Bologna is famous for its portici, you can walk from on side of the town to the other without getting wet under the rain. That’s why people say if you live there you don’t need an umbrella. Perfect for shopping or a cup of coffee or a walk in a rainy day.
Many towns in Italy have a square called “Piazza delle erbe” (Verona, Padova, Mantova…) or “delle vettovaglie” (erbe ‘herbs/vegetables’ vettovaglie ‘food’), the one in which mercato was held
(Piazza delle erbe, Verona)
(Domenico Gargiulo, Piazza del Mercato a Napoli, 1654)
But mercato is not only an open air grocery store, of course you can find fresh fruit and vegetable there (and cheap cloths, bags, shoes, fake Gucci and D&G…) it is also a cultural gathering, a place in which you can observe humanity and life in all his beauty and spontaneousness.
But sometimes, reading the menu, foreigner tourists can find something they don’t recognize… or handle.
What’s better than a good steak?
Well, this is bistecca di cavallo (horse steak). In the US is illegal. Italians would be very surprise to hear that, for us horse meat is perfectly fine, many doctors recommend that to anaemic patients.
What about a nice antipasto? A good plate of bresaola with rucola and parmigiano? Well ask specifically for beef bresaola, otherwise they might serve you a Bresaola di cavallo
Coniglio alla cacciatora. I know. They are so cute. But chicks are cute too.
My grandfather had chickens and rabbits, as a child I used to play with little bunnies… and I perfectly knew that they would have ended up in a stew sooner of later…
We are ok with that, and our kids too… I mean… check this out: omogenizzato di coniglio, rabbit baby food!
They say when you are in Rome do what the Romans do… well you don’t have to, but don’t have an heart attack if you see a “carne di cavallo” sign