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Host: Giovanna

Bologna, Italy

USD
$64-$140 per person

Traditional Bolognese meal with a loving Italian mother

Host offerings
  • Apartment
  • Home cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking class
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet Giovanna

Giovanna is a warm and gentle retired history and philosophy teacher who has lived in Bologna for over 60 years. She lives in an apartment in a large villa with her daughters Francesca and Laura. She learned fish and vegetable recipes from her mother and grandmother, originally from the Marche region and learned traditional Bolognese cooking from her husband’s family. She loves cooking for family, friends and guests and particularly enjoys widening her culinary repertoire with new dishes she learns on her travels.

Giovanna is proud of Bologna's heritage; Bologna’s nicknames include “la città dotta” (the educated city) and “la città grassa” (the fat city) and its gastronomical history is tied to the city’s university which is the oldest in the world. Since the Middle Ages, the university has attracted students from many different countries and cultures which she believes has enriched the city’s culinary scene. She enjoys introducing guests to Bologna's snacks such as crescentine, tigelle and piadine (made with flour, water and yeast) filled with local salames such as mortadella, prosciutto, ciccioli, coppa di testa and cheeses like the soft sqauccherone or parmigiana which can be washed down with Pignoletto dei colli bolognesi or Lambrusco (if you choose the alcohol option when making your booking).

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) Join Giovanna for a seasonal Bolognese meal that starts with typical Bolognese snacks like crescentine or tigelle, a traditional pastry breakfast of mountain farmers made with flour, water, pesto, lard, rosemary, parmesan, traditionally pressed with two bricks and two chestnut tree leaves. You will then enjoy salumi and cheeses like squacquerone and parmigiano-reggiano before tasting seasonal, oven-roasted vegetables including delightful pomodori, Italian tomatoes, or seasonal lettuces and garden vegetables served in the local "pinzimonio" (crudite) style. The central pillars of Bolognese cooking are pork meat and egg pasta and you will enjoy a pasta such as tagliatelle al ragù or the local Gramigna, Bolognese pasta with "salsiccia" made in the surrounding countryside. Second courses include the famous cotoletta alla bolognese (veal with ham and parmigiano), bisteccone (steak) or cotechino in galera and polpette con umido con piselli (meatballs with peas). Giovanna usually combines meat dishes with potato purèe, verdure con besciamella (vegetables with bechamel sauce) or friggione (a slow-cooked dish made with onions and tomatoes). Desserts vary seasonally and are usually tied to traditional festivals, such as the certosino bolognese for Christmas, le raviole for Saint Joseph, pinza (filled with Bolognese mostarda) or torta di riso, a rice cake which families make for the festa degli addobbi.

Cooking experience: (1-5 guests) Giovanna loves teaching guests how to prepare typical dishes from the rich Bolognese cooking tradition and sharing tales and anecdotes that are connected to different foods. Join Giovanna in her kitchen and learn to make a pasta dish such as tagliatelle al ragù, lasagne or tortellini, or a lesser known pasta such as gramigna with sausage, maltagliati (offcuts of flat egg pasta) with beans, or passatelli in brodo (soup with pasta). You will also learn to cook a side or dessert, before you share the meal you helped prepare with Giovanna at her dining table.

Market visit: (1-5 guests) Join Giovanna for a memorable tour of one of Bologna's markets. Depending on the day you may visit the Mercato del Quadrilatero or Mercato del Erbe where she buys her seasonal fruit and vegetables. The Antico mercato del Quadrilatero is a few minutes from her house and has medieval origins. You will see vendors selling everything from artisanal products to jewelry, meat, fish, salami, fruit, vegetables and bread. It is located in Piazza Maggiore, and is where most Bolognese housewives go to find traditional and genuine products. The other market you may visit is the Mercato delle Erbe, a covered market in the historical center, where you can buy local and regional produce, from fruit and vegetables to meat, cheese, salami, wine and fish.

Languages spoken: English, Italian

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Bolognese snacks: Crescentine (served with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese) and Tigelle (pesto, rosemary e parmesan cheese pastry)
  • Appetizers: Salumi and Formaggi
  • Side: Seasonal lettuce and garden vegetables salad or roasted vegetables
  • First course: Gramigna, tagliatelle al ragù or lasagne
  • Second course: Cotoletta alla bolognese, bisteccone (steak) or polpette con umido con piselli
  • Dessert: Typical Italian seasonal dessert

Traveler reviews

My brother and I are obsessed with Italian cuisine and had high expectations for our first trip to Bologna. Spending an evening with Giovanna and her family well exceeded our expectations and was by far the most amazing part of our trip. She was so warm, so friendly, so knowledgeable about the history of the city and the cuisine and her two daughters who cooked with us were just the coolest people. We made an unforgettable meal, talked about food, politics, art, sports, culture and more food for the better part of 4 hours. I cannot recommend this experience enough, and I cant wait to return to Bologna and enjoy another meal with Giovanna and her family.
- Nick October 13, 2019

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Giovanna

$64-$140 USD

per person
100% VETTED
Learn more
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Credit card is not charged until the host confirms your booking
  • Private experience
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$80 $64 $64
Cooking Experience + Meal
$100 $75 $75
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$140 $110 $96
Alcohol
$9 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$80 $64 $64
Cooking Experience + Meal
$100 $75 $75
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$140 $110 $96
Alcohol
$9 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 6:00pm-9:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-2:00pm 5:00pm-10:00pm

Meet Giovanna

Giovanna is a warm and gentle retired history and philosophy teacher who has lived in Bologna for over 60 years. She lives in an apartment in a large villa with her daughters Francesca and Laura. She learned fish and vegetable recipes from her mother and grandmother, originally from the Marche region and learned traditional Bolognese cooking from her husband’s family. She loves cooking for family, friends and guests and particularly enjoys widening her culinary repertoire with new dishes she learns on her travels.

Giovanna is proud of Bologna's heritage; Bologna’s nicknames include “la città dotta” (the educated city) and “la città grassa” (the fat city) and its gastronomical history is tied to the city’s university which is the oldest in the world. Since the Middle Ages, the university has attracted students from many different countries and cultures which she believes has enriched the city’s culinary scene. She enjoys introducing guests to Bologna's snacks such as crescentine, tigelle and piadine (made with flour, water and yeast) filled with local salames such as mortadella, prosciutto, ciccioli, coppa di testa and cheeses like the soft sqauccherone or parmigiana which can be washed down with Pignoletto dei colli bolognesi or Lambrusco (if you choose the alcohol option when making your booking).

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) Join Giovanna for a seasonal Bolognese meal that starts with typical Bolognese snacks like crescentine or tigelle, a traditional pastry breakfast of mountain farmers made with flour, water, pesto, lard, rosemary, parmesan, traditionally pressed with two bricks and two chestnut tree leaves. You will then enjoy salumi and cheeses like squacquerone and parmigiano-reggiano before tasting seasonal, oven-roasted vegetables including delightful pomodori, Italian tomatoes, or seasonal lettuces and garden vegetables served in the local "pinzimonio" (crudite) style. The central pillars of Bolognese cooking are pork meat and egg pasta and you will enjoy a pasta such as tagliatelle al ragù or the local Gramigna, Bolognese pasta with "salsiccia" made in the surrounding countryside. Second courses include the famous cotoletta alla bolognese (veal with ham and parmigiano), bisteccone (steak) or cotechino in galera and polpette con umido con piselli (meatballs with peas). Giovanna usually combines meat dishes with potato purèe, verdure con besciamella (vegetables with bechamel sauce) or friggione (a slow-cooked dish made with onions and tomatoes). Desserts vary seasonally and are usually tied to traditional festivals, such as the certosino bolognese for Christmas, le raviole for Saint Joseph, pinza (filled with Bolognese mostarda) or torta di riso, a rice cake which families make for the festa degli addobbi.

Cooking experience: (1-5 guests) Giovanna loves teaching guests how to prepare typical dishes from the rich Bolognese cooking tradition and sharing tales and anecdotes that are connected to different foods. Join Giovanna in her kitchen and learn to make a pasta dish such as tagliatelle al ragù, lasagne or tortellini, or a lesser known pasta such as gramigna with sausage, maltagliati (offcuts of flat egg pasta) with beans, or passatelli in brodo (soup with pasta). You will also learn to cook a side or dessert, before you share the meal you helped prepare with Giovanna at her dining table.

Market visit: (1-5 guests) Join Giovanna for a memorable tour of one of Bologna's markets. Depending on the day you may visit the Mercato del Quadrilatero or Mercato del Erbe where she buys her seasonal fruit and vegetables. The Antico mercato del Quadrilatero is a few minutes from her house and has medieval origins. You will see vendors selling everything from artisanal products to jewelry, meat, fish, salami, fruit, vegetables and bread. It is located in Piazza Maggiore, and is where most Bolognese housewives go to find traditional and genuine products. The other market you may visit is the Mercato delle Erbe, a covered market in the historical center, where you can buy local and regional produce, from fruit and vegetables to meat, cheese, salami, wine and fish.

Languages spoken: English, Italian

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Bolognese snacks: Crescentine (served with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese) and Tigelle (pesto, rosemary e parmesan cheese pastry)
  • Appetizers: Salumi and Formaggi
  • Side: Seasonal lettuce and garden vegetables salad or roasted vegetables
  • First course: Gramigna, tagliatelle al ragù or lasagne
  • Second course: Cotoletta alla bolognese, bisteccone (steak) or polpette con umido con piselli
  • Dessert: Typical Italian seasonal dessert

Traveler reviews

My brother and I are obsessed with Italian cuisine and had high expectations for our first trip to Bologna. Spending an evening with Giovanna and her family well exceeded our expectations and was by far the most amazing part of our trip. She was so warm, so friendly, so knowledgeable about the history of the city and the cuisine and her two daughters who cooked with us were just the coolest people. We made an unforgettable meal, talked about food, politics, art, sports, culture and more food for the better part of 4 hours. I cannot recommend this experience enough, and I cant wait to return to Bologna and enjoy another meal with Giovanna and her family.
- Nick October 13, 2019

Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$80 $64 $64
Cooking Experience + Meal
$100 $75 $75
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$140 $110 $96
Alcohol
$9 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$80 $64 $64
Cooking Experience + Meal
$100 $75 $75
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$140 $110 $96
Alcohol
$9 per person
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 6:00pm-9:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-2:00pm 5:00pm-10:00pm
ABOUT TRAVELING SPOON

Traveling Spoon connects you with meaningful culinary experiences, from private cooking lessons to homecooked meals in people's homes. Enjoy an immersive cultural experience that gives you a glimpse into the local way of life.

FAQ

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    Hosts typically respond to booking inquiries within 72 hours. If for some reason you have not heard from your host or if you have any questions you can always contact us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

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