This is a preview of the content in our Bologna + Modena Art & Culture app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Add Map function to find sites, as well as your own custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with our advanced text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play


Inspired by Lucrezia Borgia's Golden Locks

Tagliatelle al ragù

Feminine pulchritude, the inspiration for tortellini, was also the secret behind tagliatelle, invented in Bologna in 1487 on the occasion of Lucrezia Borgia’s wedding to the Duke of Ferrara.

The pope’s daughter had long golden hair, and a chef named Zafirano from the village of Bentivoglio, called on to help prepare the wedding feast, created the long fair strips of pale golden egg pasta in her honour. According to one old authority, the pasta must be rolled out until a person holding it up can be seen through the dough.

The Academy of Italian Cuisine, based in Bologna, has solemnly decreed that for pasta to be called tagliatelle, the width of the ribbons must be precisely 1⁄1,270th of the height of the Torre Asinelli, i.e. 9mm, no more, no less. It takes only 15 years of practice to get it exactly right.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Petar Milošević, Creative Commons License