Although the region of Emilia-Romagna is not known for its wine, Bologna has a few hidden (and some not so hidden) gems that offer the wine traveler lots to choose from. My top three are listed here. They are all a little different but definitely worth checking out. Chin-chin!
Enoteca Storica Faccioli
Address: Via Altabella, 15/B, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Enoteca Storica Faccioli is located down a beautiful cobble-stoned street in Bologna city centre but a good distance away from the hustle of Piazza Maggiore. This space is small, with approximately 8 tables, but it is cozy, classy and very welcoming. Elisa Argentesi, Sommelier and co-owner, has selected an awesome range of wines that are either certified organic, biodynamic or natural. Wines from all the regions of Italy in all styles, as well as a few wines from Austria, Slovenia, and Germany, can be ordered by the bottle, starting at approximately 18 euros and up. Wine by the glass costs approximately 4 to 6 euro and you’ll find it written on the daily special board. They also offer antipasti such as regional meats, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and other cheeses, olives, and bread.
Address: Via Santo Stefano, 5/A, Bologna, Italy
Phone:+39 051 295821
Vineria Favalli is a great spot to sip some lovely Italian wines while people-watching. It is located smack in the heart of the city, very close to the Two Towers, along the semi-pedestrian street of Via Santo Stefano. There is a great selection of Italian wines starting at approximately 17-18 euros the bottle and up. Wine by the glass is also available, approximately 15 wines to choose from on their wine board, at 4.50 to 6 euros. There is a really great patio along San Stefano that fills up quite quickly during the evening and a few tables under the arcade that leads to the entrance of the bar. Servers here speak English and Spanish and the owner is usually to be found chatting with locals and friends. Great spot!
Osteria del Sole
Address: Vicolo Ranocchi, 1/d, 40124 Bologna, Italy
Osteria del Sole is one of a kind bar that you can only find in Bologna. An osteria was traditionally a place to drink, typically open only during the day, and guests were permitted to bring their own food. This practice has been phased out throughout all of Italy (or so I’m told) except at Osteria del Sole in Bologna. As such, this osteria, which opened its doors in 1465, attracts all walks of life: from university students, working professionals on lunch break, families celebrating birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties and of course, the old-timers. Snacks aren’t just chips and peanuts here. People go all out with homemade pasta in aluminum containers, exquisite antipasti with market-fresh bread, biscotti, cakes, seasonal fruits – basically, the works. This is a place where laughter and smiles come easy. Meeting new people is almost guaranteed as the tables are large enough to fit at least 10 people, so expect to sit beside strangers and don’t be afraid to start a conversation. The décor is eclectic with wooden wine boxes lining the walls along with paintings, cartoons, wine posters and football trophies.
As for the wines, there is a range of basic Italian wines by the glass from Prosecco to Chianti or the house wine under the Osteria del Sole label. The wines are really quite basic, however, there are a few reasonable wines sold by the bottle, if you so wish. While this osteria may not be for everyone since it does get quite crowded, it is a great place to chat with locals, to experience an Italian tradition or just to chill with you friends while enjoying your snacks.
A few words of caution, it does get busy during lunch hours and after 6pm. Weekends are packed and finding a spot will be hard. Expect to stand or even to take your drink outside. Also, the bathroom is very… basic.