Among Bologna’s famous nicknames, “la grassa” refers to its rich and varied cuisine, which can be enjoyed in the numerous restaurants and trattorie, and in the traditional markets and food shops lining the medieval streets of the city. Culinary tradition is an integral part of the region’s identity, and Bologna boasts some of the best-known Italian dishes as its own: lasagne, tortellini, tagliatelle, and the famous meat ragù are all proudly Bolognese. Cured meats and aged cheeses welcome the visitors to the ancient delis in the Quadrilatero, the old market area near Piazza Maggiore. Local produce is also for sale every Saturday at the Slow Food farmers’ market (Mercato della Terra) near the Cineteca. Specialized food festivals, such as the Cioccoshow or Mortadellabò, dot the calendar. The FICO agrifood park, which just opened its gates on the outskirts of Bologna, offers its visitors the opportunity to see whole food production chains up close. While living and studying in a food lovers’ paradise, ECCo students take specially designed cooking classes with Chef Rita Mattioli. Those wanting to complete their food education at the University can find relevant food history courses such as History of Food Habits (Storia dell’Alimentazione), or Economic and Social History of the Middle Ages.
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