Bologna's third nickname, "La Grassa", proved during our visit to be at least as well justified as the other two. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, every meal was delicious, as were the many snacks we had in between.
On our first night, we went out for drinks before dinner and discovered that Bologna has adopted the Milanese concept of aperitivo with gusto. Our friends claimed that it's still more difficult to have an entire meal for the price of your drink than in Milan, but we were nevertheless plied with delicious snacks which were extremely hard to resist, especially as our hosts were friendly with the bar owners, meaning that it would have been rude to refuse.
Which would have been fine, except that we had reservations for later on for a pizzeria in Via San Vitale (which I think was probably Spacca Napoli but I'm so behind in writing up this blog that I can't guarantee the recommendation.). Despite the reservation, we still had to queue for our table, but after about fifteen minutes we squeezed our way past the waiting crowds, inhaling the delicious aromas of tomato sauce and melting cheese, to the small room at the back where tables, chairs and customers jostle for space to consume the restaurant's ENORMOUS pizzas. The sensible thing to do would have been to follow the example of the group of girls behind us, who ordered one pizza between about four of them, but we weren't sensible and ended up with our own individual pizzas that were so big there was barely room for the glasses on the table. Luckily the restaurant was happy enough to wrap up the leftovers for us to take home, but I learned a useful lesson: if you plan to do this, don't order the pizza with fresh rocket and parmesan, because it's probably the only one that won't taste great when you take it out of the fridge the next day.
On our second day, we worked up an appetite by climbing the Torre d'Asinelli, before going for lunch at Bracce, another Neapolitan restaurant also in Via San Vitale. Understanding Frenchman had the tagliatelle al ragu', which is the authentic version of the dish known to the anglophone world as spaghetti bolognese. I had some generously filled pasta which was supposed to have ricotta inside, but a pumpkin one also got in by accident and it was delicious too, so I would highly recommend either one. We were too full for dessert, but they did bring us limoncello to finish off with, and even my friend who doesn't really like limoncello drank it and said that it wasn't bad. Bracce was also the restaurant with the waiter who really should have been an actor, who after discovering where Understanding Frenchman was from, spent the whole time we were there doing a very funny impression of a Parisian waiter, while simultaneously talking to my friend in German because he had decided she had a German accent when she spoke Italian.