Walking under the two great arches of the spectacular facade of Palazzo dei Banchi designed by the celebrated architect Giacomo Barozzi (il Vignola), we enter that fascinating area known as the “Mercato di mezzo”, a network of narrow streets almost all of which bear the names of the type of craftsmen or shopkeepers to be found there (Drapperie (drapers’ shops), Degli Orefici (goldsmiths), Clavature (locksmiths), Pescherie Vecchie (fishmongers in the old fish market)).
These narrow streets are a wonderful sight and a joy for the palate: a riot of brightly coloured vegetables, fresh fruit and also different kinds of rarely seen and long forgotten fruit.
The shop windows are a fantastic display of our local gastronomic specialities: from pasta (tortellini, lasagne, tagliatelle, tortelloni with ricotta and vegetables), to every imaginable type of salame and sausage (especially mortadella) and the different prime cuts which compose our traditionally delicious dish of boiled meats.
Our tour will take us to various different shops where we’ll become familiar with the best quality products and fresh hand made pasta. Of course we’ll also be able to try some local specialities, such as parmesan cheese or balsamic vinegar.
On request we can finish off the morning with lunch at one of Bologna’s typical restaurants.