Not only is this the final part of my series about my trip to Bologna, but it's also all about three of my favourite things - eating, shopping and sleeping!
First up - the food...
Italy is famous for its incredible array of delicious and locally produced dishes, and I was lucky enough to try plenty of them while I was there! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and luckily I took a few...otherwise this post would just be full of "yummy" and "mmmmm"!
Say cheese! Italian cheese is, as predicted, delicious. Despite the walnut neighours...does anyone else think they look like shriveled brains?
Also, cheese with thick balsamic vinegar is mind-blowingly good. But then again, balsamic vinegar makes everything mind-blowingly good.
Italians + pastry + spinach = amazing. The end.
Baked parmesan with coffee grains and balsamic vinegar from Acetaia San Giacomo...sounds weird, but it was incredible!
Ice-cream with balsamic "sabba". Proof that balsamic vinegar does taste good on everything!
Pastry heaven! I also learned that Italian custard is one of the best things I've ever tasted.
As my travel buddies, Katie Antoniou and Akeela Bhattay, and I are big lovers of all things vintage, our shopping adventures mainly consisted of hitting second hand shops and flea markets. Bologna has plenty of hidden gems, but you have to be prepared to do a bit of walking. Fortunately, the city is so beautiful that walking around it is anything but a chore!
We found 'Memoires', an absolutely stunning vintage shop, just around the corner from the Blogville Apartment. Not only was it full of wonderful old brick-a-brac, postcards, jewellery and ornaments, but it was also very reasonably priced. As if that wasn't enough, the shop owners could not have been more friendly or welcoming despite the fact we spoke little to no Italian between us. We all walked away with our shopping bags fuller and our purses a little lighter!
When we heard there was a second hand market in a Church square a little way out of the town, we knew we had to go and check it out. It definitely didn't disappoint either - the market was chock full of vintage and antique goodies at flea market prices! Unfortunately many of the items were a little too large/delicate for the flight home, but just looking around was enough for me. Akeela also managed to find a dress for 2 euros - amazing!
Aside from staying at the brilliant Blogville apartment for two nights, we were also lucky enough to spend our last night at the beautiful Art Hotel Orologio in Bologna.
For those of you who don't speak Italian, 'orologio' means 'clocks', and the hotel was chock full of the most stunning and ornate clocks you could possible imagine! This hotel is perfect for any vintage lover, as it's so classically decorated in a stunning 20s/30s art deco style. As an Agatha Christie obsessive, I couldn't help but imagine it to be the setting of a Poirot novel, with its rich coloured wallpapers and stunning features in each room. There was even a lady statue on our walls! Not only were the beds comfortable and the bathrooms gorgeous, but the staff at the Art Hotel Orologio were incredibly friendly and accommodating. Christina, the owner, even took the time to join us for breakfast to tell us all about the various Art Hotels they own across Bologna. When I go back to Bologna (which I am planning to do very soon!), I will definitely be staying at this hotel again as not only is it gorgeous, but it's also right in the center of town - perfect!
So that's the end of my series about Bologna! I hope you enjoyed reading about it at least half as much as I enjoyed my stay there. I'd like to thank Akeela, Katie, Nicholas Montemaggi and everyone at Blogville, Gina, Helena, Sara, Christina and Giorgio at the Art Hotel Orologio, German Wings for the brilliant flights, as well as the kind local people of Bologna for making my trip so amazing. I hope to see you all again very soon!