Emilia Romagna - where to base ourselves

Old Dec 10th, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Emilia Romagna - where to base ourselves

We are planning our vacation to Italy and want to visit the following locations we are trying to figure out where to base our stay while in the Emilia Romagna area and what shouldn't we miss

A little background, we are 2 adults, 2 children age 13 & 11 at the time of our vacation and are going sometime during the fall of 2007. Haven't selected dates yet. We have been to Italy before with the children and visited Rome, Venice and spent 8 days in Sicily. This time we want to spend 2 nights in Rome to see some of the sights we missed, spend 4-5 nights in Venice because we loved it, and then explorer the Emilia Romagna area where none of us have been to yet. Probably spend about 5 nights in the area.

We definitely want to visit Bologna and Parma, my husband is a chef, but not sure what other areas we shouldn't miss and where to base ourselves out of

Any suggestions?
Thank you
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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I was in Bologna at the beginning of November for 8 nights. I did day trips to Modena, Parma and Ravenna. I liked/enjoyed all three but was glad to based in Bologna. Modena struck me a quiet, reserved and "top shelf' type of place. In Parma I had the most delicate ravioli - they were enlightening - the pasta was so thin and light, and the pumpkin spiced filling delicious. Would I be based there - I don't know. Ravenna is great for mosaics but a bit off the main path. While in Bologna is realized that mortadella is in no way like American boloney. The lardo at the Tamburini's entoeca is divine. And tortellini in brodo is a meal unto itself.
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 04:03 PM
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I've used Bologna as a base too, and it worked beautifully. Not only is Bologna itself pleasant with things to see and good eating, it's a train hub which makes it easy to get around. Ravenna is a must-see, and Ferrara is also very interesting. Florence is only an hour by train from Bologna also, if you wanted to make that a daytrip (cheaper to stay in Bologna than Florence!).

What I like about Bologna is that it is relatively "undiscovered" by tourists. It's a university town, and the univ. quarter is very lively!
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Old Dec 10th, 2006, 06:45 PM
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Write down this restaurant Osteria Broccaindosso's, Via Broccaindossos, 7A, Bologna, 051-254-153. You will not be sorry, served true family style, the food will just keep on coming and is phenomenal. Very hard to find you will need your concierge to get you reservations, very small suprisingly inexpensive the best food on our entire trip.
 
Old Dec 10th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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We were just in Italy for our honeymoon in October. We based ourselves in Bologna for 4 nights and did a day trip each to Parma and Ravenna from there (spent one full day in Bologna too). Bologna is a really great place to use as a base for the area becuase it's centrally located. If you're planning on using the trains to get around, you can get to just about anywhere from Bologna.

I absolutely loved Ravenna for the mosaics, they're unbelieveable. It's just over an hour from Bologna on the train. We spent a good portion of the day just wandering after we saw the mosaics, but if you wanted to you could do the morning in Ravenna and stop in Faenza on your way back to Bologna.

We stayed in a sweet bed and breakfast if you're into that kind of accomodation. http://www.cosyhouse.co.uk/ The owner Gabriella became like a 3rd Italian grandmother to my husband.
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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Thanks everyone, Bologna it is.

Any other recommendations on where to stay for a family of 4?

EJRossi - thanks for the link, will look into it
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 07:03 AM
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stoopswats - thank you for the suggestion of the restaurant. Definitely something we would love

Carta Pisana - I grew up eating Mortadella. I was born in Sicily but moved to the U.S. when I was little
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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If you will excuse the shameless self-promotion, here is my food report from a trip earlier this year that inlcudes Bologna at the end.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34743272
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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My experience of Bologna (you will need to copy & paste the url):
http://www.iol.ie/~draoi/html/bologna1.htm

It might give you some ideas. The ascent to the Santuario della Beata Vergine di San Luca might be a good project for the junior department of the family.
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Old Dec 13th, 2006, 03:34 AM
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I was in Bologna for a week in October. I loved my stay at the B&B Accogliente.
http://www.accoglientebologna.it/
It's in a large apartment which belongs to Maria and Roberto, the hosts. They live there but the guest rooms are separate from their living quarters, on the other side of the living room, in which you get to eat Marias's wonderful breakfasts. There is 1 double roome and 1 twin room. The double might be a little small for a couple but still manageable. I haven't been able to look into the twin, but the double was lovely; Clean, homey, very quiet. The bathroom is shared between the 2 rooms and is just fine, comfortable and clean.
The hosts are very kind but not obtrusive, the location is excellent, it takes about 10 minutes to walk to Piazza Magiore. The same street has the Taverna dei Lords, a restaurant that was recommended on this board, I think by Ira.
http://www.tavernadeilords.it/
And gelateria Gianni, a 5-minute walk from the B&B, is fabulous.
http://www.gelateriagianni.com/

ga9497, you'll need luck finding that restaurant. I walked that street twice and couldn't locate it.
In case you want some divine ice cream to round off your meal, head to Il Gelatauro, which has, perhaps, the best ice cream I tried in Bologna.
http://www.gelatauro.com/index.htm
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Old Dec 13th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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Thank you everyone for the links, have looked at them and great information that I have noted

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Old Dec 13th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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A couple suggestions:

La taverna dei picari
via emilia ponente 459
www.latavernadeipicari.it
A rustic tavern - about a 10E taxi ride from the Piazza Maggiore. I finally understood that American baloney is a very poor cousin to mortadella when tasting his mortadella. The filling for his homemade tortellini in brodo - made me pause.

Antica Trattoria del Cacciatore
http://www.ristoranteilcacciatore.com
Their specialty is game - a 10E taxi ride from Piazza Maggiore. The best antipasti carts my whole trip - everything was just a notch above inquality/flavor/tenderness. The wild boar had a touch too much clove. The grappa trolley has 150 bottles.

Grassilli
via del Luzzo 3
near due Torre
Creativo cucina. The polenta gnocci with a lamb ragu (I think) were especially good and hearty. Different rifts on traditional dishes.

Re Enzo
via riva di Reno 79D
My first dinner in Bologna. Started with a plate of cured meats - the smoked duck breast proscuitto melted on my tounge. The pasta with white truffles was so frragrant. The lamb had a balsamic glaze of some sort with flecks of rosemary and slivers of chestnuts.

Da Bertino & Figli
via delle Lame 55
My hotel suggested this my last night - one of the last places that serves traditional bolito misto. I was the only non-IItalian in the place - the tortellini in brodo was a meal unto itself. A great last meal in Bologna.

The enoteca at Tamburini has various sampler plates of cured meats and cheeses - plus a wide variety of wines by the glass. Be sure to try the lardo. I found the lambrusco to be a nice second fiddle to the food - it didn't upstage the food. The Sangiovese/cabernet blends were pleasent also.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 04:57 AM
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I second Da Bertino. Foodwise it was probably the second best meal we had in Italy, experiencewise, the first. We also, were practically the only non-Italians in the place.

The bicolor pasta with sausage was incredible.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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