If you are looking for something special to do in Bologna, something unusual and out of standard tourist routes, I have something to recommend.
Please note that these tips are completely based on my experience!
In fact, since I have been doing the walking food tour Bologna, I noticed that one of my guests’ favorite places were the covered markets.
What covered markets are?
Of course if you are not Italian and if you have never been there, you need some explaination.
Covered markets are old style markets that have been renewed in the last years, where you can buy any kind of food, from vegetables to meat, from fish to cheese and spices.
One of the most famous in Bologna is Mercato delle Erbe. Visiting it (http://www.mercatodelleerbe.eu/), the enthusiasm of my guests can be compared to a child’s one at a fun fair!
They claim there are no markets like the Italian in their home country, and they wish they could do their daily shopping in a bright, colorful, scented market like those we have here, where people in the stands and shops are so welcoming and smiley.
That makes me very proud of the place I live in, because sometimes we don’t realize how beautiful it is, and in these occasions my foreign guests remind me of that!
Particularly, they seem to love the atmosphere at Mercato delle Erbe, which is lively and laid-back at the same time (it’s never too crowded with people); the stands are full of tempting foods: fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta, cold cuts, cheeses and other local goodies.
Not only Mercato delle Erbe: in Bologna there are many other markets less famous, but probably more beautiful.
If you want to visit some of these Bologna gems, I would like to recommend the following market: the open farmers’ market Mercato della Terra, or Mercato Ritrovato, which takes place in piazzetta Pasolini and piazzetta Anna Magnani, right in front of the Lumière cinema. It’s undoubtedly one of Bologna top food attractions! Unfortunately, many guests visit Bologna on a one-day trip and haven’t got enough time to discover all the best things to do here.
It’s almost become a weekly ritual for me as a local: every Saturday morning me and my flat mate walk to the market, which is very close to our place, and we bump into our friends and neighbors.
The farmers’ market offers a wide range of fresh local products from the countryside outside Bologna: fresh bread, cakes, pizzas, honey, wine, beer, vegetables, fruit, cheese and more delicious foods. Moreover, tastings and free cooking workshops are organized every week as well as activities for children.
Cooking workshops are surely worth a try if you are keen on cooking, but they are held in Italian only, which is another good reason to learn our beautiful language: take cooking lessons in Italian with local gastronomic experts!
My flat mate and I usually buy fresh vegetables and bread (pumpkin flavor is our favorite!), but first we buy a jug of white wine of the Bolognese hills and lay on the benches between the two piazzettas. While sipping our wine, a band plays some music next to the stands. We just sit and relax, enjoying the sun and the soft noises of the market!
The Market takes place on Saturday mornings in wintertime from 9am to 2pm and on Monday evenings in summer time from 5.30 to 9.30 pm.
Lumière cinema is approximately 1 km from the station Bologna Centrale. You can take bus 33 and take off at Porta Lame stop, which is only 100 metres from the market. Bus tickets are available at the newsstand inside the main lobby of the station and cost 1.30€, otherwise you can buy them on the bus at the higher price of 1.50€, please note the machine does not provide change!
The covered market is 1,5 km from Piazza Maggiore. On Mondays you can take bus 29 from Piazza Maggiore stop (direction Parcheggio Tanari) and take off at Porta Lame stop, but on Saturdays you have to take the same bus from Carbonesi stop (via Rizzoli and via Ugo Bassi are closed to the traffic at the weekends). You can buy tickets in every tobacco shop (tabaccheria) or at the newsstand in front of Apple store in via Rizzoli, where you also find a taxi station.
Please note that bus timetables can be different in August!
If you visit Bologna on these days of the week and you are looking for Bologna top attractions for food, I would recommend a drop by!
More information is available visiting the Facebook page facebook.com/pg/mercatoritrovato
Check out our Bologna food tour here!
We have created amazing food tours and cooking experiences that will show you how and what local people enjoy eating. Typical dishes, served in different restaurants, will present you the local food culture!