Saturday, August 27th, 2022

In August it seems like everyone goes away for vacation. Obviously not everyone but lots of stores are closed and there are lots of parking spaces available in our the city which is a rarity in our neighborhood. It all seems a little bit strange, perhaps like a movie by a quirky director. Today even the coffee bar where I always meet my friend Renata on Saturday mornings was closed but of course the employees and owners also deserve a break. Along with the bar, the butcher shop (macelleria) and by favorite bread bakery (panificio) are closed for the month. So we decided to leave this semi-ghost town and go outside the city for a lunch – after all it’s at least easy to find a parking space when we return.

We went to a place that we’ve been to twice before that’s about 20 kilometers away. It’s the “Antica Hostaria della Rocca di Badolo”. An “hosteria” usually written without the “h” was originally just a pub where you could get wine and maybe beer. There is one in the very center of Bologna that still carries on that tradition, the Osteria del Sole. You can only buy something to drink but are free to bring your own food. They claim that it’s the oldest osteria in the world and has been there since 1465. But I digress.

We have been to the Antica Hosteria 2 times before. I’m always a bit hesitant to drive outside of the city since I often get lost and frankly Google maps sometimes is not very useful. The last time that we went, sometime in the spring I took a wrong turn when returning to Bologna and instead of a normal 35 minutes to return wandered around following the directions of Google maps and it took about an hour and half. This time I found a much better route both to go and return. It has few turns and is easy going in both directions. Should you ever drive a car in Bologna you really have to be careful because at some point the most direct route will get you a traffic ticket because it is a lane reserved for buses and taxis. This route doesn’t have that complication. It’s the blue route below. I used Porta San Mamolo as the starting point to force Google maps to provide this more direct route.

The food at this place has always been exceptional, the view from it’s position on the hill is sublime and the costs are beyond reasonable. We split two generous plates of food, which we shared and they split the portions into two plates in the kitchen. In addition we had a bottle of water, a half liter of wine, two deserts and for coffee for a total bill of 56 euros.

Laura and a hint of the view
Spaghetti with black truffles
Venison stew with grilled polenta

I forgot to take pictures of the deserts before they were half consumed. Mine below had figs and I told the waitress that I love anything with figs. I don’t remember what Laura’s was but it was beautiful and good.

My desert
Laura’s desert

The website for the Antic Hosteria is pretty bare but here is a link for the page in Trip adviser with lots of photos. I was shocked to see the website (here) for the Osteria del Sole. I smell the hand of a marketing consultant.

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