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Meghan: La Dotta, La Grassa and La Rossa

September 11, 2010

Something my professor told me in class really rang true for me, and inspired me. She said, grosso modo, that Bologna is like a mother, her porticoes protect you from the world while her beautiful red-tiled roofs welcome you into a warm and inviting city whose history and culture creates a place where you can feel at home and safe. Everything in Bologna is in walking distance and the small narrow streets create a sense of closeness that you don’t get in the U.S. I definitely feel at home in one of the most influential cities in Italy. Bologna is known by three names: La Dotta, La Grassa and La Rossa. La Dotta, meaning “the learned one” refers to its history of being home to the oldest university of Europe, dating back to 1088. La Grossa, “The Fat One,” refers to Bologna’s absolutely amazing cuisine! Yes, the have what American’s like to call ‘baloney,’ but here it is called Mortadella, and it tastes much, much better. You also will never, ever find what we call “Spaghetti Bolognese.” Try to order that in a restaurant and more than likely they will kick you out. Another no-no? Ordering tortellini al ragù (with meat sauce.) We read an article in class that gave us a great warning. It says: “Mai contradire la tradizione. Per un bolognese è come insultare la mamma.” Translation: “Never go against tradition. For a Bolognese, its like insulting someones mother.” And in Italy, you never insult someones mom! “Yo mamma…” jokes do not exist here. So basically, tradition here is very important in every way… but particularly when it comes to food.

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