So yeah, now we’re going to blog about it too. *big innocent grin face*
Ever since we met at University we’ve always talked about how we needed to visit Italy together. I mean, Issy’s come down to visit my home in London countless times, so it only felt right that I visit hers for a change. That, and I luuuurve Italian food.
So we FINALLY booked it! *squeal*
Though, other than visiting Issy’s home in Bologna, we hadn’t really made any other plans for the trip. Living on opposite sides of the country and working completely different hours doesn’t really leave much time for planning/organising… so we decided to figure it out once we got there. Spontaneity ftw!
All we were going on was that I really wanted to visit Positano and Rome; Positano because it’s absolutely stunning in photos, and Rome because that’s where The Lizzie McGuire Movie was filmed and I was planning on standing in for an Italian pop star and singing at the Colosseum. I kid you not. I swear i’m not 15.
We arrived at Bologna airport early on a Sunday morning, and we were instantly hit by the heat. I don’t think it ever fell below 35°C whilst we were there! *melts* To get to the city centre from the airport, we opted for the shuttle bus – they run frequently, take only about 20 minutes to get to Bologna railway station, and a one-way ticket costs only €6.
Travel Tip: For bus travel in Bologna, all tickets bought before boarding must be validated using one of the machines on the bus. Single tickets cost roughly €1.50, but we decided to buy a ‘CityPass’ for €12. This allows you 10 validations and can be used by more than one person. All tickets are then valid for any bus journeys you make around the urban area of Bologna within 75 minutes of its validation. You can buy tickets on board, or at any nearby ‘tabacchi’.
Once we arrived at Issy’s house, we got down to business to plan and book the rest of our trip… whilst Issy’s mum made us a delicious homemade pizza and plied us with fresh watermelon. Eventually we’d booked our travel and accommodation for a couple days in Rome and few days in Ravello, a small town up in the hills of the Amalfi Coast (a colleague had suggested we visit, so on a whim we decided to do the next best thing and stay there!).
With the rest of our holiday sorted we then spent the next two days exploring Bologna. The city is known in Italy as “La Dotta, La Rossa, La Grassa”, which translates to “the educated, the red, the fat”. ‘Educated’ for the University of Bologna (the oldest university in the world), ‘red’ for the red brick buildings that make up the city and for it’s history of leftist politics, and ‘fat’ for it’s rich culinary history… I mean, it’s the home of Bolognese!! Bologna is also the capital of Emilia-Romagna, a region of Northern Italy, which is regarded as the heart of Italian cooking… being where produce such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto di Parma, and tortellini all hail from! Needless to say, we spent most of our time gorging on food.
This food court was a great little spot to grab a quick lunch.
Prosciutto & Melon. My fave.
Tortellini filled with ragù alla bolognese in a creamy cheese sauce. Issy considers this the ultimate comfort food. Rightly so.
Gelato sandwich at La Sorbetteria.
Hand for scale.
The Two Towers of Bologna.
Gelato at Gelateria Gianni. Issy’s zabaglione, lemon and apricot. Ang’s ‘best in town!’ (salted pistachio), strawberry and peach.
Issy’s mum’s delicious homemade pizza.
Issy’s mum’s delicious lemony, garlicy baked fish.
This happened. Day made.
When you spot your old English teacher’s book in Italian.
At the oldest University in the world.
Issy’s mum’s awesome rosemary roast chicken. Dem potatoes.
Gelato at Cremeria Funivia. Issy’s grapefruit, and ‘cavour’ (ricotta and Amalfi lemon). Ang’s ‘cavour’, and ‘contessa’ (crema ci mandorla, amaretti and almond caramel).
San Petronio Basilica.
Palazzo dei Notai.
Granita’s at Cremeria Funivia.