Sightseeing through the Quadrilatero, Bologna Old Market

shopping in old market, visit Quadrilatero, Bologna Italy
@Giuseppe Cardone

A really must-do tour is the one bring you through the street of the Quadrilatero, the ancient Bologna market. This neighbourhood had already hosted the great part of the artisans’ corporations since the Middle Ages and is today one of the must-see places in Bologna.

This ancient market develops in the area that goes from Piazza Maggiore to the two towers of Bologna. And is bordered by four roads: Via Rizzoli, Via dell’Archiginnasio, Via Farini e Via Castiglione.

The roads that cross this neighbourhood are mostly pedestrian and the area is frequented by residents and tourists so the streets are often crowded and full of life. The Quadrilatero is a must-see attraction for those visiting the city for the first time but also people who have been in Bologna for years love to go back. In fact, there are numerous restaurants and cafes ready to meet the needs of the food-lover. The same for shopping, you can find all kinds of shops, from the extra luxury to the mid-range. As well there are the fruit and fish markets where the Bolognese are used to do the shopping.

Sightseeing tour of the Quadrilatero, discover the typical food of Bologna

As we said this neighbourhood is certainly the favourite of good food lovers because there are all sorts of Bolognese specialities. The restaurants offer tortellini, Tagliatelle al Ragù and Green Lasagna, while in many wine bars you can have an Aperitivo with a nice Mortadella dish and other typical sausages.

In Via Pescherie Vecchie, among the colourful fruit and vegetable markets, there are also some of the best gastronomy. There you can buy tortellini and other handmade pasta according to tradition.

Let’s get specific, here are some of the shops that make the Quadrilatero so famous.

Osteria del Sole is a place where you can enjoy good wine and discover the true tradition of Bologna. Since 1465 in Via dei Ranocchi you could drink and socialize sitting around wooden tables. In fact, the Osteria del Sole is one of the oldest inns in Bologna. The environment is ideal for those who want to make friends.
Tamburini is one of the most famous gastronomy in Bologna and has been operating continuously since 1932 to today. His fame is due to the great care in the selection and processing of the products.
Via Clavature at number 12 there is the entrance to the culinary paradise. The Mercato Mezzo awaits you with numerous stands that host the excellence of Italian cuisine.

Shopping tour, between luxury shops and ancient “Botteghe”

There is nothing left in the streets of the Quadrilatero . So, if you are looking for a place to shop, you will be satisfied. The ancient goldsmith tradition still maintains its importance and there are many jewellers that are based in this area. To complement the tradition there are also the modern luxury brands such as Borbonese and Diesel in Via Clavature. For the most demanding Cavour Gallery is entirely dedicated to luxury with a wide selection of top Italian and international brands. Likewise, in the old commercial streets, the small historic shops keep their place, often of family tradition, in which the craft secrets have been handed down from one generation to another.

Discover the history and curiosity of the Quadrilatero

The ancient market of Bologna is not only a temple of good food and shopping, there are places to visit and curiosities to discover.
Inside the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita is the Compianto del Cristo Morto, a fascinating example of the Italian sculpture by Niccolò Dell’Arca. The church dates back to 1287 but was rebuilt in 1687.
In the Quadrilatero there is also one of the most beautiful and important palaces in Bologna, L’archiginnasio.
The historic building that today houses coop and eataly libraries was restored in 2008 after a period of abandonment, originally the Ambassadors was a red-light cinema.

Finally, if you want to stay in this neighbourhood, the Hotel delle Drapperie is what you are looking for.