Private Pub Tour: The Medieval Osterie of Bologna
- Fare il giro: That's what Bolognans call it – "going around" from osteria to osteria, nibbling, drinking, gossiping, and often singing. It's been the glue of the social fabric here since medieval times.
- Wine and history: The tour starts with a walk through the historic city center, your guide telling you the stories behind city landmarks and each osteria you visit.
- Small group = more personal: Share your experience with only people you know; enjoy the luxury of deeper interaction with your guide and a more flexible itinerary.
About this Bologna tour
This is your chance to experience an old-fashioned college-town pub crawl in the place where it was likely invented. This is, after all, the home of the oldest university in the Western world, if not the oldest university period.
When students first started gathering under the now iconic porticoes of the city center to drink, gossip, and debate the issues of the day, Bologna was a place of intellectual ferment: A 50-volume 6th-century Roman legal code had only recently been rediscovered, and was being studied, adapted, and updated into a system that much of current European law is based on. Pioneering work in anatomy (much of it at done just down the road, at the medical school's Teatro Anatomico) and astronomy was transforming our understanding of how the body works, and of our place in the universe. And the rights of citizens under their rulers had just begun to be acknowledged throughout Europe in such documents as England's 1215 Magna Carta.
All of which made for convivial (if often passionate) discussions that could last long into the night, lubricated by fast-emptied casks of wine.
Today, principles like a Sun-centered solar system are fairly well established, and Bolognans don't drink by the cask. They're likely to order an Aperol spritz: white prosecco wine and Aperol or Campari aperitif effervesced by soda water. But as you'll see, passions of all kinds still run high in Bologna's osterie, and the subjects under discussion haven't changed that much: gossip, politics, and our place in the universe.
If Yelp reviews went back to the Renaissance
Bologna's ancient osterie are often tucked away in the warren of tangled, porticoed lanes around the university and in the city center, and signs are frequently nonexistent. The Osteria del Sole, for example, goes back to 1465 (and looks it), although you'd never locate it without a Bolognan guide. But customers have been finding their way there for five and a half centuries, so they must be doing something right.
Please meet in the lobby/reception area of your hotel. Be sure to indicate the name of your hotel at check-out so we know where to meet you. Your guide will be holding a sign with GoBe or your name on it.
Don't forget your photo ID as proof of age, even if you don't think you have a baby face. Remember to drink responsibly.
Expect to walk for approximately 1.5 miles, over varying surfaces and up steps and inclines. This tour is not suitable for travelers with limited mobility or those who utilize a wheelchair.
Walking Tour, Cultural, Private Tour
Beverage - Wine Tastings
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Traveler must be 18 years of age to participate in the beer drinking portion of this tour.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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