I had high expectations for the rustic, regional cuisine that I heard so much about in Bologna. To be honest, it is rare, but my expectations were surpassed. I stayed at a hotel directly in the center of the historic areas and was able to walk to dinners passing surreal buildings and sculptures from Roman times to the 18th century. Here I found what I was craving so badly, old family restaurants with at least two generations working there that served passed down bolognese recipes. All the pasta was extremely thin and had the mouth feel of silk. The tiny house-made tortellini simply served in a delicious broth were some of my memorable bites of this journey. Everyone in the restaurants were extremely friendly and open to conversation with an American chef. In one of the restaurants, I had a 15 minute conversation through google translator with the owner's mother about exactly how she makes her bolognese sauce. For a true expression of rustic Italian cuisine, I would recommend Bologna first on the list.