One very hot day in Bologna (it was 36C), Dr HH and I decided to get up early and make the long walk up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca – a 4km uphill walk under the longest portico in the world (fun fact, it has 666 arches).
Even early in the morning, it was hot! We began to panic when we saw locals in their trainers and sports clothes while we were amongst the few normally-dressed tourists sweating our way up. It wasn’t actually too bad, except a brief spell when we were unprotected from the sun – and there were no water taps until we got to the top, so we were very happy to have a couple of full bottles with us!
The view at the top was lovely, and definitely worth the effort! After that walk we were ravenous, and hurried back downhill for a hearty lunch at Un’Altra Idea in the city centre.
It was a slightly confusing situation: we were read a list of about 8 different dishes, and told we should choose 5 of them. While they sounded good, I wasn’t sure how well they would all fit together, so I asked for just two: the raviolo and the salted cake. The raviolo, as you can see, was not pasta! It was almost like a samosa, with potato, caramelised onion and a mild curry flavour. Alas, it wasn’t warm, but after such a long walk I was happy to have some pastry!
The salted cake was basically a pizza, with a lovely cheesy layer and some roasted potato and carrot on top. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t this!
Dr HH asked for three things: he also got a raviolo and some salted cake, along with some pasta with spicy chickpeas and tomatoes. He said the spiciness was debatable, but it was flavoursome – if the kind of thing we’d knock up at home quite easily. I paid €8 for mine, and he paid €13, and we rather think he got done.
Still, we were really impressed by the raviolo and pizza/tart, and really enjoyed this place. Mostly because…THEY HAVE FREE TAP WATER! It’s a beautiful miracle – quite the rarity in Italy, in our experience. The service was super friendly too. We returned in the evening for a hot chocolate and a coffee (they had a decent array of plant-based milks), and got a couple of chocolate muffins for breakfast the next morning (I was too tired for photography though). The muffins were nice, but they were €3.50 each, and they weren’t quite that nice!
All in all, this was a cheap and cheerful place, really friendly, and I’d be very happy to go back – ideally without the uphill climb first!