02/06/2012 07:06 am ET Updated Apr 07, 2012

Eating Bologna, Italy (PHOTOS)

Overlooked by many tourists in favor of the two major tourist cities, Venice and Florence, it sits between, Bologna is in many ways the heart of farming Italy and should not be missed. Home to the oldest university on the boot and the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, the city is best known for the red brick buildings that line the streets. Bologna has over 24 miles of porticos that bring shade in the warm summer months and shelter from the rain and traffic.

Sleep: People like Samantha Brown would tell you to go and stay at Grand Hotel Baglioni, but that's a lot of money for a room you will simply put your luggage in and sleep in. There are a ton of hotels and most are around $100 a night.

Eat: Consume everything you can get your hands on. Tamburini is a fancy deli and is known for its prosciutto di Parma. The pigs are fed leftover Parmesan cheese whey, which gives the cured ham a distinctive flavor. I ordered a sandwich with provolone cheese at the counter and the clerk suggested I forgo the cheese so I really taste the ham. I agreed and was not disappointed. You can eat in the back of the deli but it was a beautiful day so I took my sandwich to the park.

Drink: Lambrusco. If you like Prosecco and red wine then you will love Lambrusco.

Things to do: Not to be redundant, but the thing to do is eat. If you come here while on a diet you need to have your head examined. Book a day tour with Italian Days Food Experience and leave with a wealth of knowledge and a full belly. Visit the churches, Neptune Fountain and take a day trip to nearby Modena where your balsamic vinegar is made.

Going to Bologna, Italy