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We recently joined Devour Tours new Bologna food tour that aims to help you discover the tastes and traditions of Bologna. In our review, you’ll learn who this tour is best suited to and what to expect when you join the tour.
Bologna Food Tour Review
The Devour Tours food tour in Bologna is for groups of 12 people maximum and runs for around 3.5 – 4 hours. There are eight food stops in total and each is designed to introduce you to one of the iconic foods of Bologna and the Emilia Romagna region. Expect to enjoy coffee, sweet treats, Parmigiano Reggiano, local cured meats, Balsamic Vinegar, two different local pastas, and two glasses of local wine. You will be well-fed but not bursting at the seams and be equipped with insider tips on where to eat in Bologna!
But you won’t just be eating. You’ll learn why the city is known as La Dotta, La Grassa, and La Rossa (the Learned, the Fat and the Red) as you enjoy the delicious dishes and produce of one of Italy’s favorite foodie cities.CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR BOLOGNA FOOD TOUR
What to expect on your food tour of Bologna
If you’re hoping to understand more about who the Bolognese people are (and have been throughout history), a lot of it comes back to food. It’s clear that every food stop on this tour (each more tasty than the last) was selected to help illuminate something important about the people behind its production.
During the Balsamic Vinegar tasting, we learned about how the iconic barrels were created to give the women in the family a dowry. They were created when a baby girl was born, and after 25 years of aging (both the vinegar and the child!) the woman was ready to marry.
In this way, the tour shared both the food and culture of Bologna and ensured it was an engaging and interesting as well as delicious bite into the city.
Bologna Food Tour Details
Devour Tours walking food tour in Bologna kicked off in the heart of the city with a second breakfast as all good Italians do. Refueled with caffè and a traditional rice cake, off to the market we went. Here, we discovered the difference between 24 and 48-month-old Parmigiano Reggiano and the black gold of Modena.
Next, we met the pink Queen of Bologna (also known as mortadella), enjoyed a tasting of seasonal fruits from the market vendors, and of course, freshly made pasta. Note – there are two pasta stops on this tour, because the region is just that famous for its wonderful pastas. The first stop is tortelloni filled with ricotta and herbs and served with a light butter and sage sauce.
Venturing back towards the main square, Piazza Maggiore, our guide led us through the oldest part of town known as the Quadrilatero. Pushing open a discrete door (with a sign saying no videos allowed), we stepped inside a 650-year-old bar. This historic osteria is part of the very fabric that makes up the town and it was a delight to see locals playing cards alongside tourists stepping in for a drink here. Our guide remarked that we could be inside a Fellini film as we sipped our glasses of local Pignoletto over a picnic of prosciutto and salami.
Our final savory stop was for a bowl of tagliatelle with ragu, accompanied with a glass of local Sangiovese wine. Afterwards, we walked it off admiring the canals of the city and the infamous Finestrella that offers an Instagram-worthy photo moment.
Last but not least, our Bologna food tour ended on a sweet note. It’s a truly local treat and much more typical than just a gelato, which made it all the more memorable.
Bologna Food Tour Guide
Our tour guide Benedetta is a local and grew up on the Romagna side of the region. Today, she lives in the heart of the city center with her Bolognese husband and brought this food-obsessed place completely to life for us.
While you can research the products the city is renowned for, it’s truly a totally enriched experience going around with a guide. Besides taking us to her tried and trusted delis, restaurants and bars, Benedetta was also able to explain the context as to why these products exist, the history behind them, and how they fit into today’s modern Bolognese life.
The quote of the day was hearing her describe 48-month-aged Parmigiano Reggiano and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP as the “perfect marriage” – sign us up!
Bologna Food Tour Highlights
There were so many highlights during this best Bologna food tour. Whilst all the food is obviously scrumptious, the stories around their traditions and how they are carried into modern day times were particularly interesting. For example, who knew that the Bolognese Sauce (ragu in Bologna) was actually French? Or that traditionally, mortadella never had pistachios inside.
It was promising to learn about how the city is trying to reinvigorate life into older traditions even as our lifestyles change, like opening the market during the evening with restaurant-like food stalls. Or even offering other kinds of fresh pasta alongside those traditionally from the region. There is this beautiful blend between traditions and modern-day life that was highlighted constantly by our guide and would have been easy to miss without joining this great tour.
What is the one thing we’ll remember about this experience?
The creamy, almost floral taste of Parmigiano Reggiano that specifically comes from cows grazing in the mountains is seriously life-changing. Moreover, the care that goes into creating these incredible food products and the appreciation for these long-standing food traditions that are carried on even in modern-day times is truly memorable.
Who is this tour best suited to?
Devour Tours Delicious Tastes and Traditions of Bologna Food Tour, is undoubtedly for the committed foodie but is also ideal for anyone with an interest in Italian culture and how its food, traditions and history intertwine.
You might be surprised to learn that this tour is adaptable for vegetarians and pescatarians as well as those following a gluten or dairy-free diet. Please check the tour description for further details.
Who It Is Not For
Anyone not interested in food and cultural traditions. You don’t have to be a huge eater to enjoy this tour and can always ask for very small tastings. However, if you’re not curious about how food, traditions and culture intertwine and make up a huge part of the Italian psyche, then you won’t enjoy this tour. It’s fascinating to understand how food traditions have impacted society in the past and how they have changed and modernized to today’s point in time.CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR BOLOGNA FOOD TOUR
Summary: Bologna Food Tour Review
Devour Tours Tastes and Traditions of Bologna: Food Tour with Market Visit introduces you to the food culture and history of one of Italy’s most delicious cities. It’s fascinating to understand how food traditions have impacted society in the past and how they have changed and modernized to today’s point in time. Make sure to book yourself in the next time you’re in Bologna.