Honeymoon -- Day 4 -- Bologna (Morning/Afternoon)

On October 12, we slept in a little and then went downstairs to check out the breakfast spread. So far our experience with breakfast in Italy has been gloppy scrambled eggs, meats and cheeses that are just sitting out, and breakfast pastries. This spread was no different. Given the options, my breakfast of choice was a croissant with Nutella and a hard roll with some kind of spreadable cheese. Unlike in Venice, no one was there offering us espresso or cappuccino, so after breakfast we went off in search of caffeine.

We found Zanarini, whose storefront I had been ogling the day before as it's filled with displays of pastries and desserts. We went in and paid the cashier for our cappuccinos and then went to the counter to drink them. I'd read that this is what you should do in Italy, but neither the cashier nor the barista seemed to care whether we paid first.

As we stood at the counter sipping our perfectly frothy cappuccinos, I felt right at home with the Italians. I could definitely do this on a regular basis.

We walked over to Basilica di San Stefano for some more sightseeing. The basilica is really a bunch of churches all linked together, so there was a lot to see here. It's worth a walk through.

Jeff really wanted to see the Archaeological Museum, so we headed there next. The museum houses room after room of artifacts, replicas of busts, copies of sculptures, and more. I was most excited by the teeny tiny pieces on display in some of the artifacts rooms.

Next we did something more my speed: wandered into gourmet food shops, admiring the hanging meats and fresh pastas.

These miniature tortellini were just begging to be brought home and cooked (if only I'd had a kitchen to bring them to).

Not wanting to miss the opportunity to have lunch at Giampi e Ciccio again, we made sure to get there on the early side, just after noon. There was no one else in the restaurant (which left me really confused about when Italians eat lunch -- the same restaurant was packed when it closed at 2 the day before... it did start filling in a little later).

I ordered the house red, which came in a cute .25-liter pitcher, and started with some vegetable "cakes." These reminded me more of gratins. One was fennel (finocchi) and one was asparagus (asparagi). Both were cheesy, warm, flavorful, and filling.

Jeff got tagliatelle with meat sauce (when in Bologna...).

I ordered the cheese tortelloni with tomato-butter sauce.

The pastas were both very good, very homestyle. No frills, nothing excessive, just well-made basic food, typical of Bologna. Bolognese sauce and tortellini (or tortelloni) are some of the major foods Bologna is known for. And I definitely suggest trying both if you're ever there.