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Before I even begin talking about anything at all, I just wanted to let you know, coffee! Bologna and the coffee. Oh my gosh!
Nick is one of those people who is really awkward to buy presents for. We all know someone like this, right? So when Christmas came around, I was a little stumped. My sister Heather has been taking some amazing trips around Europe this past year, and every time she is away, Nick gets a little jealous. So what could be a more perfect present than a mini Euro trip? I'll tell you what, a surprise Euro trip to Bologna, Italy, the food capital itself.
When Christmas came around, I told Nick that my present to him was a weekend away in Edinburgh. But when we got to Edinburgh last Friday, he seemed very shocked to find out that we were actually only going to Edinburgh to visit their airport and fly off to Italy instead. Everyone was in on the plan, I had booked him extra holidays with work, and the lady at the cattery even told him “See you Sunday” when she knew we would not be back until Tuesday.
We arrived in Italy and stayed in this beautiful Air BnB right in the centre of the city, a 2-minute walk from everything. And we began with the coffee. Italian espresso. WOW! I heard that the coffee was good, but what I didn't know was it was *5 coffee's a day and never sleep again* kinda good. Coffees and pastries, AMAZING.
I had a little surprise for Nick booked our first day in Bologna, a secret food tour! Now I'm not too sure what was so secret about it, but it was fantastic. We had a 3-hour walking tour through the city where we learned about its history, all while getting to sample all of the famous foods along with coffee (yes, more coffee) and wine. We tried a large selection of their ham, cheese, tortellini, tagliatelle, famous bolognese, croissants, balsamic vinegar, gelato, rice cake (can't quite remember the name of this one), and lots of local wines and coffee. This was definitely our favourite part of the trip and would highly recommend it to anyone.
On this tour, we made friends with some Americans who have been living in Naples for the past year, so we spent the rest of the day with them. We explored the old university along with their anatomy rooms, and the biggest church in Europe (unfinished). We tried some local beers and went out for a delicious dinner. Here I ate their famous tortellini in broth, and Nick had lasagne (and 4 desserts from our friends who couldn't finish theirs). A few cocktails later, and it was definitely time for bed.
Our second day in Bologna, we decided to eat a lot of food, explore San Luca, and then eat even more food. We started the day with bruschetta. We then caught this tiny train (a bus that looked like a train) all the way up into the Italian hills and walked around San Luca, a beautiful old building. We figured we could walk all the way back into the town as they had a big staircase that went all the way down the hill, this took a little time, but we made it and decided to celebrate with more gelato. Then onto dinner, we shared some fantastic pizza.
Our last day, we took it easy. Some pastries for breakfast, a considerable walk-up their terrifying Two Towers. A street-side lunch of tortellini and ragu. MORE gelato, and some final espressos before heading to the airport to come home. I would highly recommend it for anyone who is a foodie or looking for a nice getaway.
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