese, salami, more bread, and then dessert. Needless to say we didn't do much else that day due to our food comas.
day 45 // sun feb 25
One of the sweet couples we met at the tour was a local couple and recommended the best place to get a cappuccino and a brioche. It did NOT disappoint. Wade and I wondered around for a bit. It was raining at first then eventually started to snow. The snow was beautiful! Also I had like 3 cups of cappuccino that day because they are like 1,50 and SO good. I can't help myself. We found a little pizza joint for lunch that served by the slice. Wade said it was his favorite so far, although I'm more of a Neapolitan style pizza gal myself. We had an early afternoon flight back to Bonn.
Overall rating of Bologna was good! Definitely a food city, which we really enjoyed (and knew going in). Not as touristy as other Italian cities, which we also really liked.