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Bologna food

Bologna cooking class with market visit

Bologna is renowned throughout Italy for its fine food, and the city's rich culinary traditions go back many centuries. People here are passionate about good food, making it the perfect place to take a cooking class. Led by a local expert chef, this half-day activity gives you the opportunity to cook a full meal through from start to finish, visiting the atmospheric local markets to choose ingredients and then heading to a local cooking school to learn about preparation techniques and the closely monitored traditions associated with the city's most famous dishes.

The attention to detail in local cooking becomes apparent as you visit the Mercato delle Erbe in the morning with your chef tutor to search for and select ingredients. This large covered market is a vibrant, bustling place at the heart of the city. You'll learn a little about its history as you walk about, as well as getting a thorough introduction to different varieties of local produce and how to choose the best ingredients for a dish.

Bologna is hailed by many as the ‘pasta capital of Italy’ and is most closely associated with tagliatelle al ragù, known commonly to foreigners as ‘pasta bolognese’. Locals take great pride in their dishes and the production of tagliatelle is closely monitored by Bologna’s Chamber of Commerce, which even regulates the pasta's length and width to ensure it soaks up exactly the right amount of ragù.

Your tutor and guide will explain many of these traditions, and once you’ve collected everything you need, will lead you on to the cooking school, where you will be taught preparation techniques and guided through the creation of a proper Bolognese meal. After you have finished preparing and cooking your food, you will be able to sit down with your chef and enjoy what you have created with a glass of local wine. The chefs are also happy to tweak the class to accommodate certain themes or needs, for example focusing on vegetarian or gluten-free recipes.

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Audley Travel specialist Cara

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Experience it for yourself

You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.