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Il Calice, Bologna – A real energizer among the tourist sights

Il Calice from outside in Bologna - Pubtourist

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.

The small side streets of Bologna - Pubtourist

The towers of Bologna, Asinelli and Griselda and a back street with a small chapel - Pubtourist

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…),

Via Pescherie Vecchie in Bologna - Pubtourist

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.

Il Calice from outside in Bologna - Pubtourist

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.

The interior of Il Calice - Pubtourist

To my relief the interior became also Italian movie-like warm when I took the stairs to the mezzanine.

The mezzanine of Il Calice in Bologna - Pubtourist

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,

The terrace of Il Calice, Bologna - Pubtourist

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.

Making a Hungarian bar from an Italian bar, in Bologna, in Il calice - Pubtourist

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.

Aperitivo bites and Hungarian-Italian spritzer in Il Calice, Bologna - Pubtourist

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.

Antiracist slogans on the wall in the University quarter - Pubtourist

“University zone, our zone, antifacist zone”

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.

Young people drinking from the bottle on the ground - Pubtourist

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

Il Calice Facebook page: CLICK!
Il Calice Address: Via Clavature 13/a, Bologna 40124

If you want to read more about European and Hungarian pubs and bars and their surroundings, like and follow Pubtourist Facebook page!

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Previous posts in Bologna series:

Party like a Greengrocer – Green bar, Bologna

Alto tasso in Bologna – Temple of the late nighters

Mio Bar – How I found my “regular bar” for 3 days in Bologna


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Name: A Kocsmaturista

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