Walking in Bologna was like visiting the past and seeing present Italy in a whole new light. It is home to the oldest university in the world, the University of Bologna, which was founded in 1088 and is still functioning to this very day. Surviving many wars and reforms, it is a great feat that the city has been preserved and its rich cultural heritage can still be seen today.

Known for its architectural and artistic history, Bologna’s towers and medieval gateways are must-sees. There might be little compared to before but the towers still represent Bologna’s top spot in many arenas back in the day.

Asinelli tower (the higher twin of the Due Torri)

So we didn’t have a plan that day on where to go…we wandered aimlessly, ending up on streets with graffiti much elaborate than the one below, on abandoned cobblestone streets, passageways with a lot of parked bicycles and tables outside pizzerias waiting for their diners.

It was a lovely walk back in time…a feast for camera snaps and cultural drinking. And just as hubby predicted, we will find a lovely restaurant from a string of them and have authentic Ragu al Bolognese.

graffiti defines Bologna’s inner streets

Zigzagging here and there we ended up in a restaurant full of outside diners. It was fully-seated alright, but just outside, in the inside there was only a whole family dining to their heart’s delight, a couple diners and a lonesome mister who seem to be a writer so engrossed in his reading material…with all the pens and papers laying on the table along with his plate.

Where we’re seated, we could see how busy of a night it was. One pizza after the other getsย  stacked on them plates…brought to their respective tables along with other dishes. It’s a good sign – means a lot of people trusts that they serve good food. Right? A server came to us and took our orders. Hubby got Bolognese but in spaghetti…normally, bolognese is served with thicker pasta but this one was with spaghetti so all is good. It was served with complimentary bread, different from the ones we munched on while waiting.

Bolognese sauce on spaghetti

For so many years I haven’t had one of my favorite fish on my plate – spada, or swordfish. I was torn at having salmon or this but knowing I can have salmon when we get home I went for the grilled swordfish and I was not disappointed. Grilled toย  perfection, squeezed with lemon and sprinkled with some herbs on a bed of arugula…the buttery, melt-in-the-mouth texture brought back childhood memories – then when we often had this… And hey, it was a big serving too…so I was overall happy! ^_^

spada (grilled swordfish)

And to finally cap everything off, I wanted to compare the panna cotta I’ve known to the authentic one. So I asked for it as dessert. Didn’t disappoint! Creamy goodness and a hint of chocolate for every spoonful…it was rightly sweet – not overbearing that you’d ask for more. Well, I didn’t – I’m already full.

panna cotta
panna cotta
setup – look for the eager reader ๐Ÿ™‚

Nicola’s Pizzeria
Piazza San Martino, 9
Bologna, Italy
+051 23 2502