The Contrarian’s Guide to Valentine’s Day in Bologna

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Bologna: Valentine’s Day is here! If you’re like me, you either forgot what day it was or you’re using it as an excuse to go out to the bar. But for a lucky few, they actually have to worry about where to take their special someone to properly appease their inner Cupid. If you are a Strat major, you might have been strategic enough to reserve a table at that fancy restaurant in Modena five months in advance. But, fear not! There are plenty of delicious places you can take your love interest to right here in charming Bologna.

You could drop top dollar (or euro) and get that fancy dish at any Italian restaurant in Bologna, but that’s honestly the basic option. You can go to an upscale restaurant any day of the week! We are surrounded by Italian food, so you really have to think outside the box when it comes to a Valentine’s Day dinner. Don’t go to a cooking class because that is too time-consuming, and don’t cook anything because you’re most likely going to mess it up. One restaurant that is truly something special is the magical gem better known as Taj Mahal. You can easily walk there with your date from school and you don’t have to worry about it being closed because it’s open until 11 p.m.! Once inside this fine establishment, you have a wide array of Indian and Pakistani delicacies. In fact, they even have a daily special menu!

Photo Credit: Josh Brickman

Those prices simply cannot be beat. Plus, if you want to ball out on your date, you can get not one, but two different dishes. Get a scalding hot chai tea as well! Nothing says romance like you and your valentine eating with your hands while attempting to make small talk without sweating profusely or wiping your nose thanks to that Vindaloo spice you thought sounded interesting. I also recommend you wear bright colors because if you spill on yourself and stain your shirt, it will be more noticeable and the night will be that much more memorable.

Once you have had your Vindaloo sauna experience, it is time to have a drink together and reign in the night. Of course, you could get a bottle of wine, but you do that all the time! Why not try something new for a change? If you go to one of the many alimentaris, you might be fortunate enough to discover a delicious beer which has the innocuous sounding name of “Bear beer” from the bear-rich country of Denmark.

Source: Wikimediacommons

Personally, I recommend you go for the 12% because, surprisingly enough, it tastes smoother than the “Premium” lager. Once you and your valentine have downed a few beers in the street, the two of you can take in the sights and sounds of Piazza Verdi, and watch the sunset from what can best be described as a “vertical container prison” that moonlights as a tourist attraction.

Photo Credit: Josh Brickman

Finally, if you are still hungry after all these libations, you can have a midnight snack at none other than the renowned Beirut Snack.

Valentine’s Day is a day to remember, and it will be a lot harder to remember if you simply have a nice bottle of wine at a fancy Italian restaurant. Chances are, you do that almost every week already. So, make this Valentine’s Day a special one instead. Nothing says “you’re special to me” like eating that dish made with eternal hellfire while trying not to cry tears of joy, which are completely unrelated to how incomprehensibly spicy your dish might happen to be.

Photo Credit: Dylan Parkes

Josh Brickman is a first year Strat concentrator living in Bologna. When he is not in the library studying, he is either out travelling, skiing, or hiking.


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