The taverns, or osterie, stand out as some of the most known spots in Bologna. Indeed they are among the busiest places in the city, maybe for their vintage and naive atmosphere, given by their old wooden tables and the dusty bottles on their shelves. But how were they in the past?
They were popular places for meetings, and many riots and claims often started from there. For this reason, in 1610 a municipal edict limited their clientele. Until the beginning of the ‘900s the most famous taverns of the city were Osteria dei Bastardini in Tagliapietre street, Osteria Campana in VIII Agosto square, Cantinone di Londra e Bazzanesi in San Felice street; Carnevalazz and Convento in via Zamboni (university area).
They were also famous for the extravagant people they hosted, such as songwriter and popular poets. The ways in which the food was given was particular too; for example, Osteria del Ghìtton in Pratello street offered the “Beans’ time”: you could buy unlimited beans for half an hour, a kind of an ancient all you can eat.
Alessandro Cervellati, a lover of old Bologna’s stories, wrote about the taverns in the 70s. He reckons that in Via de ‘Poeti there was an inn that, until restoration in 1959, had kept unchanged the original eighteenth-century features.