Locals’ Favorites Food Tour in Bologna

Indulge in authentic tortellini and tagliatelle pasta paired with local wine, taste gelato and more!

Travel Flexibly · 3.30h · Bologna, Italy

Ever wondered where the locals go to eat in Bologna? Join us on this three-hour food tour featuring the finest Emilian cuisine and discover for yourself how to discern tourist hotspots from authentic eateries. Throughout your small group tour, hop between five restaurants, each hand-picked by your expert guide, and indulge in handmade pasta dishes, cold cuts and cheeses, and rich gelato. In addition, enjoy a complimentary aperitivo and regional wines and leave with invaluable local insights.

  • Meet your guide​ in Piazza del Nettuno
  • Aperitivo
  • Local cafè
  • Old Town​
  • Local bakery​
  • Traditional restaurant​
  • Pasta tasting
  • Local cafè​
  • End at the Two Towers​

After meeting your local guide near Neptune’s statue in Piazza del Nettuno, your culinary adventure kicks off with a delightful aperitivo. Enjoy the company of your fellow food enthusiasts while learning about Emilian cuisine, and tuck into cold cuts and cheese that perfectly complement your beverage of choice.

Next, a guided stroll through Bologna city center’s cobblestone streets brings you to an authentic eatery often overlooked by visitors. Sit down and enjoy a feast of handmade pasta, including world-famous tortellini and tagliatelle, paired with local wines before wrapping up your tour at arguably the best gelateria (ice cream shop) in Bologna.

Locals’ Favorites Food Tour in Bologna Description

Your 3-hour tour includes:

  • Guided exploration of Bologna's Old Town

  • Tastings at 5 different authentic locations

  • A wide variety of local foods and wines

  • Personalized recommendations for your stay

  • Small group size for a personalized experience

  • Insight into Emilian culture and cuisine

Welcome to Bologna Old Town!

Your foodie adventure through Bologna begins in the charming Piazza del Nettuno, and although this square is always buzzing with locals and visitors, finding your guide is easy—just look for the mighty statue of Neptune. Here, surrounded by magnificent Renaissance art and architecture, your guide will provide an overview of the adventure ahead, which is all about uncovering authentic eateries tucked off the beaten path.

Start with an Aperitivo

Aperitivos are an essential part of Italian culture. So, it only makes sense to kick off this tour with a sampling of your own. Head to a local bar and learn how this pre-meal drink has become a staple in Italian culture and experience for yourself how it's the perfect catalyst to get conversations flowing and spirits soaring. Aperitivos are also meant to stir your appetite, and right on time, you’ll be treated to a delectable array of cold cuts and cheeses.

Authentic Pasta

Buzzing from your aperitivo, it’s time for a delightful stroll through the Old Town’s narrow streets. Tune in as your guide highlights the historical and architectural gems that have made Bologna a must-visit destination, and pause to admire imposing red-bricked buildings and medieval towers. Then, after about 10 minutes of walking, it’s time to tuck into a local restaurant for delectable handmade pasta. Dishes change with the season, but you can look forward to specialties like tortellini and tagliatelle al ragù paired perfectly with regional wines.

Bologna, the cradle of Italian pasta all’uovo

Tortellini and tagliatelle are both traditional types of pasta originating from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, where Bologna is located, and which is renowned for its fresh egg pasta tradition.

Tortellini are small, ring-shaped pasta filled typically with a mixture of meat, cheese, and more. Legend has it that tortellini were inspired by the shape of Venus's navel, with each fold representing the bellybutton. Making tortellini involves rolling out thin pasta dough, cutting it into small squares, placing a small amount of filling in the center of each square, and then folding them into the distinctive ring shape.

Tagliatelle are long, flat ribbons of pasta, similar to fettuccine but narrower. Traditionally, tagliatelle are made by rolling out pasta dough into thin sheets and then cutting them into strips. The width of tagliatelle is typically around 6-8 millimeters.

In Emilia-Romagna, both tortellini and tagliatelle are often served with rich, hearty meat-based sauces like ragù alla bolognese, a slow-cooked meat sauce made with tomatoes, minced meat, onions, carrots, celery, and wine.

You certainly heard about "bolognese sauce". This term refers specifically to the sauce from the city of Bologna!

A sweet finale

Last but certainly not least, continue to a local gelateria. Choose your favorite from a range of delightful flavors and learn how to distinguish authentic gelato by its texture, color, and presentation—a skill that will serve you well on future Italian adventures. Also, be sure to ask your guide for recommendations on where to explore next, as with a happily full stomach, it’s time to bid farewell and enjoy the rest of your stay in Bologna. Ciao!

What you get with this tour
Group size of 12
English-speaking guide
Cold cuts and cheeses, handmade pasta, gelato and more
Aperitivo
Sit-down meal
Guide gratuities
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Frequently Asked Questions

What to bring?

What to bring?

Some comfortable shoes and a healthy appetite!

Is this tour run by The Tour Guy?

No, this food tour is operated by one of our trusted and vetted partners in Bologna.

What if I have concerns about my mobility on this tour?

If you have any doubts about your mobility, please let us know beforehand. This tour includes a minimal amount of walking and navigating busy streets. Unfortunately, it is not wheelchair accessible.

What happens if it rains?

We run our Bologna food tour rain or shine. If the weather is extremely bad and a vendor is closed, we'll replace it with an equal or better stop.

Is there any chance my tour might be canceled?

On the rare occasions the tour is canceled, we'll inform you as soon as possible. We will work with you to reschedule your tour when possible or provide a full refund.

Is there a dress code to join this Bologna food tour?

While there is not a specific dress code, you will be expected to be wearing shoes and a shirt to enter establishments. We also recommend wearing clothing you'll be comfortable walking short distances in.

Do restaurants in Bologna ever experience sudden closures?

Due to maintenance or unforeseen events, restaurants in Bologna may be closed unexpectedly and without much notice. If any predesignated stops are closed, we'll replace them with something similar.

Do the food stops on this tour ever change?

Yes! We're always on the lookout for new and exciting local food, so some of the dishes you're served today may differ from the description. Rest assured, your guide will make sure that everything you try is utterly delicious!

How much walking is involved in this tour?

This is a walking tour, but it's an easy one. Expect a gentle pace and frequent stops.

Is lunch or dinner included in the price of the tour?

Yes. Throughout your food tour, you'll enjoy numerous tastings. Our guests find this more than enough food to replace a full meal.

What if I have food allergies, intolerances, or other dietary requirements?

Please contact us in advance so we can do our best to accommodate your needs. We will work with our tour partners to provide you with an alternative when possible.

Are drinks included in the price of the tour?

Yes, an aperitivo and wine tastings are included in the price of this Bologna food tour.

Can I bring my kids, and do I have to pay for them?

Yes, everyone is welcome on our Bologna food tour. Infants (0 to 2 years old) are free, and we charge a discounted rate for anyone aged 3 and above. This is because similar-sized dishes will be served to everyone during tastings, and there are a limited number of spaces available.

Does this tour include hotel pickup?

No, hotel pickup is not included on this tour. You'll meet your guide at Piazza del Nettuno next to the statue of Neptune. Please aim to arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time.

Where does this tour end?

This tour finishes at the gelateria in the center of Bologna. Your guides will be happy to offer recommendations if you'd like to continue exploring the area afterward or point you in the direction of public transport.

Start From: $89.27

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$89.27 / per person
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