Il Calice, Bologna – A real energizer among the tourist sights
Bologna has many faces considering every single feature a city can possibly have. You can get charmed by the historical downtown. You can get lost in maze-like, small and very crowded side streets, full with greengrocers and other vendors before you can escape and arrive to wide open squares again with centuries long sights around you. The same goes for the colorful bar and pub life of Bologna. In the previous posts, I already have told you about many favorite places I found, here I keep going on with the ones I bumped into on the last day.
When I just left the two towers: Asinelli and Garisenda and the beautiful Piazza Maggiore behind, and got through my favorite street of all, Via Pescherie Vecchie (This means the street of old fish vendors. Please forgive me, I know it is quite touristic but still…),
I wanted to relax in a nice bar. Bar Il Calice I’ve already noticed one day before but this time, I entered to this pleasantly dark, 36 years old venue.
From the outside it looked cozy, like a jazz bar but from the inside I got a bit insecure. I didn’t know if it is really the right place to me. It seemed to be way too elegant. The name means chalice, though.
To my relief the interior became also Italian movie-like warm when I took the stairs to the mezzanine.
Their profile seem to be based on great wine selection and they were also a serious smaller restaurant (an “osteria”, I would say). It was empty upstairs because like everywhere else around, the guest were enjoying the sunlight on the terrace,
except me who stayed inside while charging the phone, making notices about the previous hours and talking to the staff. The lady at the cash register, Ada was very kind with me. Jessica who was in the bar that day either. Inside they didn’t had bar chairs next to the counter as Italian usually don’t have. But this time it was enough to mention once and they brought me one immediately from the terrace.
I also asked for my spritzer so suddenly I made from an Italian bar a Hungarian bar as much as possible. Of course, on the other side they did everything (not intentionally) to keep it as Italian as possible. For example they slipped a slice of orange into my spritzer and they kept offering me their wounderful “aperitivo” bites.
Damn, for one drink so many bites!? Okay, the drink was like three times (a bit less maybe) more expensive (5 euro) as it would be in Hungary in a equivalent place but you got almost full plate to it and at the end it is still a good deal. And I could get the same for my small beer (3 euro) but I said no. I couldn’t eat one plate more of those goodies. I stated that in Italy even the air contains carbs. On this plate there were bruschetta, taccos, tramezzini and biscuits. And you are free to use the common mini buffet in the meantime with further treats. The green dip they had (salsa from Parmesan and rucola) was unforgettable fantastic. We had also good conversation with Ada about my Bologna experience and the differences between Italy and Hungary. She turned out to be the boss lady there after all. She ran this place as a completely anti alcoholic signora. Il calice was a good energizer and refresher type of a stop with great hospitality for two hours.
Next I headed to the University quarter (the first university of Europa, 1088) where I saw all this anti racist slogans sprayed on the walls.
Here there were only few pubs but fast food buffets like Turkish and Chinese started to spread. The youngsters mostly drank from bottle sitting in circles on squares or below the arcades.
The rare pubs I’ve found were mostly totally full. No free space, not even for standing! In return, the restaurants were quite empty that afternoon. Despite that I am sure that they serve secretly magical Italian food one by one. They looked attractive and authentic but the general tourists didn’t enter these streets anymore. I wasn’t hungry because of the apperitivios of Il Calice, so I rather kept looking for a bar. I needed to charge my phone further and to use a toilet, this is how I found my next stop La Gazetta di sera.
To be continued
If you want to read more about European and Hungarian pubs and bars and their surroundings, like and follow Pubtourist Facebook page!
Facebook page of Korhely Pub: https://www.facebook.com/korhelypubpecs
Facebook page of Lompos Uszkár: https://www.facebook.com/lompos.uszkar
Previous posts in Bologna series: