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Florence Bologna Venice, Ragu to Gelato .. Get lost in Italian Cuisine!

7 days in Florence, Bologna, Venice, Italy
created by

Silvia Race

1st February 2019
Get ready for the best foodie trip on earth. Moving from Florence to Bologna to Venice, find out the pearls of Italy and their delicious foods!
Welcome to Florence! The capital of Renaissance, culture, art.. right in the heart of Italy! Many geniuses grew up here and gave life to gems known around the world, Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Dante .. you name it. Florence is filled with history and culture in each and every angle, you'll get a history lesson just by strolling around. But it's not all of it, of course we're in Italy, the country best known for its cuisine, so don't miss the chance to try EVERY dish, I mean, you're here now might as well give it in!
This café is an institution in Florence, it offers everything from desserts to more complex dishes to cocktails. It faces the beautiful Piazza della Signoria with tables located outside in the sun under big umbrellas. Try here the famous 'zuccotto': one of the most famous Florence dessert that consist of a sponge cake with cream and chocolate, the legend says that its creator Buontalenti (apparently also creator of the gelato) used ice and snow to freeze the cream inside an ancient helmet, this also explains the shape of the cake
Piazza della Signoria
Piazza della Signoria is the heart of the city, right in the medieval Florence. Important buildings frame this beautiful square that has been through so many changes through the different ages but always remained a landmark. Palazzo Vecchio with its majestic tower hosted the Medici Family, one of the most important families in Italy during '500. La Loggia della Signoria looks like an open air museum hosting many statues that belonged to the Medici family Also, many statues decorate the square like the famous 'Giuditta' emblem of Florence freedom, or the great 'David' by Michelangelo
Fontana del Porcellino
This fountain is a bronze copy of a statue gifted from the Pope to Cosimo I, later transformed in a fountain. It had a practical use because it was right the market area where vendors sold precious fabrics. The nose of this statue is particularly shining, indeed according to the tradition, touching the nose of what's actually a boar, brings good luck. If you put a coin in the mouth of the boar and it falls through the grate then it's great luck!
Osteria Vini e Vecchi Sapori
This osteria is a small place mostly frequented by locals and very crowded. It doesn't serve touristy dishes but only quality traditional Tuscan food like 'pappardelle in duck ragù'
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore
This majestic cathedral is one of the most beautiful in Italy. A mixture of different styles and an explosion of art and genius. It deserves a complete visit from the outside to the inside. The gothic style with pink white and green armor decorates the outside, on the inside the jaw dropping dome with Universal judgment by Vasari and Zuccari. The entry is free and quite quick considering the number of visitors
The Baptistery of St. John
One of the most important monument in Florence, probably built starting from an ancient roman temple, the inside will leave you speechless with its golden octagonal dome. Starting from the doors, every statue and every detail looks incredible!
Giotto's Bell Tower
Get a glimpse of the whole city going up in the bell tower, and take your chance to snap the perfect pic with Florence warm colors as background
Perché no!...
Time to take a break! You're in Italy so the best break has to be a gelato, this ice cream place offers an excellent gelato with local ingredients of great quality. A must try here is the Pistachio!
Ristorante del Fagioli
Try the most famous Florence dish here: the steak also called the 'Fiorentina'. The steak is a big and thick piece of meat usually slightly cooked. According to locals it must weigh at least 1 kilo and be very very raw!
Ponte Vecchio
Ponte Vecchio floats over the Arno river full of shops, souvenirs places and jewelers. A walk at night along this bridge will gift you a magnificent and romantic view of the city with its lights reflecting on the water
The Boboli Gardens
These massive gardens are a place to discover and entertain you for hours. A perfect place to join relax on the grass with a little bit of sun and a walk through art: statues, fountains, pretty constructions are everywhere! Take the map and start your mission!
Pitti Palace
The Palazzo Pitti is a renaissance explosion. Originally it was home to Luca Pitti, a Florence banker, then bought by the Medici family. Today is a mix of galleries and museums and it is the largest museum complex in Florence.
Antica pasticceria Maioli
Time to recharge with a sweet snack. This is one of the best dessert place in Florence, try something typical like 'la schiacciata con l'uva' or the 'castagnaccio' a sweet kind of bread with chestnut flour
Uffizi Gallery
Do not miss the most visited Italian museum collecting the most precious works of art in the world. Botticelli, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Caravaggio.. these are only few names of the artists you'll find in the museum.
Ristorante Ora d'Aria - Ristorante a Firenze
Treat yourself with this *luckily affordable* Michelin starred restaurant. Considering Italian cuisine, Michelin stars on an Italian restaurant mean double treat. This place revisits Tuscan classics giving you the chance to try everything with tasting menus.
Santa Croce
The place of burial of the most important people in Florence including Galileo Galilei. Works by Donatello fill this iconic church, the construction started around 1200. This place hosts many chapels and a quiet and peaceful cloister.
Accademia Gallery
This gallery puts together paths dedicated to sculpture, paintings and finally music. The collections are so big and complete that it's definitely worth a visit!
Your stay in Florence has come to an end, and what better way to end your trip in this city than a little wine tasting in the Chianti region? This place offers you a wide selection of the best Tuscan wines.. go ahead, it's okay to be tipsy we'll get it!
Welcome to Bologna! This city is the most perfect place to be if you're a young student, as right here the first university of Europe was born in 1088, and the university kept its traditions and it remains one of the best in Italy. Bologna is characterized by its warm colors of red terra-cotta, brown and yellow and the famous architecture of the 'porticos' . Get ready to get lost in this beautiful city, in its narrow streets and most especially in the delicious Bolognese cuisine!
Due Torri
The first thing you'll notice as you approach the city centre of Bologna, besides the large quantity of young people everywhere probably sporting the 'Alma Mater Studiorum' hoodie, are the 'two towers' of medieval origin. These are the emblem of the city. The tallest one is called 'Torre deli Asinelli' and the other 'Torre della Garisenda'. The towers in Bologna used to be built as a sign of power: the tallest, the most powerful. The skyline used to be much different indeed. Nowadays these two towers are almost the only two remaining, surely the only two worth visiting. As hard as it can get, definitely go up the Torre deli Asinelli! it will give you the complete view of the whole city and if the weather is perfect you'll even be able to spot a little twinkle of the sea, kilometers and kilometers away! PS: If you're a student and you haven't graduated yet, DON'T go up the towers, the tradition says that otherwise you'll never graduate!
Pappare' Bologna
For a full breakfast, definitely hit Pappare', right near the the two towers. It is a small little place that offers delicious breakfasts and brunches, one of the best in the city!
Ghetto ebraico
Get lost (and that happens quite easily) in this neighborhood made of small narrow streets and little passages and bridges. Here the jews used to live forced by the Church in 1556. If you have a good photographer eye, in this place you'll catch so many little spots to capture! Little windows and tiny doors, keep your eyes wide open and you'll always find something new
Via Zamboni
Walk Via Zamboni to catch a glimpse of that 'Uni Life'. This street is full of places to eat and sit for an aperitif but most importantly a lot of university locations face it: law, economics, literature, you'll realize that each historical building is so beautiful they are full of tourists even during the lessons time with students coming and going. Full of life!
Piazza Giuseppe Verdi
At the end of Via Zamboni you'll find Piazza Verdi. Perfect place to grab a coffee sitting in the small tables outside and frequented by all the uni students usually dressed in funny ways to celebrate their graduation and offering a round to everyone near! Definitely something to see and take advantage of In front of you the Verdi Theatre, perfect during the night if you want to see a show and then get a drink on the terrace :) If you see people sitting on the ground, don't be surprised, just know that in this city it's a thing, EVERYONE sits EVERYWHERE
Bottega Portici - 2 Torri
Get back on track retracing Via Zamboni and you'll get to Bottega Portici, right in front of the towers. You'll surely notice it as it has big windows that let you see what's going on in the kitchen and most especially how the chefs prepare the famous 'tortellini' a traditional Bolognese kind of pasta usually filled with meat. Get on the little terrace facing the towers and definitely try the dish of the day or go for a more traditional tortellino.
Piazza Maggiore
Piazza Maggiore is the one of the biggest square in Bologna and definitely the most famous. You'll probably find a festival going on or buskers or street artists entertaining the crowds for hours. Sit on the stairs and enjoy the sun and the people Facing the square there's the Basilica of S. Petronio, the fourth biggest one in Italy: you'll immediately notice it's divided in half as it was never completed. The building is majestic and the inside is jaw dropping as well. On the other side of the square you'll find Palazzo Re Enzo built in 1244, definitely worth a look inside as well.
Fontana del Nettuno
This fountain was built by Laureti and Gimabologna to glorify the Pope. It's another emblem of Bologna and it got recent reconstructed looking better than ever.
Biblioteca Salaborsa
This is the main public library, inside a beautiful building hosting some public offices as well. Most of the times there are festivals or exhibitions inside. Plus the floor is glass and it's a see through, it lets you see the ancient ruins underground as you walk.
Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio
This library is one of the most beautiful EVER. So much that I don't suggest going there to actually study as you'll get distracted by its beauty. There is an anatomic museum and the library preserves some of the most ancient manuscripts.
Osteria del Sole
This is the most typical place in Bologna and since the aperitif is a must in this city don't hesitate and get inside! They don't sell food here but only wine and beers, but you can bring your food from the outside and eat it there. There is always a chaos of people and a genuinely happy atmosphere: sit on the large wooden tables and you'll be friends with everyone in less than you imagine. An institution in Bologna since 1465!
Via degli Orefici
In these streets you only have to choose, there are plenty of places offering so many different delicious foods! One of the best is Simoni, it'll bring you a selection of their best cold cuts, parmesan with different seasonings and some exquisite wine. It really doesn't get better than this.
Via Giuseppe Petroni
End your night in Via Petroni, where anything can happen. This street is flooded with people it's almost hard to walk. There are many bars selling drinks at very affordable prices and you'll gain at least ten new friends just walking by, it's inevitable!
Giardini Margherita
The Giardini Margherita is a massive park a little bit outside the walls surrounding the city. A perfect place to be during the heat in summer, with the shadows of the trees making everything more bearable and the small ponds a lake, you can easily get a bike and explore this beautiful oasis.
Le Serre dei Giardini Margherita
Really close to the gardens is this little cute place called 'Le Serre'. Have your breakfast here with a croissant and a cappuccino, or dive in a fuller brunch. This place is definitely insta worthy and very frequented by locals, sometimes you'll find students pretending to be studying in this little paradise.
Osteria Al 15
A very 'bolognese' and very affordable osteria that still keeps the same vibrant atmosphere of the old Osterie. Try the delicious typical foods like tagliatelle al ragù: pasta with sauce and meat or the famous Lasagna, a typical dish in bologna with pasta foil, meat and béchamel.. deliciousness.
Cremeria Cavour
Get ready for some queue because in this place you'll find it.. but it's because they have one of the best gelato in ITALY, and that's not an overstatement, it's a lot. The flavors here are another level of complexity, with the best ingredients. Even granitas here are great. Plus, there is a nice little square with some trees and green all around to stop by and enjoy your gelato.
Piazza santo stefano
This beautiful square with a triangle shape actually, is a gem, it just has something so romantic to it. With its low lights and porticos and the beautiful basilica di Santo Stefano actually made out of 7 churches put together. Take your time for a full visit, you'll be glad.
mercato antico
In the narrow streets near Piazza Delle Mercanzie and Piazza Santo Stefano there is an area called 'the ancient market' made of small shops so full that they occupy the street. A good place to make your best deals especially on food! Here there are the best places to get some tortellini to take home and spread the world or some mortadella or even some parmesan! Ps. Get inside Tamburini and you'll probably want to buy everything
Via Ugo Bassi
Time to hit the heart of the city again.. maybe with a little more shopping! Via Ugo Bassi is a road that goes from the towers to almost the end of the city, filled with crowds of tourists, shops with big and smaller brands, and a beautiful architecture all around
Since your next stop is Venice..here you'll get a teaser of what's next, indeed once Bologna used o have canals as well. Nowadays there is just one canal left visible from the famous 'finestrella' a small window in a wall that overlooks the canal, most of the time dried, but during winter water flows. A very strange sight in a city like Bologna.
Osteria dell'Orsa
Get there in time because it can be quite crowded, even though the crowd flows in pretty quickly. Try crescentine, fried gnocchi or tigelle.
Piazza San Francesco
With no more than a ten minute walk through the beautiful city, take advantage for a goodbye and a sight of the towers at night and get to Piazza Francesco. A big square in front of a beautiful cathedral, full of people enjoying a cold beer while playing the guitar, talking and chilling. In Via del Pratello just around the corner you'll find the best crafts breweries. Or try a typical spritz at Alto Tasso right in from of the square :)
And here you go, your last stop in the most romantic city ever, and one of the most picture perfect. Venice is a treat to the eyes, every corner has something to tell, every canal something different. No wonder is one of the most visited city in the whole world.
Piazza San Marco
As soon as you get to Piazza San Marco and you see the church it's only natural that your jaw will drop to the ground. Take your time to pick it up.. Just from the outside this building is incredibly beautiful, a pleasure to the eyes: every single detail is magnificent. Napoleon himself used to call Piazza San Marco 'the drawing room of Europe'. Ps. In Venice this is the only place called 'piazza' all the others square-looking places are called 'campi'
Grancaffè Quadri
A fancy nice café with big mirrors and a stylish design. Pause for a coffee in one of the most ancient cafe in Venice.
Saint Mark's Basilica
This magnificent Basilica is composed originally from four different churches. It has a Venetian and Byzantine style combined together and the inside is even greater than the outside. The queue can be quite long so it's better to book in advance.
Osteria Enoteca San Marco
Get ready for Venetian cuisine in this fancy but quite affordable place right in city centre. A mixture of ancient and modern elements. Plus it's not touristy, which can be very hard to find in Venice. Definitely try the 'risi e bisi' basically rice and peas but way more complex than that. Or the cod creamed with polenta, an exquisite kind of typical dish or also the mocha, small crabs that grow up in the lagoon but just in certain periods of the year.. an explosion of flavors!
Doge's Palace
The Palazzo Ducale is a great building once home to the supreme authority, The Doge. Inside there are plenty of ancient meeting rooms and torture rooms, as well as a prison. Plus works of art from Tintoretto to Tiziano.
Bridge of Sighs
Just outside the Doge Palace is the Bridge od Sights. Since prisons were becoming too small they had to build more prisons outside and this bridge connected them. Prisoners passed by it before being executed, and looking out the small windows they sighted at their last look on the lagoon. Only Casanova was able to escape the prison!
Giardini della Biennale
Created by Napoleone the gardens of the biennale are a great park with 30 pavilions full of statues and works of art. If you are a cat lover you will probably be more taken away by the sight of wild cats here and there
Libreria Acqua Alta
In Venice you should never worry about distances: first because walking through the bridges is nice that you won't even notice and second because you can use the 'metro'..sort of.. more like boats that work exactly lime metro lines. Which is so so cool, and they give you a beautiful sight of the city from the water at the most of a metro ticket! The library is an attraction for tourists because is an ancient library with gondola filled with books, stairs of books, chairs of books.. everything is made of books here.
Rialto Bridge
It used to be the only bridge crossing the Canal Grande. It is one of the greatest emblem of the city to see also the chaotic life in the Canal Grande. All around there are boutiques, shops, jewelers, and a big building used as a 'mall' but with high fashion brands. On their last floor it is possible to have a beautiful view of Venice from up above and breath some fresh air. In the morning there is the fish market where you can buy fresh fish.
Vecio Fritolin
End your day in Venice here at the Vecio Fritolin: try a mix of fried fish, fresh and delicious, known all around the city! here from the first plate to the dessert they offer you the truest Venetian cuisine!
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