The Best Eating in Italy

GUGLIELMO DE' MICHELO for TIME

DELI DELIGHTS: Giovanni Tamburini displays two of the 150 varieties of sausage he stocks

If you tell an Italian that you're heading to this or that city in Italy, the response is almost always the same: Oooh! Lì si mangia bene (rough translation: the eating's good there). Italians are famously proud of their own neighborhood cuisine, but they're as eager to taste what's cooking down the road. And if you force an Italian to choose just one city where the local cuisine is better than the rest, the winner — always after careful thought — more often than not turns out to be Bologna.

The traditional Bolognese menu of egg-based pasta, thick...