Trapped in a little pub street in Bologna
When I half-spontaneously headed off exploring Bologna in the evening of my arrival, I found a tiny street with only few houses in it and even to my surprise I spent the greater part of the following 1-2 days there. Now, I am going to tell you how the story of discovering the Via Belvedere, the aperitivo plates and the Italian Spritzer made in a Hungarian way all started.
(pub: Fun Cool Oh – station no 344, Bologna station no. 2)
The globalized impression, which I experienced in the pub, Ein Prosit, carried on in the hostel when I arrived to a London themed room in Bologna. Well, why should Italians idolize Italy after all? However, me being Hungarian immediately set out to rather find a true Italian place.
I decided to find one in the coolest pub zone, at the Via del Pratello which Rosa, as formerly local resident recommended. I knew that I was going to walk through an area packed with pubs meaning that I could be very easily distracted to any different direction. And I tend to get distracted if it is worth it. There was quite a wide variety of drinking venues however, I did not want to compromise again after the Bavarian station so the places with extra white tablecloths and the immensely crowded clubs loud of live punk music straightaway got their places at the end of my bucket list. These sub-categories within my preference system are only to be visited every once in a while in a town.
I kept walking and as I managed to avoid making any compromises, I found the right place immediately. Beyond the next corner on the right, there was a small and heavenly pub street, called the Via Belvedere.
As soon as I stepped on the first cobblestone, I knew that I arrived to my final destination that night and there would not be any further discoveries of the Via del Pratello. And where shall I start to explore such a crowded street? Probably at the very beginning. The first place was a nice gallery pub called Fun Cool Oh indicating a word-play (I assume I do not need to explain the meaning of vaffanculo). When I entered, the very first impressions reminded me of Tesne Vedle in Prague but here, I found a photography exhibition instead of paintings.
The terrace had the main role,
so inside I first arrived to a quite empty spacious interior.
After I took a few pictures, Simone, the bartender turned towards me. At first, he seemed indifferent but all of a sudden he changed this impression. He is one of the three owners of the place and they opened it three and a half years ago. I congratulated him since they really deserved it for the great atmosphere and coziness, which would very probably make this place one to return. Their logo is quite cool too showing a coffee mug from above and coffee split all around it.
The main attraction was the crowd coming in even at 11:40 PM, so Bologna’s Wednesday night was not disgraced. Mostly the younger generation, people in the twenties showed up.
There were also a few people most naturally consuming coffee that time the night. One of the guys ordered a pastry just the way we already learnt. As if I was witnessing a Hungarian guy teleporting here to have breakfast. His tracksuit immediately made Bologna the twin city of Zalaegerszeg.
People in general looked fashionable though, but a spontaneous fashion show on Via Belvedere wouldn’t be enough to restore the spirit of the Italian elegance after a fictional global memory loss.
There was also a cold buffet here just like in so many places, where flashing banners advertise them as tavola fredda (cold table). Besides the different aperitivos, cold food and pastry, there were basic snacks too such as crisps, nut bars etc. just like in Hungary. Other nations should know that when the Italians talk about aperitivo (=aperitif), that does not only mean liquor. The aperitivo could be either food or drink and even both together. If it is food, it could be a small portion of crisps, cheese, biscuits, olives, bruschetta, tramezzini (triangle shaped small sandwich), piadina (Italian, filled, salty pie) or even grilled aubergine slices, etc.
Fun Cool Oh offers a wide variety of beers, especially international ones. On tap, they had two types of Brewdog. Of course, the Italian all-stars alcohol variety was also well presented.
Yet the first time in Italy, I ordered a Hungarian spritz instead. Or at least I wanted to order one because when I started to explain that they should make it from dry white wine, Simone reassured me that he knew how to prepare it. But of course, we had different ideas eventually. He served it automatically in a glass of 2 dl then I also asked to skip the Aperol as well as the Campari.
The traditions of the Hungarian spritzer consumption and the Italian bar culture just started to unfold here. The very first steps! The result was not that bad but the price was quite shocking: 4 euro which is more than three times the price of what I normally pay in Hungary. I also had a nut bar while we were talking and then I asked if they had any Italian hand craft beer on tap because I was more than interested about that. Then Simone gave me a glass of it for free. I feel ashamed that I forgot to note the type of that beer.
The Fun Cool Oh was a nice and welcoming opening to see the world of the pubs in Bologna. I even felt sorry that I had to leave and carry on to be able to see more. Since most of the pubs in that area close around midnight and the coolest ones stayed opened until 2 am, I was unfortunately urged to count back and move on to see another place. That was a pity because a quite pretty and smiling bartender girl just arrived to start her shift right then. The pub is absolutely recommended. If I lived her, I would come back again to explore further the place and its stories, arrive in time to find the buffet table still full, try all their special food and drinks, experience a local concert in the attic or outside in the terrace (both are usual here) or see other exhibitions on the wall.
To be continued.
Previous posts in the Bologna series: