Bologna is a great city for kids. Wide covered pavements called porticoes or arcades (40km of them) make it easy getting around with a buggy whether the weather is fine or not – and the children can run and skip along well away from the road.
And so we ran and skipped our way in wet weather to a charming restaurant in the Jazz quarter that gave us such a warm welcome it reminded me of the Italian restaurants of my childhood.
Trattoria Anna Maria‘s is covered with framed pictures of all the people who have eaten there over the decades and they have a patch of wall dedicated to the artwork produced by the children who visit. We had barely sat down when the children were brought paper and felt tips for them to get going on their own creation.
With them quiet, we were free to browse the menu. Plenty of traditional Bolognaise fare. We ate hearty portions of tagliatelle with ragu and steamy bowls of vegetable soup, followed by roast duck and roast rabbit served with creamy fennel gratin and a side order of frigionne – fried onions and tomatoes.
The children devoured their pasta and then perked up again when the homemade lemon icecream arrived. The whole meal was washed down with a large carafe of quaffable house wine.
We all had an excellent evening. There is nothing fancy about this place, just honest home-cooked food at a good price – I would even go so far as to say cheap price compared to elsewhere in Italy (€13 for a main course) – and a very friendly welcome. One of our most enjoyable meals so far.