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Taste of Italy: Food Museums in Bologna

by /// August 31, 2021
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes



A deep dive into the flavors through the Food Museums of Emilia-Romagna, a rich collection of spaces dedicated to the true gastronomic culture of Italy.
Today we are going to discover the Food Museums of the Bologna area, 5 appetizing stages that will drive you through the real food treasure of Emilia Romagna.

The Food Museums of Emilia-Romagna are designed for those who want to discover the local culture through its traditional food and wine products.

Chestnut Museum

Chestnut Museum | Castel del Rio (BO)

Chestnut Museum | Castel del Rio (BO)

The Castel del Rio Chestnut Museum is located over the gentle hills of Imola, Bologna, and tells about one of the best known products of the Emilia-Romagna mountains, The so-called “Marrone” (not to be confused with the most common Chestnuts, from which they differ for a taste sweeter and more fragrant that enhances the aromas of the forest).

The Museum tells to visitors about the natural characteristics of the Chestnut Tree, with its growth environment and its economic and cultural values. The exhibition itinerary then starts from the description and characteristics of the environment in which the chestnut tree develops, to then move on to the historical evolution of its encounter with the men.

According to a legend, the chestnut tree would be an imported tree whose spread in Emilia-Romagna is due to the work of Matilde of Tuscany during the Middle Ages, therefore its presence is mainly due to the action of man.

A wonderful opportunity to visit the museum, know the hospitality of the country and taste this delicious fruit is the Sundays in the month of October, during which the Marrone Festival of Castel del Rio takes place with the traditional market and food stalls offering local specialties.

Carpigiani Gelato Museum

The Carpigiani Gelato Museum in Anzola dell’Emilia is perhaps one of the few museums dedicated to one of the best known and appreciated Italian products in the world, the Artisanal Gelato. Among the most appreciated and visited of theTaste Museums in Bologna, its spaces are set up inside the premises of the Carpigiani factory, a historic Emilian company specialized in the production of ice cream machines.

The interactive exhibition path traces the history of Gelato from antiquity to the present day and develops on 3 levels of reading: the evolution of ice cream over time, the history of production technology, the places and ways of consuming ice cream: from the anecdotes on the use of ice in ancient Mesopotamia to the preparations of the Middle Ages and Renaissance recipes, up to modern industrial machines.

An excursion along three millennia that accompanies the whole evolution of man and in which to retrace the history of taste, fashions, and ice-cream gastronomy. Food for the mind, but also and above all stories and trivia to be tasted with all the available senses.

Regional Enoteca of Emilia-Romagna

Regional Enoteca Emilia-Romagna | Dozza (Bologna)

Regional Enoteca Emilia-Romagna | Dozza (Bologna)

Among the most complete and supplied Taste Museums in Bologna, the Regional Enoteca of Emilia-Romagna is located inside the basement of the Fortress of the amazing painted village of Dozza, as a place consecrated to represent and promote one of the most characteristic productions of the whole Region: The Wine.

The Regional Enoteca it is recognized as the most complete exhibition of Emilia-Romagna wines, including around 800 wine labels produced by more than 200 associated producers. The exhibition is developed in the ancient rooms of the Rocca, in what was once the basement of the castle and it is also possible to visit the collection accompanied by a professional Sommelier.

To facilitate a broader understanding of Emilia-Romagna wine, the exhibition route is organized as an “Italian lunch”: where specific regional wines are paired with the normal courses of the antipasto, the first course, the second course and the dessert.

Along the way, it is also possible to appreciate wines recovered from ancient grapes, that today are part of the regional agrobiodiversity catalog, as well as a look at the Balsamic vinegar, in the two variants of Reggio Emilia and Modena, and local liqueurs.

Excellent occasions to visit the Regional Enoteca are the “Wine Festival” that every year is held in the month of May in the center of the village of Dozza, the “Festa dell’Albana” in November and September, or in occasion of the biennial exhibition of the “Dozza Painted Wall”, where for three days painters and artists from all over the world are confronted by the art of murals.

Potato Museum

Potato Museum | Budrio (BO)

Potato Museum | Budrio (BO)

The Potato Museum, inaugurated in 2008 in the town of Budrio, it is a collection of machines and tools that go from the beginning of 1900 up to the 70s.

The Potato despite being a species that was born and has spread in the world from America has found here in Italy and Emilia Romagna an ideal climate situation. In past centuries, the potato was considered as a devil’s fruit, because of its growth under the ground, and only in 1700, it began to be studied by botanists at the University of Bologna, becoming in short time a fundamental food, especially during the period of famine due to the Napoleonic wars.

The exposition of the Budrio Potato Museum is divided into three distinct sections: one dedicated to the plant potatoes and digging potatoes, one to the tools used for harvesting and one to the sprinklers, so important for this crop. These are machines made by “farmers-mechanics” or local artisans who, just like the big local car brands, have exploited the ingenuity and experience of those who were faced with problems every day, producing improvements, pieces, and unique tools.

Furthermore, the presence of the Bologna PDO Consortium bears witness to the economic importance of this American fruit in the Bologna area, and which derives its uniqueness from local factors such as soil, microclimate, capacity production of farmers linked to innovation and tradition.

National Institute of Apiculture | Bologna

National Institute of Apiculture | Bologna

National Institute of Apiculture | Bologna

This food with ancient origins and known for its properties since the time of the Sumerians and the Babylonians, only between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the twentieth century was the subject of the techniques and methods of modern apiculture.

The exhibition inside the Institute then exposes beehives and tools for beekeeping from all Italian regions and built with the most diverse materials, such as the ancient cages for the transport and shipping of the Queens Bees. Also very interesting are the wooden models of apiaries inspired by the Italian regional traditions, which show the visitor a glimpse of villages of the last century.

From the visit of these museums you can better understand the widespread wine and food heritage of the area, which reflects and testifies the extraordinary culinary richness of Emilia-Romagna.

As the museums are run by private individuals or voluntary associations, we suggest you to get in touch before the visit.

The Food Museum of Emilia-Romagna section is based on the list of Museums recognized by the Agriculture, hunting and fishing Department of the Emilia-Romagna region.


Walter Manni

Explorer and Adventurer: loves sailing the oceans, climbing the highest mountains and surfing on the waves of the web

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